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I have chosen three main types of seating for the café and an additional stool bar which can seat up to six people for convenience if they only want a quick sandwich.
I have placed six small 2person tables in the far corner where the bay windows are so that they can enjoy the views.
There are then six larger tables which can each seat 4people, they are in the middle of the room next to the 2-person table because this makes use of the space and keeps the seating area altogether instead of having it scattered.
If there are any school groups which may need larger table there are two six-person tables right in the middle of the room and the option of adding an extra table if needed before the schools arrival, there is also a corner table in the top right hand corner of the room, this has six bar stools, and helps seat customer who wont be spending long and the other seating is all full.
Also, the 4person tables are a standard shape which can be joined together for large groups.
I have chosen square tables so that they can be joined together for larger groups as circle table cannot be joined together easily.
With the amount of tables and seating area the café can seat up to 54 people with an additional dozen children or so in the Kids Korner.
The Kids Korner has a TV unit and table where they can get dot-to-dot drawings and match up fish, they are learning activities to help them remember what they learned in the aquarium earlier.
There is a small fish tank wall divider which separates the Kids Korner from the seating area so that parents/guardians can still keep an eye on their children but other visitors can also have peace too.
There is also a packed lunch bar beside to the entrance/exit, this is for parents who want to buy a small packed lunch for their child to have later in the day or simply for people who don’t want to join the queue but want to buy a quick snack which they can take out.
Beside the Packed Lunch Bar are the bins for people to put their rubbish on the way out.
As people enter the café there are fish shaped footprints to guide them to the food counter and there is a fish tank dividing the space so that when people walk around it there can be a longer queue and they also have something interesting to look at.
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The front of house is at the right hand side of the plan where the entrance/exit is and also where the packed lunch area is, the packed lunch area would also be classed as a welcome/meet and greet area so that visitors know where to go for their food.
The back of house is then on then left of the plan where the food counter is, there is no kitchen as such in this plan because I thought it would end up taking up too much space. There is a food counter instead where people select the food they want and have it served up to them, like in Subway.
Entrance and Exit-
I have selected two separate doors one for the way in and one for the way out so that queues don’t become messy and stay orderly instead. The entrance/exit is where it is on my plan because this is one of the smallest corners where I couldn’t think anything else would fit, the doors fit just nicely in this part of the room and it still give plenty of room for the food queue on the right hand side.
Other Products and Services-
At the entrance and exit side of the room, I have placed a packed lunch area where people can buy a lunch for them to have later if they don’t want to come back to the café, this is a good service and will also add another source of income for the café.
There is a kid’s corner in the top right hand side of the room for children to eat their food and enjoy aquarium related entertainment and take part in learning activities. This is a great free additional feature for the café giving children some fun and providing parents with the assurance of their kids’ safety and also allowing them time to relax at a distance.
The entrance queue will be on the right hand side meaning that people who want to leave will not have to push through them to get out as they would if the entrance was on the left hand side.
When people walk in they will walk past the meet and greet counter where a member of staff can point them in the right direction, I have inserted a large wall dividing fish tank for people to walk around which will allow for longer queues on busy days and it will also give the people something to look at while they wait.
In my room layout plan, the fish shapes on the floor show the direction of customer flow from the entrance to the food counter, after that people feel free to sit where they like.
Level of service-
The Exploris aquarium is a tourist attraction and therefore they will want to get their food quickly, this is why the café is a self service one. Self service is quicker and easier than the more formal sit-down and wait for 45minutes to be served a dinner, the tourists will want their food quickly in order to get back to exploring around the attraction. When people are at the food counter they just choose what they want from what they see, everything is prepared and served up straight in front of them.
The name of my café is Bubbles Café, this does not refer to anyone’s nickname being Bubbles, and instead however it refers to the air bubbles which are in the fish tanks and will be decoratively painted around the walls.
I called the café Bubbles Café because it is short, sweet and simple, it also sound child friendly which it is so the name is perfect.
On the building layout plan of Exploris aquarium, the café is situated where they key states proposed café. I have further shaded it in pink to highlight it more. The café is on the first floor and there is a staircase and also lifts for disabled/pushchair access.
The size of the café will be determined by how many people it can seat at one time. When the café has full capacity it can seat up to 54 people which is ideal for two average school classes and still gives enough room for the young children in the far corner and also other tourists to be seated comfortably.
Part Three- Merit Criteria
Exploris, the Northern Ireland Aquarium, strives to provide an enjoyable and educational experience through changing marine exhibits, a rolling programme of exhibitions and activities for 'kids of all ages'.
The cafés’ objectives will be to cater for all customer types for example families, speakers of other languages, special needs and school groups.
In my plan I have catered for the family group of customers well as I have included a kids’ play area which also provides an educational learning programme and this meet the aquariums’ aims for their visitors to enjoy themselves and learn something at the same time.
The attraction will want to meet the needs of special needs customers, for example those with wheelchairs or even a young family with a pushchair. I have pointed out on the planning map of the whole aquarium that there is toilets which also cater for disable and there are baby changing facilities. Where there are stairs to the café there are also lifts for people with wheelchairs or push chairs.
For the attraction to meet the objective of meeting the needs of speakers of a different language I have included menus at the welcome area in the café which comes in 5 different languages and will be added to more languages soon, before the holiday season picks up again. The menu is in the following languages:
This will help customers when it comes to ordering food, however if there is not a menu available in their language then they can always choose a food which they are familiar with.
The café and whole attraction meet the needs of school groups and large groups really well as there are enough seating for up to 54 people and there are also two sets of toilets which will help accommodate a lot of visitors.
I have chosen various sizes and shapes of tables in the café for this reason; the larger table for four people can be joined together for even bigger groups and there is also the tables for six people which teachers or large groups of friends may want sit at.