Restaurant Development & Design

MAR-APR 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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Heeding the Call Fast-Casual 4 6 • 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 • M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 company chose not to brand it with the Bono's name. Calling it Bono's Express or something similar could have con- fused guests, says Martino, so the Willie Jewell's brand was born. Cracker Barrel took that thinking a step further when it created Holler & Dash. Protecting the parent was so important to Cracker Barrel that the company developed an entirely new concept: different branding, different menu and no clear connection between the brands either online or in store though some design elements, like the barrel-inspired ordering counter, nod to the casual- dining brand. With a distinct identity for Holler & Dash, the concept's leaders felt that making the brand a success required a separate team and culture, says Chissler. While Holler & Dash makes use of corporate-level resources like IT and legal, "we use different companies for design, development and construction of our facilities," says Chissler. "We looked at different purveyors, almost 100 per- cent. We felt the more that was [shared], we would be in danger of replicating the same thing. We felt we needed to get different thinking and different team members. It was done that way to keep the two from cross-pollinating." Don't Damage, Don't Cannibalize Not every company has the resources to bring in a separate leadership team for its fast-casual development, and not every company will want to. After all, if the parent is valuable enough, many opera- tions will want to take advantage of that brand and that menu. In such situations, though, the new concept can't be allowed to harm the big brand's reputation. According to Hurricane's Smith, much of this this comes down to food The Clover and The Bee Chains are not the only ones moving into the fast-casual segment. Independent restaura- teurs are also opening fast-casual siblings of established counterparts. Among these are Mark Hinkle and Greg Ortyl, owners of Olive + Oak, a polished- casual restaurant in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Grove. Upon opening its doors two years ago, Olive + Oak became an immediate hit — so much so that its owners began planning their next concept. Instead of opening a second Olive + Oak in another part of town, however, they wanted to develop a new concept in the same neighborhood. Since both owners are residents of the community, it would make running the restaurants easier, while also allowing some of Olive + Oak's goodwill to rub off. Limiting themselves geographically meant the partners had to wait for the right location to open up. Fortunately, that opportunity came in early 2017, when a space in the same building as Olive + Oak — right next door, in fact — became available. This location helped define the new concept, Hinkle says. "It was 'Hey, what makes sense here?' as opposed to 'We want to do X concept. Where can we put it?'" The answer was The Clover and The Bee; a concept that is, in many ways, the op- posite of Olive + Oak. Distinct designs establish a sense of place. As a polished-casual operation, Olive + Oak has a sleek, modern look with gray upholstered banquette seating, large mirrors that help open up the small space and a lively bar in the middle of the operation. The Clover and The Bee is much softer, with a large floral mural and a green, gold and pink color scheme. Then, there are the dayparts each restaurant serves. While Olive + Oak is dinner only, The Clover and The Bee started out serving just breakfast and lunch, allowing the two restaurants to, in combination, offer every meal. Notably, though, The Clover and The Bee recently expanded into the dinner daypart. While having the two restaurants serving the same daypart right next door to each other sounds like they're being set to compete, Hinkle doesn't see it that way. The expe- riences they provide are just too different. "Olive + Oak is for when you want to dine, when you want to invest two hours in a dinner. The Clover & The Bee is for 'Hey, I just got off work. I don't want to cook and clean. I don't want fast food, though.'" Despite these differences, the two restaurants aren't polar opposites. Both are com- mitted to serving food made from scratch using high-quality ingredients. What's more, their close proximity to each other means there's a shared culture — along with shared resources, including prep space, storage, ingredients, manpower and more. This is actu- ally a great advantage for both restaurants "There are a lot of times where I say overall, you just use what's there," Hinkle says. "At the end of the day, we're all one family. It certainly requires some account- ing attention. But I'll take the accounting headache any day for the ability to have that extra workspace."

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