Contemporary dining in 2018 is a kaleidoscope of different cuisines, lifestyles and dietary choices; not to mention all the trends to go with them. Whilst we know that customer experience is vital in the success of any business, what exactly does customer experience involve, and how can we align our vision with an enjoyable experience for customers? With everywhere we go being just a stone’s throw away from a coffee, as a customer it’s just as easy to get inundated with options as well as it is to get lost in the menu or drinks list without noticing your surroundings. As a business owner, you should strive to provide a unique customer experience whilst still incorporating your own vision and identity, and interior design is a wonderful way to do that.
To illustrate exactly how interior detail shapes business branding, I checked out a quirky café in Mosman Park that really nails the concept of brand distinction.
The Leaky Tap
The Leaky Tap is a small but cosy café that heroes the humble plumber. With a rich local family history that dates back many generations, this peculiar place both exhibits and utilises the fundamentals of the vital trade- even giving a laugh along the way. From the old ladders hanging above the timber flooring to the historical family photos and framed documents on exposed brick walls, I immediately got the sense that this tiny café was the dining equivalent of a family plumbing business. But not only did I see it, I experienced it. Various idiosyncrasies extended to a highly functional level, from the lights made out of taps to the signage fashioned from toilet seats. I was also impressed to find plastic pipe junctions used as cutlery holders and table numbers. Among the many eye-catching elements in the room were the chairs- many of which were made out of toilet seats. They even went so far as to feature rubber snakes and a set of keys in the toilet bowls, making for a good laugh followed by an inadvertent pocket check. Even the menu encapsulated their brand, with everything from ‘rusty screws’ to the ‘clogged drain’ available. ‘The Leaky Tap’ in itself is an engaging name that works perfectly, striking the right balance between trendy and unique. Somehow I don’t think ‘The Blocked Toilet’ or ‘The Botched Bunnings DIY’ would have had the same effect.
So how does this experience apply on a broad scale? The Leaky Tap have approached their customer experience through exuding their own identity. That is, they please their customers by pleasing themselves. By focusing on their own history and values they’ve been able to keep the family trade alive through the café’s interior layout. Essentially, The Leaky Tap uses storytelling through design, which is a simple yet clever way of enabling a memorable experience for their customer base, whilst still upholding their business vision. Therefore, we can see that combining personality with design elements ignites a strong brand that holds an original and impactful ambience.
I guess you could say they’ve thought of the whole kitchen sink.
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