Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 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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1 2 • 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 U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 BUZZ who's doing what Houston, Texas-based Salata Salad Kitchen's rebrand strives to highlight its food and custom- ization options. This marks the •rst full rebranding effort in the chain's 14-year history. Salata's rebrand features a playful, simple and colorful new design and ambience that encourages guests to celebrate individual- ized healthy lifestyles — however they choose to de•ne them. The chain's 85-plus stores nationwide will feature Salata's new logo and point-of-purchase materials. Team members will wear new, more casual uniforms with the intent of making them more approach- able to guests. The chain's new website features Salata's new logo, original photography, a blog and language about restriction-less experiences at its restuar- ants. Later this summer, the chain will add a nutrition builder to its website. The rebrand comes on the heels of a restaurant redesign that debuted in February in Lake Mary, Fla., with a second version opening this July in Lake Charles, La. Rebranding and restaurant redesign efforts were done simultane- ously, however, following extensive con- sumer research led by Salata and Back Lot Productions, Inc., an Atlanta-based brand development and design •rm. "With the modernized rebrand that is based on a deep understanding of our current and future guests, we are putting more intention on the front-of-house cus- tomer experience. This will help us stand out from competition in this space and support the aggressive growth plans we have laid out in front of us to enter new markets and attract new guests," says Salata President Michelle Bythewood. Together, Salata and Back Lot Productions developed Salata's new restaurant design and logo. Salata partnered with full-service advertising agency GS&F in Nashville, Tenn. to develop the marketing rebrand. "We know that trans- forming a brand and a physical restaurant go hand in hand," Bythewood explains. "We believe a more contemporary Salata will now be re"ected in all facets of the brand, both inside and outside of our restaurants, but we remain true to our original roots and our mission feels good physi- cally, emotionally and mentally through the food we serve and the experience we provide." Salata's rebrand is the latest mile- stone in a high-growth year for the chain. In 2019, Salata has 20 new locations in the pipeline nationally and has a goal of securing 25 new franchise contracts. The franchise team emphasizes expan- sion within Texas as well as entry into new markets, including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Phoenix and Tampa. Salata plans to roll out a second phase of its rebrand later this summer with delivery, a new tech suite and loy- alty program/app, all designed to make the guest experience more convenient and more rewarding. Under a new development agreement, Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc. will develop 40 new Wendy's restaurants by the end of 2024 and re- ceive signi•cant economic incentives provided under the Groundbreak- ing Incentive Program, which includes royalty and national marketing fee relief. The development and incentive programs are subject to Meritage ful•lling its Joint Capital Plan to re-image 10 percent of its existing res- taurants each year and customary Wendy's real estate approvals. The company plans to invest approximately $100 million in the development of the 40 Wendy's restaurants through a combination of cash on hand and development credit facilities. "Restaurant development is an important part of our business model, which follows the acquisition and integration of restaurants in designated market areas," says Meritage CEO Robert Schermer Jr. "We are a leader of restaurant development within the Wendy's system and are currently on pace for a record number of new builds in 2019 and 2020, located across our 16 states of operations. New restaurants have historically provided us with a strong return on investment as guests reward us for the new building design and customer enhancements." Meritage reported strong earnings growth in the •rst quarter of 2019 and believes the sales and earnings growth will accelerate in 2020, driven by new development and re-imaged restaurant locations, per a release. Meritage Hospitality Group operates 320 restaurants. Meritage to Develop 40 New Wendy's Units Salata Unveils Rebrand and Redesign

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