This is a guest post by Joseph Szala, a restaurant branding expert based in Atlanta with more than 14 concepts and eight years under his belt. He recently published “Fire It Up: Building Restaurant Brands that Blaze,” blogs about restaurant branding daily at Invigor8 and consults under his company Vigor.
Everyone encounters a time in a restaurant’s life cycle when something needs to change. Things aren’t working anymore. The franchise becomes incorrigible. Maybe you’re just bored. No matter what the reason, you need to rebrand your restaurant concept. But, before jumping into the task of rebranding, there are a few things that need to be considered.
- How big of a bite will you take? Before jumping into the details, pin down how big of a project it’s going to be. Are you renaming and creating a completely new concept, or are you simply sprucing up the place? List your current brand touch points and assets including logo, website, menus, apparel and everywhere else your brand is encountered.
Read about all this and more in last week’s top five most-clicked links in SmartBrief on Restaurants:
- Michael Jordan goes upscale with new Chicago steakhouse
- Analysts fear Quiznos may be nearing loan default
- Hooters hires former Cocoa-Cola Enterprises executive as new CEO
- Burger King aims for fresher image with new food-focused ads
- Yard House Restaurants plans 8 new eateries within a year
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and immediately felt déjà vu? Lawyers for burger chain In-N-Out got that feeling recently when they noticed strong similarities between the look, feel and menu styling of their client’s establishments and Aberdeen, Md.-based Grab-N-Go.
Eater and Huffington Post both reported on the lawsuit that In-N-Out’s lawyers filed against Grab-N-Go, as well as a similar case the company filed last month against Boise-based Burger Express. In both cases, In-N-Out claims the other guys’ logos and menus imitate its own much too closely, and the chain wants permanent injunctions making the other eateries change their looks.
Trade dress conflicts are different from trademark infringement cases, in which companies protect a specific word or phrase that has or will come to represent the company in the eyes of the public. Trade dress claims are less concrete, encompassing everything from the cuisine and names of the dishes to the menu font, furniture color and background music. (read more…)