Step back for a second and think about how many restaurants you've been in your life. Countless, probably, right? Now think about how they did - or did not - make an impression on you. You're probably thinking about food, drinks, service, location, ambiance... Even though these are the main points most people consider important when choosing a place to eat, there's a lot more.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have immersed deep into the world of restaurants thanks to one of our recent clients. We know that in order to create a meaningful brand in this space, we cannot be complacent. Consumers are much more discerning in how and where they spend their hard-earned disposable income, so in designing this new brand we must remember the importance of creating something truly unique.
So during our Discovery phase, we’ve come across some really interesting restaurants that, in their own way, sell much more than just-food. Bon appétit!
Farm-to-table, above and beyond
Featured in Bon Appétit as one of the greatest food lover's vacations in the world right now, Babylonstoren, one of South Africa’s snazziest hotels, takes the ''farm to table'' concept to a whole new level. Not only because they use homegrown and seasonal production but also the restaurant design simply enhances the experience. Sitting on a working wine farm in South Africa and featuring an edible garden with more than 300 veggetables, herbs and plants, this hotel allows guests to cook on their own charming and contemporary cottages.
But if cooking isn’t your thing, they feature 2 restaurants: Babel and Greenhouse, the first being a fine-dining affair immersed in a manicured garden and the latter being more casual and picnic like experience. Despite its obvious aesthetic appeal and its function as a refreshment station, the Greenhouse also performs a vital role in the garden. It is there where plants or varieties are brought when they struggle to make it in the formal garden due to the Western Cape’s winter rainfall or the lack of humidity in summer.
but still, they're both all about homegrown and seasonal production.
Honest zero-waste approach
Commissioned by The Finish Cultural Institute in NYC, Zero Waste Bistro was a pop-up restaurant built entirely from recycled food packaging. The project was highly awarded for its design solution that controls the social, economic and environmental footprint of interior spaces. In a time that many pledges to be sustainable but very few actually are, Zero Waste left no margin for doubts: all of its partners and collaborators were carefully selected through a curation process that focused on their approach and takes on sustainability. The chefs not only sourced local foods but they refuse to work with any producer that used packaging on its products and all of its leftovers were compost afterward.
Familiarity at its core
At first, you may think this is just another wine bar but don't be fooled. You are bound to feel at home... if your home is really cool and surrounded by an immense variety of vinyl, of course. But even though their vibe is as cool as it gets, they went all the way to create the apartment-like cozy vibe. Music is at the core of the experience, as the quality of the sound they play is, as expected, the best possible.
There are many restaurants out there, but truly very few exude an authentic vibe. At the end of the day, this business isn't really different from others: it goes far beyond having a nicely designed logo. It's about creating a brand anchored on something much deeper. If you have a carefully crafted brand that resonates with your customers and it's consistent, you have higher chances of being successful, so you might want to invest in that. We promise you won't regret it.