At Shula Burger in Fort Lauderdale, looks matter.
The burger joint at 1515 SE 17th St. recently updated its style in response to comments from customers who thought the eatery wasn’t vibrant enough, according to restaurant management.
“They said it was a little bit dull and needed to have some light and more ambience,” said Dave Shula, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Shula’s Steak Houses LLLP, the parent company of Shula Burger. “So now it has more color, it’s brighter, there’s more lighting inside.”
The upgrades — costing “more than $10,000 and less than $50,000” — were completed about three weeks ago, just in time for football season, Shula said. The restaurant and others under its umbrella company, including Shula’s On the Beach at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, bear the name of legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, who’s also father of the company’s president.
The renovated Fort Lauderdale locale features red tile behind the checkout counter and around the kitchen area. Walls are adorned with large photos of Don Shula. There are large portraits of a burger, salads, wine and beer. Light-yellow paint replaced the former mustard color on the walls.
Customer feedback came verbally, via comment cards, Yelp (an online review site) and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, said Carrie LaNoce, director of marketing for Shula Burger.
“They said they liked the location, the service, loved the food, but that it was a little ‘blah’,” she said. “It was something we felt customers asked for, and we listened.”
The corporate-owned Fort Lauderdale location now has the same look as its sister restaurant in Delray Beach, LaNoce said. That franchised restaurant opened this summer and customers have welcomed the style, she said.
Another Shula Burger — the chain’s fifthis opening Oct. 21 in Kissimmee. It will feature the same look of the Delray and Fort Lauderdale eateries, LaNoce said.
Several people having lunch Monday at Shula Burger said it was their first visit and thought the décor was inviting and fun.
A regular patron, Jean Baroulette, said he has eaten at the restaurant at least 40 times since it opened last October. He said hadn’t fully noticed the changes.
“It looks nice,” Baroulette said, taking a break from his turkey burger. “But I focus on the food.”
BY MIRIAM VALVERDE