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Interview With Restaurant Industry News

The following is a transcript from an interview at the National Restaurant Show on Monday, May 20th, 2024.


Chris: This is Chris from Restaurant Industry News. I'm here with Erin today at SelectSpace Partitions at the NRA show in Chicago, 2024. We are in the lakeside center this morning. And Erin, how are you?


Erin: I'm doing well, Chris. Thank you very much for asking.


Chris: Great. Fantastic. You have a beautiful display here.


Erin: Thank you.


Chris: Tell us about SelectSpace Partitions.


Erin: SelectSpace Partitions is a modular fence system designed for the cafe's outdoor dining experience. It can also be used indoors. So, the idea is for our customers to be able to select a variety of different panel options or stand options that they can connect to and build a nice, beautiful partition space around their cafe.


Chris: And do you have a variety of options available?


Erin: We do.


Chris: So, for the cafe or restaurant owner, it would work in an indoor or outdoor situation, which adds to their flexibility.


Chris: And what is your product line made from? Is this metal?


Erin: Yeah. So, the product line is all metal. We have two different versions - our essential line, which is new and won a New Product Award in 2023, is constructed out of a 16 gauge galvanneal. After we form the metal and laser-cut it, it is sent to our powder coating paint line where an outdoor-rated powder coat finish is applied for durability.


Erin: Our original line, SelectSpace, is made of aluminum and stainless steel and powder-coated.


Chris: The, is the product designed to remain outdoors for the duration of all four seasons?


Erin: That is correct, yeah.


Chris: Great. How does this arrive at the restaurant? Do they take measurements and send them to you? How does this whole process work in terms of ordering the product?


Erin: That’s a great question, Chris. So, the way that we work with our clients is that they will send us their dimensions for the patio space. Then, we will take those dimensions and offer the most cost-efficient configuration of different components to fit that space. And once they've approved, we produce, pick, pack and ship. It arrives on a pallet, and it's a fairly simple and intuitive product to put together and assemble on your own.


Chris: It sounds sort of like a piece of Ikea furniture. They get it, and it’s easy to put together by anyone.


Erin: Yeah, that's the concept. Offering a DIY, No Dig fence helps restaurant owners reduce construction costs while getting a high-quality partition system.


Chris: That’s straightforward. So, the product arrives, and two of the restaurant workers can put this together quickly. That's great. And from when they pick up the phone and speak with you to when they get the pallet. How long is that?


Erin: So, our standard products are part of our “Quick Ship” program, and those ship from our production facility in Chicago, IL, in about two weeks. Plus, you need to add shipping – the farther you are from Chicago, the longer it takes. These Quick Ship items are painted black and have no additional laser cutting. But we can also laser cut into our 5’ and 7’ panels. Many hotels and restaurants want their logo in the partition, so it’s a fully custom fence. With a laser-cut logo, you’re looking at a minimum of four weeks. And while black is by far our most popular color, we have ten other standard color options to choose from.


Chris: That's what I wanted to ask you about, it's color options. Here's green. There’s blue down here. So, you have a variety of color options. Okay. It's very nice.


Erin: Yeah. We can also do custom color matching. That does increase the lead and price, but not as much as you would think.


Chris: That’s terrific. Besides restaurants, what other industries do you serve?


Erin: Well, obviously, the hospitality industry. We’ve been in casinos as well. Universities, sports stadiums, coffee shops, bars and more.  So, you'll find us pretty much anywhere a person needs to delineate one space from another.


Chris: This product can fit in event venues also, correct. So they can actually pop up and come back down when needed?


Erin: That's right. It's simple and easy to deploy and then take back down, which is a big advantage for many of our customers.


Chris: That’s a big advantage for restaurant owners to consider. Because I'm seeing it now. I was in San Francisco just last week, and I noticed some establishments that previously did not have this sort of environment that they do now. And it was brilliant. They got to the city, to block the parking off in front of their restaurant. Instead of cars backing in, being in front of the restaurant, and looking unattractive, they've opened up more space for seating. They put a little platform down. So, you didn't have to step down to the street. I thought it was brilliant. And people were outside enjoying it. And it opens additional seating and revenue. I can see SelectSpace coming in to delineate the space between restaurants.


images of a black fence on castro street in mountainview, ca


Erin: Correct. Our product is placed in situations like that, as other municipalities have been accommodating restaurant owners and opening up that kind of space. In fact, the City of Mountainview, CA, just up the road from San Francisco, has integrated SelectSpace onto three blocks of their downtown district on Castro Street. They use it to block off the street and provide a seamless look for everyone.


Chris: Yeah, that’s so important for restaurants these days. Blocking the street off gives businesses more flexibility to offer al fresco dining to their patrons.


Erin: Exactly.

 

Chris: Well, Erin, thanks very much for taking the time to introduce our viewers to SelectSpace. Is there anything else you’d like to plug today?


Erin: Absolutely. Please visit us at www.selectspacepartitions.com, where you can see a full list of our product options. Our gallery page features a number of pictures to inspire your next commercial patio. Or, when you call us at 855.839.1200, I'm the guy who answers most of the time, so I'll be happy to talk to them.


Chris: Folks, give Erin a call or send him an email at ehenrikson@selectspacepartitions.com. Check it out. Selectspacepartitions.com. It’s a nice product line here. Erin, thank you very much.


Erin: Thank you, Chris. Appreciate it.




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