- Wendy’s is using hard wood surfaces and delicate metal poles in refurbished outlets
- Taco Bell’s new facades juxtapose wide panes of glass with slabs of dark concrete
- A Burger King prototype restaurant incorporates metallic finishes
Being minimalist without making patrons feel like deprived Spartans is an art. The novelty in these designs is attracting notice. However, this might pass, and store designs revert toward the decorative embellishments of Rococo.
But the wise fast-casual restaurant retailers, like all other retailers, will design their stores to fit time intentions. The ways in which customers intend to use their time with the retailer and the ways in which the retailer aims to have shoppers use time.
Researchers at University of Western Ontario, University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Virginia used a set of metaphors to describe five common patterns:
- Time is a pressure cooker. This one fits many QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) patrons, and argues for that minimalist design and décor. The pressure cooker shopper may be accompanied by children or a spouse and talks about spending time with others. They respond best to methodically considering one purchase choice at a time.
- Time is a map. Here, consumers want to flow through the store in a relatively leisurely, yet systematic way, so aid them with clear signals. Sketch a path using a floor covering with a different texture than the surrounding. These shoppers multitask and enjoy comparison shopping. Design paths for it.
- Time is a mirror. These shoppers are like the “time as map” consumers, but want more emphasis on learning from the past and less on anticipating future consequences. They shop more comfortably in stores having familiar designs. This might mean you imitate the design of more popular stores.
- Time is a river. Here the store design fits shoppers who are spontaneous and open to making unanticipated purchases. Women seeking retail therapy are likely to have a “time is a river” style.
- Time is a feast. “Eat the dessert first. There’s always time for the entrée later.” That’s the motto of the extreme “time is a feast” shopper. Those who are less extreme still aim for sensory pleasure. Stimulating décor is de rigueur.
Clock Customer Actions to Fit Time Metaphors
Couch Retail Therapy for Chronic Conditions