Fast-casual restaurants require a specific approach to ensure that the customer experience is both super-efficient and distinctly memorable. Underneath the surface there needs to be a well-oiled machine that can withstand the pressure of serving 500 meals an hour, while on the surface the experience needs to stimulate, inspire and encourage customer loyalty.
Queue management, menu design, counter design, and seating layout are crucial but so is an impactful brand personality. We call it the 50-metre challenge: ‘can you get customers to walk 50 metres past the competition and through your door?’ To this effect the ‘Attract’ stage of the customer journey is also crucial to ensure that you standout from the pack.
The foundations of great food and good service will always underpin any restaurant but, ultimately, it’s the brand personality that will create true long-term value in any fast-casual business. The way you express yourself through every element of the experience, from the name of the dishes, to the language of the staff and the style of the packaging, every detail helps to build a distinct personality that will be far harder to copy than your menu.
Of all the new brands that we have created, it’s probably our work for Chilango that best captures the essence of this principle.
I-AM was one of the first creative agencies to capitalise on the trend of ‘fast-casual’ dining over ten years ago. Since then we have been responsible for creating over twenty-five new fast-casual restaurant brands. Although we work for some of the biggest names in the business we specialise in helping entrepreneurs turn a business plan into a living breathing restaurant brand.
If you have a concept that you’d like to develop – or an existing restaurant that needs a new direction – we’ll be delighted to share our thoughts and experience.