BURGER LABORATORY by JHP, Seoul – South Korea

March 4th, 2017 by retail design blog

In recent years the world of fast food has been in panic mode. An explosion of casual dining brands and a public that perceives fast food as poorly sourced, artificially flavoured, and uncaring of animals and the environment has reduced both credibility and revenue. LOTTERIA’s response was to follow the lead of discount supermarkets, reducing ranges and hugely improving the provenance and quality of ingredients. Fresh sustainable and well-sourced meat and vegetables are now at the heart of the offer, which is completely made to order, all achieved by efficient, transparent and sustainable logistics and sourcing.

JHP’s commission was to design and develop this new experience, including the store architecture, internal environment, brand identity, product strategy, packaging, internal communication, multi-sensory strategy, advertising and service strategy. The BURGER LABORATORY’s ingredients are entirely sourced from LOTTERIA’s own vertically integrated farms and are of the highest quality in terms of both environmental sustainability and animal husbandry. In addition to beef, chicken and shrimp burgers and fries, LOTTERIA’s new BURGER LABORATORY offers local specialties and vegetarian options.

An entirely open kitchen has been introduced combined with a made-to-order process allowing customers to watch the BURGERISTA preparing every stage of their meal. Customers can place orders via an app on their journey to the LAB, in-store through bespoke tablets or in person at the counter. The BURGER LABORATORY’s science and experimental theme is reflected in every aspect of the customer experience. A red industrial ceiling mounted pipe winds its way from the front of the laboratory to the back guiding the customer journey. The ceiling also features an illuminated digital clock indicating how long customers must wait for their order to be ready.

The restaurant’s walls are decorated with periodic tables, food assembly diagrams and science based icons. Chairs have chemical resistant wire frames whilst tables are equipped with power plugs for charging mobile devices instead of Bunsen Burners. (Free WI-FI access is of course a hygiene factor in Korea). The stainless steel drinks machine enables customers to mix and refill their own beakers. The seating area offers individual code writing tables, long laboratory benches and breakout booths reminiscent of those found in high tech start-ups.

Restrooms use acid resistant white glazed tiles with “radioactive” yellow and black doors and frames. The materials used are not only consistent with the laboratory’s look and feelbut were also selected for their low environmental impact. Recycled strawboard, reclaimed porcelains and salvaged waste pipes have all been combined in an environment that is lit entirely with low energy LED sources and uses hyper-efficient induction cooking equipment. All packaging is recycled and biodegradable.

Design: JHP

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