Ever have one of those ideas that you love and you know that one day, you'll find a way to make it happen? Well, the World Premiere Cafe is one of those ideas with me. Working with Greg Beck, I originally came up with the idea in late 1999, when we were working with a number of companies who were exploring themed restaurants. They all wanted a restaurant, the problem was that most of them didn't want to be in the restaurant business.
As I looked at what was happening in the space, I thought about the road theaters that I knew, places where road companies brought in the entire show into a basically empty theater. The core tools where there for them, like lighting, rigging, etc., but they would bring in all of the sets, etc., rather then have them made there.
So the World Premiere Cafe was designed as like a road house for themed restaurants. As described in the original deck created in 2000:
These locations will act as a “road house” for our ‘eatertainment’ sponsors, allowing them to have a complete themed restaurant and entertainment complex without the costs and expense of owning a permanent facility.
The big idea was that sponsors would sign on for specific time lengths (generally one calendar quarter) and we'd recreate the entire experience for them. For example, we'd:
- Re-theme the interior designs for the sponsor product.
- Rename menu items for the sponsor and create several key menu items based on the brand needs.
- Re-theme all staff wardrobe based on brand identity.
- Run promotional programs in conjunction with sponsors.
I saw the World Premiere Cafe as a 350 seat, full service restaurant with a 45 seat lounge, with a balcony area and VIP seating and a stage for performances and/or demonstrations. It would use lots of interactive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and others, to create unique guest experience. Table-mounted touch screens allow for ordering food & merchandise and playing interactive games, both with guests inside and outside the restaurants.
It's one of my favorite concepts and given my stand on how importance place is, I'm confident that one day, I'll see it come to fruition!
The Sydney Games were happening, so I added them to the concept