There’s been a trend toward “openness” in restaurants over the past decade or so. It started with the menu. Diners wanted to know exactly what they were eating and how it was raised. And then they wanted to see exactly how their food was prepared, which led to the boom in popularity of the “open kitchen” setup. Not only did it lend a sense of drama to the dining experience but it also let customers see that their meal was being prepared fresh, right in front of their eyes.
This new “open” style has ramifications for designers and operators. More areas of the kitchen are visible than ever before. And, a restaurant’s design concepts now have to carry through both in front and back of the house. That can be a problem because the traditional “pebbled white plastic board” used in the kitchen doesn’t look appealing to diners, nor does it help the restaurant deliver a coherent design message.
This is not something that’s strictly limited to higher-end restaurants. Even quick-serve restaurants are taking things that used to be in the kitchen and putting them out front, such as soda pop machines. The area around soda machines not only gets splashed by wayward beverages but can get nicked or chipped easily by heavy customer traffic. With customers walking in and out of that area, it needs to be protected with something more than paint.
Today, many restaurant operators are turning to the durable fiberglassreinforced plastic (FRP) panels from Crane Composites. As the first and largest global manufacturer of FRP wall paneling, Crane Composites offers a wide range of stock panels to fit any restaurant kitchen as well as the ability to customize panels to meet a client’s individual design requirements.
Many people still know Crane Composites products from their former name, Kemlite®. For years, GLASBORD® has delivered quality at an affordable price, and is the only FRP panel with a Surfaseal® finish to prevent yellowing. VARIETEX® offers a wide range of textures and colors that can still stand up to the heaviest usage. And DESIGNS delivers completely customized printed finishes in FRP paneling, making it perfect for almost any type of foodservice facility.
Countless foodservice operations are upgrading their looks easily with FRP panels from Crane Composites. For example, one major fast casual chain is using VARIETEX® Sandstone to “transition” the space between seating areas and the kitchen. A national quick-service chain is using GLASBORD® FRP panels in a contrasting color to its overall design concept. A large breakfast chain uses GLASBORD® Beaded panels in its restrooms for a more sophisticated look that’s still easy to maintain. And lots of sports stadiums are using customized DESIGNS panels to keep their team colors or logos splashed across every part of their concession services.
FRP panels from Crane Composites are the easy, durable way to keep all areas of foodservice — in back, in front and in between — looking their best.