Meet Martin! He owns several American-style smokehouse restaurants in Spain. He has used CoContest to design his new restaurant in Madrid. Here you can read an interview about his experience with CoContest, working with architects from distance and the restaurant business.
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background and what do you do now?
I am in my mid-thirties and run a couple entrepreneurial endeavours. One of which is running several American style restaurants in Madrid, Spain. Technology is an important side of our “traditional” business and it allows to set us apart.
Did you have any experience on working with architects before using CoContes? If yes, how was it?
We have used architects/designers on our previous restaurantes. We tend to like what we see but it is usually their one vision that gets used with very little input on our part. Additionally, we feel that the architects/designers in our city all tend to have the same views and do not offer “original” designs.
How was the experience of working with an architect from a distance?
It was great. I explained what we were looking for and usually every morning I would open my contest up and answer one or two questions from the designers. Their questions were short and to the point so it was easy to respond to them.
What was the goal your project? What did you want to obtain?
Our goal was to receive many different visions for the space so that we could choose what we wanted for the restaurant. We wanted something innovative and unique for our city.
How do you think the interior design can reflect the values and the cooking of a new restaurant and attract clients?
Everyone has options at the time of eating. And there are always many options such as eating at home or picking something up. People go out to eat not only for the nutrition but also for the social aspect. People want to enjoy and their first impression usually dictates the rest of their impression of the restaurant. Therefore the design is very important to set expectations about the rest of the experience. We let the designers free range but asked it to show a “rustic” feel which translates to our food as it being traditionally prepared smoked meats.
What stroke you most about the winner project?
The winning project was not only creative, it was very well planned and functionable. It appeared that the winner had had a restaurant before as the space was not only beautiful it also knew of certain constraints we would encounter and found ways to use the space for it. The winning project also studied how people would flow around the restaurant. We were amazed at how well it was thought out.
How do you think internet has changed the world of projects and interior designs, considering your experience with your other two restaurants?
This contest gave us the view of designers all around the world which was awesome. Our goal was very much achieved… We received over 22 unique designs for the space!!!! This was great as we had so many options to choose from. We will not just use one of the designs but we are going to pick and choose from the 22 design different elements we liked. Another favorable aspect is the cost. Design cost in Spain is more or less cheap compared to other countries but still this contest was very very competitive. If we had done it with a local designer it would have cost us about the same and we would have gotten only one “local” design and not 22 designs to pick and choose from it.
For our future restaurant, we will definitely use Cocontest!!! We have already talked about it with many people who love the concept. I also look forward to using it for my own home as I think it can be a real eye opener to better use my space.
You have created an American-themed restaurant, in the heart of Spain and your winner architectural projects come from Greece, Spain and Italy. What is your opinion on this global approach for a local project?
Once again 22 designs to pick and choose is amazing. The fact that our three winners for an American-theme restaurant came from Greece, Spain and Italy just shows how creativity can come from everywhere.