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Monthly Archives

October 2018

#FridayFeed Shake Shack

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Shake Shack in Uptown.

Recently Nation’s Restaurant News released an article on Shake Shack naming its new executive chef, John Karangis. Burgers, fries, and shakes – we couldn’t think of a more perfect place for our #FridayFeed. The Uptown location has a huge, beautiful grass area in the front complete with a few cornhole sets, patio seating, and even water dishes for dogs. This outdoor area is reminiscent of their first location in NYC’s Madison Square Park. Before you get to the cashier to order your food, they have a small display of Shack apparel. I found the “baby got shack” onesie especially clever. Similar to Liberty Burger, Shake Shack put a lot of time into fashioning their brand language. However, Shake Shack took it a step further by creating minimalist icons for everything in their restaurant, even the signage in the restrooms.

Moving on to the food. I had the Smokestack®, which is a single or double 100% all-natural Angus beef patty topped with applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, and Shacksauce™ served on a non-GMO Martin’s Potato Roll. I also had a side of crinkle fries… that’s right, crinkle fries. They are one of the few restaurants around that still serve amazing crinkle fries. In 2013, Shake Shack actually changed their crinkle fires to fresh-cut fries, but due to a massive public outrage they quickly changed them back. Get the full scoop here.

This fast casual concept has exceptional branding, great food, and a modern interior/exterior style. My only complaint was about the sticky outdoor dining tables.

Shake Shack’s brand identity was designed by Paula Scher of Pentagram. She is considered the queen of typography, one of the most instrumental graphic designers in the world, and “master conjurer of the instantly familiar.” Her use of typography is like painting with words. She is even the feature of episode 5 in the Netflix series Abstract.

Their website and social media get major props for promoting their cult following. MJ and I give this concept an A.

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

#FridayFeed Liberty Burger

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Liberty Burger in Lakewood.

I LOVE this brand. The Lakewood interior was very functional and still engaging. This concept has a casual little bar, beverage station and seating flanked by the queuing line and order counter. Restrooms down the back hall and some patio seating, it checks all the boxes. What I really like about this brand are the words and the food. They really put in the time to craft their brand language. You only have to read the menu names and descriptions to know what this brand is about. Their tagline is Give me Liberty or Let Me Starve. It’s as if they sat in a room and wrote down every word, phrase, historical and television reference they could think of that has to do with Liberty and created their own brandspeak dictionary. Branding specialists live to have clients that understand how important this is.

Let’s move on to food. My burger, Chillerno, was a custom blend of tenderloin, brisket and chuck. As this series takes off, you will find out that I love brisket like…you don’t even know. Conjures thoughts of Rodeo Goat’s brisket blend Terlingua Burger, yum. Ok so then they have the most beautiful steakhouse style of onion rings ever. We also ordered some Torches – Liberty Burger’s take on yum-stuffed jalapeño poppers. See photos to appreciate.

I have three branding comments. The pendant light choices in the Lakewood space were just “too much and too many.” Secondly, while I like digital menu boards, they were way too bright and you’re standing less than 2’ from them in the queue line. I think this is an easy solve – just adjust the brightness or put the menu on a dark grey background for better readability. Lastly, I hate to say that I don’t love the logo icon and the green brand color. That Liberty name just begs to have some red in it. Otherwise, Mariel, I think your concept is awesome and I’m sure you respect my “freedom of opinion!”

Liberty Burger co-founder Mariel Street might crave liberty from constant association of her name with well, you know who. If you don’t, read the full page Dallas Business Journal piece here.

Their website totally delivers. MJ gives this concept an A and Danny gives it an A+

Interesting side note – there was a fridge on the counter with Joy Macaron ice cream sandwiches in it. Joy makes a second appearance in a fast casual brand review. See first.

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

#FridayFeed Crushcraft Thai

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Crushcraft Thai Street Eats – in the Quadrangle

The exterior of the building has a beautiful fractal screen that complements their minimalistic type logo. We love the double screen door entry. Right inside we were met with an open kitchen full of great sounds and grill smoke – this really sells the “street food” part of the concept. I love it when brands incorporate their ingredients into the design, i.e. big bags of rice and cans, jars, boxes and crates of stuff with cool colorful labels. When it works, it really adds to the authenticity. They have an amazing spice bar but it is lacking DANGER signs on a few of the items. Danny found out first-hand that crushed Thai pepper is not the same as crushed red pepper!!! (Insert red jalapeño emojis). This particular location has a very unique layout, creating multiple dining environments including an outdoor patio. I’d like to see how the interior design translates to a typical “box.” We’ll have to go see the Frisco location. In summary, while we discovered we might not be Thai street food fans, we love the freshness, color and presentation of the food. The interior design was great and website was solid. MJ gives this concept an A. Danny gives this concept a B+.

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi.

If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

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#FridayFeed Haystack Burgers

This week’s #FridayFeed is Haystack Burgers & Barley in Turtle Creek Village. Great name, good logo and looked cool from the outside. Danny and I got in line and checked out the menu. I love custom named menu items and they’ve got some great ones. I got the Haystack Salad and I would have bet $20 Danny was going for the Patty Melt but he got the Chicken Fried Burger – a massive chicken fried steak on a bun with Jalapeño bacon cream gravy. Food was really tasty and I loved the flavored iced tea, I think this one had some pineapple in it? On to the branding: I loved 95% of the decor choices. I’d call it fast casual farmhouse with a little “urban-quirk.” Variety of seating heights and types, good mix of materials and a nice bar with a frozen drink called the Haymaker. The only thing that seemed out of place was the large Joy Macaron cooler in front of the order counter full of giant ice cream sandwiches. I’ve got nothing against Joy but it just seems odd to give someone else’s brand so much real estate right up front. I don’t see how those numbers work…

As always – we compare the website brand presence as well. Does the job to see menu and find locations, but nothing else to see here. Both Facebook and Instagram have good pics and reviews. I give Haystack a solid B+ and Danny gives them an A-.

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi.

If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our brand reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

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