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Continental Services Innovation Center

Design Reinvents the Brand

Continental Services approached ROSSETTI when it purchased a 1980s era, 30,000 SF building to consolidate its growing event and catering business. The company had never considered hosting clients, as its kitchens were chaotic and uninviting. Through a Discovery Workshop session, ROSSETTI convinced Continental to take a strategic risk to expand their thinking and reinvent their brand, culture and customer experience. 

 

DESIGN INSPIRED BY A FARM TO FORK MENTALITY

The owner is passionate about the holistic preparation of food, so ROSSETTI designed the space with an expose' aspect in mind. A farm to fork mentality inspired the conceptual layout of the space. Operationally, the flow of the building is designed to move from the loading dock where fresh deliveries are made daily, through production, into the “sales” center, and finally a dining/event space.

To direct traffic and guide the “farm to fork” experience, the team designed a curvilinear progression that gradually reveals elements of the company’s function, without immediately revealing the final destination. Upon entry, guests get a glimpse into Continental’s production via transparent test kitchens used for research and development. The bakery test kitchen is wrapped in a glass wall and walnut veneer with a large prep table positioned under a skylight.

 

Moving along the corridor, the undulating walnut veneer surface glides past the transparent conference room where clients can plan their event, selecting menus and services in full view of the company’s daily functions. Finally the Experience Kitchen reveals itself as a hospitality venue where food is prepared for and in front of guests for intimate tastings at the dining table or on the outdoor patio. As the focal point of the design, the Experience Kitchen features a custom-designed prep and cooking station that slopes in height to accommodate standing cooking demonstrations and seated tastings.

 

RETURN ON DESIGN RESULTS

This new facility transformed Continental’s image from an off-site, unapproachable catering company to an immersive hospitality service. The client response was overwhelming, from signing new clients after the first tour to re-signing existing clients to long-term contracts, their contract closure rate has increased from 50% to 80%. According to Continental, the project paid for itself after less than 12 months from completion and surpassed revenue goals with a total of $80 million in business after two years.