VMSD - July 2014 - (Page 64)

CO CHECKING OUT Interview by Sarah Whitman Kathleen Kincer McDonald's director of retail interiors for U.S. restaurant design embraces the fast pace and reactive nature of designing for the world's biggest fast food brand. Describe your job in a nutshell. My team does everything from developing new decor packages to designing solutions for the service area. We also work on flagship restaurants and family engagement areas. You have a degree in architecture. What inspired that interest? My father was a shop teacher and taught a small architecture class. He actually designed the house I grew up in and I always thought that was very cool. How did you get into retail design? I think there's always been a magnetic pull. I like the pace, how reactive it is, how you can see results faster. It's also more about people and behavior, as opposed to form and geometry. Good Times, Great Taste Like most Gen-Xers, McDonald's was a favorite childhood spot for Kincer: "My father would take me to McDonald's for breakfast every Saturday morning so my mom could sleep in. ... When I started working here, I brought that memory with me, and it makes me want to figure out how we can provide opportunities for those memories and moments to happen for all of our customers. How can we help create those happy family moments?" What's been the most rewarding aspect of working for McDonald's the past three years? I was pleasantly surprised with everyone's open attitude to new ideas. That was a little different from my experience with other retail clients who had tight parameters for their branding. And everyone is so nice! I was also surprised by how work happens so quickly with a design team of around 40 responsible for modernizing more than 14,000 restaurants. McDonald's is the first restaurant corporation you've worked for. What new challenges has the job posed for you? The durability aspect - the way a restaurant space is used by customers. They sit down, get comfortable and eat food versus a retail space where you shop. Also, everyone is a McDonald's customer. There's no singular customer profile - the entire population is our customer - which is a unique challenge. Where do you and your team find inspiration? I read a lot of magazines, browse Pinterest and pay attention to the environment around me. Chicago is a big food town, so my team is constantly exposed to new restaurants. Do you have any advice for young designers who aspire to have a job like yours? Find your passion, but know that you'll still have to do things that are not fun - every job has those. What matters is that you're proud of your work at the end of the day. x 64 JULY 2014 | vmsd.com COURTESY OF MCDONALD'S, OAK BROOK, ILL . What's the most innovative restaurant design trend you're seeing? It's interesting to watch companies try to tap into how people shop with mobile devices. How can we integrate that technology into our restaurant experience - and how much of that do people really want? http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - July 2014

VMSD - July 2014
Contents
On the Edge
High-Rise Hutong
Brick, Mortar and Pestle
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Showroom: Mannequins
Showroom: Props & Decs
Ad Index
Checking Out

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