Tom Keighley

Restaurant design agency forge success

North East-based Restaurant Design Associates have found significant success despite the economic trend.

In the last year, the firm went from a £4.9m turnover to £7.7m, and now employs 16 members of staff.

The company designs and creates eating spaces in schools, hospitals, restaurants and work places, and is looking to branch into other high street and profit sector markets within the industry.

This move follows successful work to design and create the restaurant and bar for the five star Aloft Hotel at London’s Exhibition and Conference Centre (Excel).

Janine Ramsay has recently been promoted to creative director as part of the company’s restructure, and worked on the Aloft project.

She said: “We were provided with an empty space in which we had to incorporate a full restaurant design.”

“Our brief was to create an attractive destination venue, which had an authentic British theme.”

Roy Addyman, managing director of RDA added that the Aloft hotel was a departure from the company’s usual work but within a market place they are looking at expanding into.

“We work on a whole variety of eating spaces, from creating restaurants and cafes in hospitals, schools, universities and other work places, to high street chains like Costa Coffee and one-off projects like Blackfriars restaurant here in Newcastle, where we created something unique as a result of it being in a listed building.

“While we hadn’t done a restaurant within a luxury hotel before, the skills, expertise and level of service we provide are obviously all transferable to any market within the catering and hospitality industry.

“The restaurant at the Aloft London Excel demonstrates that. It was a great project to be involved in and a market we hope to expand further into in the future.

Mr Addyman went on to reaffirm the successful year RDA had experienced, and expressed his desire to develop the firm.

He said: “We have made the changes because we need to be aware of market trends and enable staff to have the time to research what is going on from a design perspective within the catering and hospitality industry.

“We also want to free up the team’s operational knowledge to give clients the best advice possible at the start of their projects, so we are providing them with a consultancy service.

“Our clients have changing needs and the greater variety of work we have has an increasing emphasis on design. The restructure is aimed at ensuring we have the right staff in the right roles to make sure we are taking account of these changes. We want the business to develop and grow and we want to stay ahead of the game.”

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