Changing an Industry: From Hand Drawn Sketches to Virtual Reality Experience


Specifi is a global leader in restaurant and foodservice design.

We are changing an industry.

Specifi developes and provides restaurant designers, dealers, and manufacturers of restaurants and commercial kitchens the next generation digital tools and digital platform, and service solutions, to streamline the design and building process.

How to design a restaurant – how to better design a restaurant – is our quest.

Successful and award-winning restaurant design professionals, the world over, turn to and employ the digital tools and digital platform, and service solutions, that Specifi creates.

Specifi offers the only end-to-end kitchen design software and foodservice design program, and the only 3D tool that simulates the commercial kitchen in operation.   Specific products and solutions support and empower designs that optimize work flow and energy saving.

Our platform supports six languages, multiple currencies, and several units of measurement. We understand the challenges and goals of restaurant designers and foodservice design professionals. 

Back in mid-March, restaurant development + design magazine hosted a webcast titled, “Value Engineering for Restaurant Developers & Designers,” which focused on value engineering and how, in the design and building process, “restaurants can manage costs without compromising design intent.”

A panelist on the webcast was Steven Starr, the chief of Starr Design (Charlotte, NC), and renowned nationally for his creative excellence and innovation in restaurant and retail design.

Mr. Starr opened his commentary, explaining that too often value engineering is a reactive process, one in which the design process is performed in a “complete vacuum” … which results in a problem that designers try to remedy by “going backwards and cutting costs to get the project to fit into the budget.”

Of this process, and this is no surprise, Mr. Starr said that it is “quite possibly the worst way to go about designing a restaurant.” He also offered this description – one that resonates with Specifi, and with all restaurant and commercial kitchen designers – on value engineering: “… we take the approach, developing a process from the very beginning of the project that reconciles the owners objectives with the budget … and make design decisions so that we don’t end up in the end with an ‘Oh, no’ moment where we have to go back and make dramatic changes, or really compromise the design intent, or compromise the owner’s design objectives. And I really think that’s our jobs at restaurant designers is to be the stewards of those design objectives – to make sure that what we are designing is in service of the overall business goals of the owner.”

There is a lot of wisdom here on how to design a restaurant. Specifi is surely in the business of facilitating and supporting “designing … in service of the overall business goals of the owner.”

In an industry that began with hand sketches (and there is still use for hand sketches), Specifi is at the forefront of innovation – we are pioneers. We not only deliver smart foodservice technology and foodservice design solutions, but deliver them in an integrated suite of tools – that digital platform – along with service solutions

Specifi keeps in front of societal and industry issues, and governmental ordinances and regulation.

With energy saving growing in importance, our products and services are helpful and valuable allies and resources in building spaces that are energy efficient. And every design technology we provide is an intuitive design tool.

Consider, for example, building information modeling (BIM) software, a design and architectural utility that was first discussed more than 30 years ago,  and which for 10 years now has been in widespread use across many industries, yet also innovation that the foodservice design sector and restaurant designers have been slow to adopt.

Michael Sherer, Senior Contributing Editor for Foodservice Equipment Reports, explained the slow adoption in his story, “Building Information Modeling,” published in the June 1 issue of the magazine.

“… foodservice projects, which seemed a natural fit for the concept, were slow to follow the trend,” wrote Mr. Sherer.  “Consultants and designers found the software necessary to implement BIM cumbersome and expensive, equipment manufacturers hadn’t made their information available in the right format, and operators didn’t see the benefits.”

Specifi understood the challenge and what restaurant designers faced, and we created software that, again, is an intuitive design tool – and is affordable, available in the right format, and provides for creating vivid and precise virtual reality and 3D experiences.

As with our BIM software, and all our kitchen design software, and every smart foodservice technology and solutions we produce, Specifi focuses not just on innovation, but innovation that directly responds to and supports the goals of restaurant owners and restaurant designers.

Specifi is changing an industry.