A temporary space: The Bunnings Fundraiser BBQ

I was involved in a fundraiser BBQ at our local Bunnings store last weekend for my child’s sport club, so I thought I would use that as the topic for this task.  I took my iPad along, and used it to take photos of the space, then used NOTABILITY to make my sketch, because of the drawing and writing features of that app:

bunnings BBQ sketch

The task made me look at the space critically as I thought about the effectiveness of the use of that space.

The space is ideally placed at the entrance to Bunnings, to capture as many of the passing customers as possible – and let’s face it, who DOESN’T love the smell of cooking onions?  Your tummy starts to rumble as you walk by, so you really have no choice but to buy a delicious sausage sandwich.

The temporary space is well designed – it is functional and easily portable so that it can be set up and packed away in a reasonable amount of time each weekend.  When set up, the space occupies approximately 32 sq m, but I imagine it could be packed into a much smaller space for storage, because the canopies, trestle tables and BBQ preparation/cooking unit can all be folded up.

Here are the design features that I noticed:

  • The space is a temporary one, only utilised on weekends, so the cooking facilities, tables and actual BBQ and food prep unit are all portable so they can be packed away when not needed
  • There are clearly designated spaces within the space – the BBQ hotplate (cooking area) the RAW FOOD area (with a green mat in which raw food can be placed) and the WASHING area,  the BREAD prep area on a separate table, the SERVING AREA (with a yellow mat where cooked food can be placed) and the CUSTOMER area
  • The whole space is protected from weather by 2 portable canopies
  • The signage clearly displayed near the serving area has permanent lettering (to indicate that it is a fundraising BBQ) and a blackboard component, which allows the particular group that is co-ordinating the BBQ that day to write their name.
  • The signage that I assume is necessary for OHS purposes that is displayed on one of the doors of the portable cooking/food prep unit (a space that has been modified as a display board, which was not its original intent) is displayed so that all the different groups that use this facility are aware of their responsibilities regarding food handling, and in case of emergency.  The signage is all text, and there were about 7 pages of it (printed in small font on white paper, and laminated), so needless to say none of us read it.  Several of us agreed that use of icons may have been a more effective way of sharing much of the information on these signs.
  • The large table in the serving space allows several customers at a time to be placing orders, to be putting sauce on their sausage sandwiches, or to be filling in a raffle ticket.  There were 2 people at this table at all times – one handling money, and one serving the orders.
  • The space did not have access to power, so relied on gas bottles for the BBQ and ice in eskies to keep raw sausages and drinks cold.
  • The money container sat on top of a pile of drinks just behind the  serving table.  We had to bend down to access it (which could cause some back tiredness or aching if you were working for a long period), and a cluey and dishonest customer would easily have been able to walk around behind the service table and grab it if they wanted to.

2 thoughts on “A temporary space: The Bunnings Fundraiser BBQ

  1. Hi Jo, you chose an interesting space to observe. The fact that it is used by different people each week, and needs to be portable, presents it difficulties. I love your idea of using icons to draw people’s attention to the main items to be noted with regard to using the space for food handling.
    There seems to be quite a bit of space between the counter and the food, with the drink eski to contend with. Whilst it is a pop-up space, the design problems you noted are significant: money access, bending over.I will certainly be keen to look at the similar space at my local Bunnings next time I’m there.

    • Hi Michele. Thanks for your comment. I find myself using design thinking more and more in various places and processes in my life since starting this subject. Aldi, Bunnings, signing on at netball, my linen cupboard…

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