News - Going Stateside Brand Safari

Some of the Over and Above team headed to New York in June and availed of the chance to see what was happening around mid town Manhattan in the coffee and food sector. Our brand safari lead us to some of the popular eateries and was interesting to see how they are evolving and growing their business in a market that is generally decreasing in the USA (by 3% overall nationally in 2015).

We looked at “Shake Shack”, the casual fast food chain associated with the well accredited Chef Danny Meyers. Great food, good design and long queues that moved fast – it didn’t take long to see this was a busy eatery. This restaurant falls within the “casual fast food” sector. This sector itself is growing nationally (and the newest trend within this sector is the vegan option). Accessable price points are also key.

From a business perspective clearly clever marketing strategies allows the customers to feel good about eating high calorie burgers and shakes as a regular meal. Pivotal to these marketing strategies is the focus on educating the consumer that they are only using “good” ingredients. They are happy to tell you this story time and time again. It feels more like an organic, healthy, hip eatery than a fast food chain or a high end McDonalds…

Looking at the website shows how they are educating the mass audiences to their way of thinking:
“We pride ourselves on sourcing incredible ingredients from like-minded ranchers, farmers, bakers and food purveyors. Our burgers are made with 100% all-natural Angus beef—vegetarian fed, humanely raised and source verified. The Chick’n Shack™ is 100% all-natural cage-free chicken. Our flat-top dogs? 100% all-natural Vienna beef. Our fries are crinkle cut Yukon potatoes, with zero artificial ingredients. And our vanilla and chocolate frozen custard recipes use only real sugar, no corn syrup and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones.”

So what is “Shake Shack” doing well in terms of the fit out? We loved elements of the design and noticed how cleverly they are using the industrial vibe to keep installation fit out costs to a minimum. It still looked cool and hip and it did focus on details to give it an edge to some elements of the fit out. We loved the simple industrial vibe with graffiti type murals to add the pop of colour to the seating areas. The flow through the restaurant worked well and allowed the customer journey from entry to the table to be hassle free. Clear menu boards with quirky mixed fonts added to the eclectic design. The menu boards are a point of difference almost looking like they were done absent mindedly, using 3D lettering on poppers (until you see the follow through of the font to the website).

We liked the concept and we fully recommend the Chick’n Shack with crinkle cut fries!

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