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All images courtesy of Terence Chin.
In Counter culture: fast food’s slow evolution, ADR examined the recent trend of fast food giants trying to extend brand identities through the path of differently considered and alternative interior design.
McDonald’s had just completed its creation of The Corner store in Sydney’s Camperdown: a thinly veiled attempt to try out a different type of McDonald’s menu and attract a different type of customer.
KFC jumped on board with sketches for its ‘fast-casual’ restaurant, still within the model of a traditional fast food design template, but evolving KFC from its crassly lit white walls and bulky red seats to something more bespoke and interesting.
Designed by The Great Indoors and Designworks, the KFC fast-casual restaurant in Parramatta has now been finished and photos of the completed restaurant reveal little deviation from the artist’s impressions. A layered, light wood interior is broken up by panels in KFC red, and a more youth-oriented typeface plastering evocative phrases like, ‘it’s oh so good’ across the walls.
The Australian design community may baulk at KFC and McDonald’s superficial makeovers, but this may perhaps serve as a wake-up call for a kind of stylistic complacency that has pervaded local hospitality design of late.
With a swathe of casual dining restaurants in Australia adhering to a similar stripped-back industrial design aesthetic, many elements are so easily replicated. Looking at the tiles spanning the counter and exterior façade, the pine panelling and the use of a bright accent colour, the new restaurant could be mistaken for a restaurant with a more credible foodie offering.
It will be interesting to note how the updated design will drive consumer engagement for KFC, in a new direction that is shaping the future for major fast food corporations.