Christian Merieau. Christian Merieau.

To create F&B venues that will last, restaurateurs should aim to “tell a good story”, MMAC Design Associates founding partner Christian Merieau told the Hotelier Middle East Great GM Debate 2018.

In his Ignite Talk at the event at Le Meridien Dubai, Merieau told the audience that having a strong theme that tells a story that “can be embraced by everyone – the staff, the customer, the neighbourhood” will create a concept that has staying power.

Merieau shared his opinions on how concept creators could manage this, even on a limited budget, by putting an emphasis on accessories and using all the space available.

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In the modern age, Merieau was keen to point out the necessity of making your space “instagrammable”, and ensuring that there a lot of strong graphic elements that lend a sense of identity to the venue and make every spot in the concept picture worthy.

He also pointed out that millennials want to be “socially existing” even when they are not actively socialising with other people – for example by using their computers in a shared space rather than sitting in their houses – so anything which encourages this will be popular.

Overall, Merieau’s five key principles for revamping a concept were: tell a good story, be smart with your budget, use all the space available, create drama with lighting, and socially activate the space.