Restaurant Development & Design

SEP-OCT 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 6 7 The chain has a t raditional format PVC menu board. Eliminating the former menu frame has added an extra four inches of space, giving it a cleaner appearance. The new menu board highlights that guests can craft their own burgers. "We put that in its own section, front and left, so it's the first thing people read," Conlin says. "'Craft your own' got lost before, and we really wanted it to say 'craft' (instead of the former 'create') so it sounded more upscale." Wayback Burgers also upgraded its food photography "so the food really pops off the menu board," Conlin says. To do this, Wayback's graphic designers enhanced the photography by focusing on the food, the lighting, and the back- ground and making the pictures larger. The background of the menu board has been changed from light to dark, which helps enhance the food photos and adds to the upscale appearance. In addition to redesigning its menu boards, Wayback Burgers also rede- signed its menu. The company did away with low-selling items and now high- lights other options such as chicken dishes and veggie burgers. "This speeds up the ordering process because there's less to choose from and we have easier execution," Conlin points out. The new board also highlights combo meals, and sales of these are up. World Wrapps, a two-store concept based in Corte Madera, Calif., changed its menu boards to feature more pic- tures. Dava Guthmiller, founder/chief creative of Noise 13 in San Francisco , worked with the chain to minimize text, though it was careful not to put so many images on the menu boards that they felt touristy. "We felt the pic- tures helped explain the variety of the wraps," she says. And at Lappert's Hawaii, a five- store ice cream chain that's another Noise 13 client, the menu divides into pieces that customers can read along the wall while waiting in line. "The menu gives some storytelling, and it runs along the wall on multiple posters that tell about the different types of products," says Guthmiller, who worked on the signage. "It goes into depth about flavors and things customers can choose and whether they would like a shake or a cone or a bowl." However, Guthmiller adds, in tour- isty locations, Lappert's menu boards do a lot more storytelling, such as where the ingredients are from or whether they're organic — the deeper things that make the food more special. If frequent- ed by locals, the stores do less. "You have to think about your audience," she explains. "Are they coming back, or are they just coming once?" The Cowfish in Charlotte, N.C., is a playful sushi and burger brand with five locations that likes to continue its fun, lighthearted vibe throughout its signage. In its takeout area, alongside the pickup sign, sits an animated cow that's lifting a fish over its head, tying together sushi and burgers. "We try to position these signs so they can be seen from the door," says Co-Owner Marcus Hall. "They're irreverent and another opportunity for our guests to say, 'Wow, there was some thought put into that.'" The Cowfish restaurants also use the concept's logos of a burger, a piece of sushi and a cocktail glass strategically throughout. Not only are these elements on employee uni- forms, chopsticks and takeout bags, but they're also included in exterior awnings and signage. Out Front It's easy to spend a lot of time on the signage inside a restaurant and drive- thru and ignore the front. That's a big mistake, says Camillo. " It's vital, es- pecially for fast casual because you're often in a strip mall and in competition with other brands," he says. "Plus, strip malls are notorious for having landscap- ing between the restaurant sign and the The revamped Wayback Burgers menu board features concise descriptions of the food the chain sells along with a few strategic features. Photo courtesy of Jake's Franchising

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