From clients to partners, Bicnic comes to be

In 2010, when Toormix moved into his new space on Calle Bruc 91 in Barcelona, he came upon a gourmet grocer’s shop that, without knowing it, would mark the rest of his professional career. This grocer’s shop, known as Betlem back then, was headed by chef Víctor Ferrer, who had been trained at the École Hôtellière d’Avignon and professionally developed in various prestigious establishments – many of them touting Michelin stars – such as the Racó of Can Fabes of Santi Santamaria, the Athenée Square of Paris by Alain Ducasse or Sant Celoni in Madrid, among others.

Betlem, after more than one hundred years of management as a traditional grocer’s shop in the Eixample Barcelona, has decided to give a new turn to the emblematic establishment and convert it into a tapas bar, and Víctor thought of Ferran and Oriol for the design of the brand of the new space, the current Betlem – Miscelánea Gastronómica.

From here, things got rolling, and never better said…

After a few years of a professional relationship with the change of brand of Betlem, Toormix has decided to pull out an idea related to gastronomy and present it to Víctor and Nacho, the founders of Betlem. Toormix, who has always been very involved in the world of wine due to a personal passion and various projects, proposed a concept of a fusion bar. It was then that the project began to simmer between the whole team, a project that would later become Bicnic.

Formula: client → friend → partner

Bicnic, a restaurant on wheels

During the conception phase of the gastronomic proposal (brasserie, fusion,…), the final idea arose, a natural evolution of the initial proposal in the form of a foodtruck. A professional project to exhibit and travel with the kitchen of chef Víctor Ferrer: a professional kitchen in a small and compact restaurant on wheels, the Bicnic ‘on wheels’.
A street food project in Barcelona offering a gastronomic proposal focused on the “fast good Mediterranean”, with balanced formulas, made with quality products and zero km foods.

The embryo and first steps

The team launched the proposal of a foodtruck as the first step of a long-term project. Some of the initial references were street-food spaces with large tables such as those in East London and Berlin neighborhoods, where you can experience different gastronomic proposals in the same space.
The second stage of the project, which had already been forecasted from the beginning, was to evolve the foodtruck into a restaurant. As such, the Bicnic foodtruck was strategically conceived of as a brand investment that would promote the future of this potential establishment following the same approach.

Starting with the foodtruck model and after a year going to different festivals, fairs and events such as the Vida Festival, La Mercè, several Eat Street or the Barcelona Design Week, the team at Bicnic waited for the moment and the right space to park the foodtruck and embark on the restaurant project.
And what better way to start the development of the door-to-door business than with Betlem? This is how it went, the adjacent venue of no. 68 on Calle Girona was free and not a second was wasted in grabbing the space up and reforming it.

When design and gastronomy unite to move in the same direction

To carry out the proposal, Toormix joined forces with an architecture studio, thus bringing interior design, design and gastronomy to the same creative briefing meeting point.
Narcís Font, an architect with a lot of experience in the restoration world, in addition to being a philosopher, developed the concept and between them all, all facets of the project were developed.
The objective was to take the concept they all had in mind to the very limit and make it explode through the architecture and the design of the space itself, including all points of contact between the user and the brand.

In this way, the design team was made up of architects, who contributed their conceptual vision, their vision of space and distribution; the Toormix team, who provided a new layer in the design phase of the experience, helping to make the concept of the new space more tangible while developing all the materials that would help complement the experience; and the kitchen team, who designed the restaurant’s gastronomic proposal based on two different formulas: the FAST bar, with the idea of maintaining the concept of the foodtruck (“fast good mediterranean”) and the SLOW dining room, for a slower and more formal gastronomic experience.

The design was utilized as a cross-sectional tool throughout the process: architecture / interior design and user experience – visual and graphic communication – product / gastronomy.

Prior to this phase of the process, the restaurant Bicnic was expressed through the kitchen and the product, based on the local, on proximity and the ecological, on tracing the entire history surrounding it.
Through the design team, the concept had to be reiterated on more than one occasion, ending up too complex a proposal owing to so much care being taken.
It was necessary to define a space with personality, one that wasn´t overwhelming nor excessive yet at the same time helped round out the experience while avoiding identifying as trivial.
The objective was to look for personality through the design of the space to avoid passing unnoticed among the gastronomic offerings of Barcelona.
The process was extended due to nonstop analysis, adjustments and reiterations during the prototyping phase, development and construction of the project. The chef himself, after seeing the advances of the design project, has just adjusted it to his gastronomic proposal.

A few weeks before opening, the partners tested the now constructed space with other collaborators, the mock opening menu, relishing the final details before opening its doors. At this point, Toormix and the kitchen team worked together to design some of the ¨emplatados¨.
During the opening and the first months, the menu has evolved in addition to other aspects related to client experience, with the aim of improving and making it more well-rounded, always staying true to the same concept.

Since the opening of the restaurant, new proposals have been implemented to make the the space more dynamic with cultural offerings and concepts related to design and gastronomy such as the Bicnic store, where some products from the menu, merchandising of the brand, mugs and their own brand are offered, including; a series of conferences called FAST TALKS, connecting gastronomy and design through brief creative conferences related to the gastronomic world; the constant updating of the menus making them easier and more understandable for the user, the use of seasonal ingredients while listening to the needs of the diners.
And finally, the third zone of Bicnic, the less known space of the place but the most iconic: the chef’s table.

And if we are talking about results...

The concept of the restaurant has been created with the help of communication experts, such as the specialized agency that has joined the team and with whom the strategic and communication plan was developed for the launch of the space during its opening, putting the new space on the map of restoration of the city. The strategy of continuity, the management of social networks and portals of gastronomy, the communication of different changes and innovations and the creation of events and news are developed from Toormix with a complete follow-up of the day to day of the space.
Other aspects highlighted by the projects are the design of the user experience, updates of the menus, reiteration of the service and the new products that are sold in the store, among other details of this organic space in constant revision and evolution.

 

The restaurant Bicnic is a project articulated all the way from design to gastronomy, defined from start to finish under a coherent and holistic idea in which everything is connected.

What we did

  • Brand strategy
  • Identity and communication
  • Design experience
  • Environment design
  • Web design