Restaurant Development & Design

JAN-FEB 2019

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

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5 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 • J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 How To Capitalize on Legacy Brand Elements By Amanda Baltazar D rive through any city in America and what will you see? You'll likely spot McDonald's golden arches, Starbucks' green mermaid and numer- ous other well-known restaurant chains' iconic visual elements. Get closer to these heritage com- panies and you'll feel the brand image a little more deeply — because while they all want to emphasize their legacy, they're often doing it with a very subtle approach, and one that's likely to reso- nate with customers in 2019. Long John Silver's turns 50 years old this year, and in 2015 the compa- ny's executive team decided it was time for a brand refresh. Leigh Ann VanDam, senior director of development and real estate, spearheaded the endeavor, and created a new image — dubbed True North — with options at different price points so franchisees could choose based on their own budgets. The result is new stores and retro- fits that focus on what really resonates with customers. To find out which ele- ments most resonated, VanDam jumped into research. "I started reading mem- oirs and every online anecdote such as social media posts I could find," she says. "That's when I realized what we needed to keep: anything that was a di- rect correlation to the heart and soul of Long John Silver's. So, some elements needed to be kept, some needed to be revamped and others were best retired with our legacy." Wendy's is now showing its commitment to quality through its artwork and material selection, including solid oak tables and seats as well as wood paneling and trim. Image courtesy of Tom Dubanowich for The Wendy's Company

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