Frankie & Bennys/Chiquitos – UK
Client: The Restaurant Group
Lighting design: Harper Signs
acdc products: Blade
The Restaurant Group operates over 400 restaurants and pub restaurants within the UK, amongst these are two of the most popular restaurant brands in the UK today. Frankie & Benny’s which remains a firm favourite with families, couples and friends serving classic American-Italian dishes in a fun, lively environment; and Chiquito, the place to be for spicy Mexican favourites, Tex-Mex tastes and cool cocktails.
As part of the Group’s expansion plans, the two restaurants opened in Ipswich late last year; requiring an external lighting scheme that would match the fun and vibrant nature of both brands, which could be rolled out to their other stores nationwide.
Harper Signs, Newcastle challenged acdc to create a lighting spectacle that would allow the restaurants to stand out from the crowd, ensuring that they were instantly recognisable. Due to the build deadlines, the fittings also needed to be available within very tight lead times to ensure the schemes were completed prior to the ‘grand openings’.
Working closely with Harper Signs to deliver the best lighting solution for the installation, it was agreed that acdc’s Blade matched all of the key requirements. “Blade was the only solution on the market that gave the end user the spread of light required to deliver such an outstanding lit effect”, commented Graham Gellatly from Harper Signs.
acdc’s Blade, is a powerful wall grazing linear LED luminaire and was selected for both sites, available in standard and extra bright formats which can illuminate up to 70 metres. On this occasion, the extra bright option proved to be “too bright” for the location of the sites, and due to planning restrictions meant that the equally efficient standard bright option was selected.
In keeping with each restaurants vibrant colour schemes and branding, a red standard bright option was chosen for Frankie and Benny’s, whilst Chiquito’s chose the 2700k standard bright option. As with all acdc fittings, we ensure colour consistency, a necessity when creating an even wallwash effect of such bright and intense colour required on this project.
With only a short window in which to deliver the fittings to the approved contractor; acdc’s manufacturing teams rose to the challenge to meet the tight deadlines. The fittings needed to be seamlessly integrated into the overall design and were installed into pre-assembled linear cove housing which were then attached to the external façade of the restaurant. The ease and simplicity of Blade’s installation allowed for the IP68 rated fittings to be placed end to end for an even wash of light creating an impactful visual effect.
The scheme is incredibly easy to control, for all staff at the restaurants; and with high efficiency LEDs tested to LM80 standards, 50,000hrs lifetime with lumen maintenance at L70 there will be limited future maintenance.