Workspace of the Week - Elior, North Carolina
With a prime focus on his people, CEO Brian Poplin moved his multinational catering company to one of the busiest streets in North Carolina in a bid to retain his best talent.

The commercial catering and food service company Elinor serves over 4 million people per week. Founded in 1991, the French multinational business operates in 15 countries and recently completed the unusual double relocation of moving both its American corporate offices and a pair of upscale eateries to one of the busiest streets in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We thought it was a great opportunity as an organization to help recruit and retain the best talent, for us to really change our perspective and be right in the heart of Charlotte” said CEO Brian Poplin. With a specialty in restaurant design, Carrie Frye Interior Design was commissioned to create an office that would represent Elior’s “business model, methodology and focus on people.”

Elior’s corporate motto is ‘time savoured’ which is evident in the simplistic design. White lights, white walls and white furniture exude modern efficiency. If you look closely, you will see that the brand logo is growing out of the living wall – the only striking decoration in the minimalist reception area. The seats provide comfort and character, demonstrating Elior’s consideration for its guests.

Floor to ceiling windows and an abundance of glass throughout the office allows natural light to flood into the building and the company has embraced sit/stand working for the wellness of its staff 

The interior design centres on the kitchen and break room which is the heart of the office and doubles as an informal meeting space. There is a refreshing playfulness to the breakout area that uses spring colours - pale blues, soft yellows and natural wood, to suggest that this is a space to take a break or collaborate with colleagues in a more casual setting.

What is most striking about the interior design is how clean it looks. This is intentional –when visiting Elior’s headquarters you subconsciously associate the same cleanliness, professionalism and almost scientific approach used in their interior design with ELior’s catering. Evoking such a reaction ignites a sense of trust that you, and your food, are in safe hands with Elior. 

With more than 40 corporate workers now located on the 13,000ft fourth floor, the offices are clearly distinguishable from the breakout areas as a place for business. 

This is a high energy firm, in a high energy state. North Carolina’s state motto is Esse quam Videri, which translates as ‘to be, rather than to seem’ - Elior’s reputation as the world’s 4th largest contract caterer is reflected in their considered interior design whilst the warm modern spaces reflect the company’s European roots.

DesignerCarrie Frye Interior Design
ContractorBalfour Beatty
PhotographyTim Buchman