Steven Baker Named Hospitality Lead at HFA

Architect brings 10+ years of program-management and restaurant design experience to his new role supporting HFA’s Hospitality + Entertainment team.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Veteran architect Steven Baker (AIA, NCARB) has accepted the role of Hospitality Lead at HFA Architecture + Engineering, supporting the firm’s fast-growing Hospitality + Entertainment team.

Baker has been with HFA for more than a decade, developing and managing teams serving restaurant and hospitality clients. He started out leading a team working through hundreds of retail remodel projects for a national client program. In recent years, Baker’s teams have created multiple prototypes for quick service restaurant (QSR) clients.

Hospitality architecture continues to push the boundaries of design innovation and sustainability, making it an exciting field to be a part of, noted Baker, whose teams have spearheaded remodel projects that are poised to redefine sales channels in the rapidly evolving QSR sector.

“The evolution right now is very exciting,” he said. “The biggest trend in restaurants is transforming spaces for digital engagement while still providing great in-person experiences. Designing restaurants and other hospitality spaces allows architects to play with aesthetics, atmosphere, and functionality, shaping environments that leave lasting impressions on patrons.”

As Hospitality Lead, Baker uses his experience with QSRs and fast-casual chains to help fine-dining restaurants maximize the efficiency of every square foot. He designs projects with the patron experience in mind—a central focus of HFA’s Hospitality + Entertainment team.

Baker sees building lasting and meaningful relationships with clients, as well as collaborating closely with other in-house disciplines, as being critical to project success, said Nicole Poole (AIA, NCARB, LEED AP), Vice President of Hospitality + Entertainment.

“Steven’s impact on our team and the AEC industry is unparalleled,” she said. “He is always willing to lend a hand to those around him, and his leadership has been instrumental in guiding and growing the Hospitality + Entertainment team at HFA.”

Baker plans to engage with restaurant brands looking to evolve their patron experience. His goals include expanding the list of brands that have had their built environments transformed thanks to HFA’s multidisciplinary insights and expertise.

“My tenure at HFA has been full of opportunities to learn from many talented architects and engineers,” Baker said. “I’ve worked with amazing clients at the forefront of the retail and restaurant sectors, focused on continuous innovation. This foundation of industry knowledge, the mindset of iterative design, and mentorship at multiple levels equip me to lead my team and clients into the future.”

Media Contacts: At Jaffe Communications, Elisa Krantz, (908) 789-0700,

SOURCE HFA Architects + Engineers