If you have a craving for steak this summer, you might find yourself eating in one of Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates’ recently finished projects. KOMA structural engineers have been instrumental in the construction of new Steak ’n Shake and LongHorn Steakhouse locations throughout the United States this year.
Steak ’n Shake, a dine-in and drive-thru restaurant chain with over 500 locations in 22 states, contracted with Cincinnati-based architects FRCH Design Worldwide to develop a new prototype design for their most recent locations. KOMA provided structural engineering expertise and made location-related design adjustments for each of four new buildings in Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas.
Most of the company’s restaurants are in the Midwest, South and Eastern regions of the United States. “Each area is a little different,” says structural engineer Matt Van Hoof, “there might be more wind along the coast, higher snow loads farther north, or even seismic design, so some changes have to be made each time we build a new restaurant.” The designs also evoke the era of Steak ’n Shake’s beginnings as a 1930s diner in Illinois.
KOMA has also partnered with FRCH to design and build over two dozen LongHorn Steakhouses in 18 states since 2008, with three more scheduled to open later this year. KOMA and FRCH adapted an earlier building design when they developed the current prototype, which follows the restaurant chain’s theme of Western architecture and décor.
KOMA is slated to continue its structural engineering role with both Steak ’n Shake and LongHorn Steakhouses for future construction projects. “These are usually projects with tight timelines,” explains Van Hoof, “which we’re able to accommodate. And we really like working on the building designs in different areas of the country.”