design:retail - May/June 2020 - 27

Here is a peek inside these low-touch, high-impact
restaurants in a post-pandemic world:
Consumers Take Control
Consumers are getting extremely comfortable with
new technologies they might not have used before
social distancing guidelines. It is likely they are finally
caving and downloading restaurant apps on their
phones to place mobile orders. Why not take advantage of these learned behaviors and give guests control
through their own devices?
Restaurants can significantly reduce the number of
physical touchpoints in their facilities by transferring
point-of-sale operations to consumers' phones, making it convenient for the guest while curbing anxieties
surrounding uncertain times.
Less Dine-in Is More
Restaurants of the future will have a smaller dining footprint to make way for new technologies and
learned behaviors. Stay-at-home mandates are forcing
consumers to get their food in different ways, and the
brands that have the proper systems in place already
are outperforming those that don't.
Dining rooms will be minimized to make room for
new service models. Going beyond typical dine-in or
carry-out options, walk-up windows may become
more popular. Additionally, restaurants without a
drive-thru option will be forced to consider adding
one to their fleet and concepts eyeing innovation may
respond more drastically and commit to a drive-thru
only offer as a more responsive format.
Cloud kitchens will become more popular as restaurants are able to prepare food in shared facilities.
Whether these kitchens serve as a hub for delivery
or become guest-facing, the format provides an opportunity for brand partnership and limits individual
investment. This pared-down service model delivers
big on the essentials-convenience and variety.
Technology Takes the Lead
Restaurants will undoubtedly need to rely on
technology to establish trust while looking for ways
to embed moments of human interaction that honor
the changing social expectations. This could be done
simply by having the ability to digitally see the face of
the person taking your order from the drive-thru or
within the app. Personalized digital ordering provides
consumers with a sense of human connection while
maintaining a safe distance.
To prevent virus exposure, tabletop ordering kiosks
will be replaced with a hands-free interaction. The
same rules will apply for every touchable surface within
the environment. Touchpoints from manned point-ofsale systems to self-serve drink stations will need to be
re-evaluated with automation in mind. Those doing
their part to combat the spread of germs while maintaining human connection through new technologies
will establish trust and more loyal customers.

Only Strong Service Survives
Finding solutions for restaurants that are established in the hearts and minds of guests as a traditional,
sit-down model will be tricky, but there are steps
that can be taken to swiftly bounce back when social
distancing guidelines are lifted. The key will be to cultivate an engaging and empowering culture for staff.
When restaurant doors do open again, consumers are going to be more skeptical than ever. They will
wonder how many people were in contact with their
food; if their menus, silverware and tables were sanitized; and if the bathrooms were thoroughly cleaned.
The easiest way to combat these worries is to recruit
and retain servers and staff that project confidence and
provide assurance.
Restaurants will need to revamp their training process, create more robust development and growth
programs, and offer valuable employee perks. Concentrating on the culture and service will have a
significant impact on how guests view the overall experience. If customers are confident in their service,
they will feel more at ease when dining out.
We are all experiencing shared anxiety and unexpectedly have the need for more interaction just to feel
human. For brands, this momentary slowdown has
forced their hand to innovate on-the-fly to re-emerge
with guest-centered innovations that embrace the
new rules of engagement. Giving consumers control,
moving to a smaller dining footprint, a well-trained
staff and new technologies will create these lowtouch, high-impact food and beverage establishments
of the future.

RETURN TO RETAIL:
ENGAGEMENT, SAFETY AND
DESIGN STRATEGIES
AARON BIRNEY
PRINCIPAL AND GLOBAL
RETAIL LEADER
GENSLER
THE RETAIL LANDSCAPE has seen dramatic changes over
the past months, and there is no denying that this
new crisis presents another pivot for both retailers
and consumers. The industry has demonstrated grit
and fortitude that has allowed it to adapt to change in
the past. When non-essential stores open their doors
again, it won't be business as usual and customers will
have new and different expectations of retailers. With
ecommerce growing, what will drive consumers back
to the physical store? There's no doubt that by continuing to embrace customers' needs, implementing
safety procedures and creating flexible design solutions, we will see a return to retail.

"How retailers
engage customers
and meet their
expectations will
go a long way
when their doors
open."
Customer Expectation and Engagement
This is yet another moment of transformation for
the retail industry. Not only will mandates and regulations by local jurisdictions drive interim changes-like
the amount of people allowed inside a store-but we
will also find that consumer behavior will adapt to a
world where the retail experience has been completely
disrupted and driven by necessity.
How retailers engage customers and meet their expectations will go a long way when their doors open.
So, where should retailers start? While we see an initial
decrease of human interaction in the retail industry,
this does not have to mean a decrease of a brand's engagement with its customers. Empathy in service will
be critical at this time, and customers' emotional wellbeing will determine how they will remember their
experience with the brand.
Retailers should clearly define their stores'
policies-through signage, wayfinding and online
communications-and enforce them. Closely monitor new shopping habits, trends and customer needs.
Use pre-order sales, as this will create more efficient
inventory and supply-chain models. Being open and
transparent about operations-in what capacity you
will be operating for the near term and in the long
term-will be important, as customers will want to
know what to expect when they head back to the store.
Sense of Safety for All
Employees are the front line for the brand, and
their safety and security during and post-pandemic
will also resonate with customers. Store employees
will continue to be the brand ambassadors that will
play a crucial role in keeping the economy alive. Retailers need to ensure that their employees are given
the appropriate equipment to safely work within the
store environment, as supplies will continue to be in
high demand. Provide your employees the protective
equipment and hygiene strategies needed for them to
feel safe and be successful at work.
Confident employees will create high customer
confidence. Recognize that emotions will be high for
both groups, which is why it is important to create



design:retail - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - May/June 2020

design:retail - May/June 2020
Contents
From the Editor
Happenings
On Trend: Retail in the Pink
Spec Sheet: The Great Outdoors
Interactive Spaces: Razer
Pop-Ups: Backcountry
Plugged In: adidas
Perspectives: Everything I Learned from Being a Designer at Amazon
SPECIAL REPORT: POST-PANDEMIC RETAIL
CANNABIS RETAIL ROUNDUP
40 UNDER 40
Moment
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Intro
design:retail - May/June 2020 - design:retail - May/June 2020
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover2
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 1
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Contents
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 4
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 5
design:retail - May/June 2020 - From the Editor
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 7
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Happenings
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 9
design:retail - May/June 2020 - On Trend: Retail in the Pink
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 11
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Spec Sheet: The Great Outdoors
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 13
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 14
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 15
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Interactive Spaces: Razer
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 17
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Pop-Ups: Backcountry
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 19
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Plugged In: adidas
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 21
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Perspectives: Everything I Learned from Being a Designer at Amazon
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 23
design:retail - May/June 2020 - SPECIAL REPORT: POST-PANDEMIC RETAIL
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 25
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 26
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 27
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 28
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 29
design:retail - May/June 2020 - CANNABIS RETAIL ROUNDUP
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 31
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 32
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion1
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion2
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion4
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion5
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion6
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion7
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion8
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 33
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 34
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 35
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 40 UNDER 40
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 37
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 38
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 39
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 40
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 41
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 42
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 43
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 44
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 45
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 46
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 47
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Moment
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover4
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