During its heyday Khao San Road (or the Chinatown area) in Bangkok was considered the pulse of the city. Popular amongst locals and tourists alike, the area responded with rapid growth in the past 10 years and much of this with respect to hospitality and food & beverage.
In 2016, diverseconcept joined the renovation efforts of the Viengtai Hotel on Khao San Road to create a restaurant concept for the property’s new brand, IBIS Styles.
“Khao San Road is a never-ending evolution,” remarks Gary Szillich, founder of diverseconcept. Because venues in this area were constantly updating and changing, it was crucial to conduct thorough market research to identify a concept that would stand the test of time, market expansion and evolution. With this process, we had to understand the age demographics, spending levels and niche products and concepts within the competitive set. All of this was then molded into a suitable concept that respected the guidelines of the hotel brand.
We identified the primary target market of STREATs and a F+B concept based on Thai delicacies mixed with international favorites. A French bakery component was also included for broader appeal. The overall design was colorful, generating a lively atmosphere, and celebrated the local charms of the neighborhood.
The fact that this was a renovation project meant that there were architectural limitations. A key finding from our market research was that success for F+B venues along the road relied heavily on their curb appeal. From this, it was decided that the front façade of the building was to be opened for such desired exposure, and as a result, capture a larger influx of potential guests.
We worked closely with the interior designers of dwp, kitchen designers and suppliers. The owner’s project manager orchestrated different design principles, allowing for a smooth delivery of the project. These harmonious collaborations, together with what Gary calls “unwavering commitment by the owners” and a dedicated operational team, contributed to a strong and successful product.
In the end, it was a project that we remember very fondly and are quite frankly, immensely proud of. At one point after its opening in 2018, the restaurant attained the honour of being the highest grossing outlet amongst all IBIS hotels in Southeast Asia.
Gary explains, “Bringing the business to the people rather than trying to bring the people to the business was our motto, and it worked.”