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Start

Start Burger

Start Burger

START. by maybe changing your name but DON’T STOP cooking those awesome Start Burgers!

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is START on Lemmon Avenue. The concept a healthy FAST FOOD restaurant with a drive through. Think McDonalds with tasty, healthy food! Start is a Dallas based brand with 2 locations open from 7am to 11pm, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and catering.

Order Up!

I’m going to start with the START Burger. In a word, amazing. Seriously, this burger competes with my unhealthy love of Rodeo Goat. The Start Burger is a grass-fed beef burger patty, applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, red onion, avocado, tomato, romaine lettuce and homemade dijonnaise on a really fresh and tasty wheat bun. I know that ingredient list doesn’t sound crazy unique, but it was so fresh and the flavors were all just perfect. Danny ordered the BLT and sweet potato tots. He said it was the second best BLT he’s ever had; East Hampton’s version being his favorite.

They don’t fry anything but the baked tater tots were crispy and delicious. They make their own mayonnaise and dressings. They also have a flourless chocolate cake that is gluten free and made with quinoa. Because this was our first time at Start, we were given a bite-sized cake “on the house.” You would never know it was made with quinoa, it was decadent and delicious. We ate them before we could get a picture, sadly. “Everything” is either humane, antibiotic, hormone and nitrate Free, organic, filler-free, scratch made, fair trade, shade-grown, you get it… They use paper straws, eco friendly packaging and don’t use fryers, aspartame, corn syrup or plastic water bottles.

Branding DNA:

We normally review fast casual brands so the expectation is branded paper goods or sometimes on glass plates with real silverware. We forgot we were in a fast food environment until our food came out in unbranded packaging wrapped to-go on a bamboo tray. Once we unwrapped it, the food looked great. The take out bags are stamped and the cups are logo’d but no custom branded packaging really anywhere else, including the menu boards.

MJ’s Brand Commentary:

What’s cool about Start? It’s a Healthy, Fresh FAST FOOD CONCEPT with mass appeal potential (more so than a typical salad and wrap concept). The challenge with Start is getting customers to try them as an alternative to other fast food brands.” I’ve driven past this restaurant on Lemmon fifty times. I thought it was a breakfast place. I never even considered going there. The name, the logo and colors and exterior just don’t register as a fast food place or a lunch place. I’m not saying those elements are all wrong but when you’re trying to change the habits of the general fast food eating public (GFFEP), you’ve got a tough road ahead. So let’s say you’re NOT trying to convert the GFFEP and you’re just trying to be a healthy, fresh and fast restaurant that has a drive through – that’s also unique. I still have a problem with the name.

Environmental Branding:

If you go inside, you’ll find contemporary materials, wood tables and booths, community table with really nice, wide-seat stools. A few touches of orange but beyond that mostly neutral natural woods, unfinished particle board used as wainscoting and booth framework. Then there are painted trees and orange birds on the walls which unfortunately look too much like a daycare center or children’s ward in the hospital. We’ve reviewed Modern Market (cool “unisex” design) and Unleavened which I would call healthy, clean eating places. Start has a better overall menu in my opinion because you CAN get a hearty burger and tots but you can also get a great salad or wrap. I only wish the brand had a different name and was a touch more masculine. The blue birdhouse, the murals, the low-energy music and the general vibe just wasn’t comfy or hip. I’d love to see somebody take a super BALLSY approach to this emerging restaurant segment. Like a healthy menu & drive through with a Torchy’s attitude. 

Digital Branding:

Start’s website is fairly easy to navigate and has all the things you would expect from a healthy fast casual concept’s website; their story, press, online ordering, catering and their menu. Their Facebook and Instagram accounts showcase mouthwatering food photography, but leave much to be dissed in way of lifestyle marketing imagery. Having a balanced mix of food and lifestyle photography drives sales and customers into your restaurant. In short, the food is the big hero at Start.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives START an A for food; C for branding and Danny gives it A for food and a B- for branding.

#FridayFeed:

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

Deep Dish Cookie

7-Eleven Designed Deep Dish Cookie

7-Eleven Designed Deep Dish Cookie

Deep Dish Cookie Hits 5,000+ 7-Eleven store shelves!

We designed a line of sweet treats for client Michael’s Cookies which included Deep Dish Cookies, Cookie Brookies, Cookie Bombs and Ready-to-eat Cookie Doughs. Last month, the Deep Dish Cookie debuted in more than 5,000 stores. While 7-Eleven’s design team modified the packaging, we are proud to say Studio B helped get this sweet product to market!

YOLK

Countryside Skillet & Pancakes

Countryside Skillet & Pancakes

YOLK. Handling your Huevos since 2006.

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is YOLK in Preston Center. The concept was developed by Taki Kastanis who was born into the restaurant business. Yolk is a Chicago based brand with 16 US locations in Chicago, Dallas, Boca Raton, Indianapolis and Forth Worth. According to Forbes Yolk has been voted Best Breakfast in Chicago, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fort Worth.

Order Up!

Studio B has reviewed Snooze am Eatery and The Biscuit Bar so we thought we should review Yolk this week. I’ve been to this location but Danny was a first-timer. He ordered the Countryside Skillet and I went for the Patty Melt on the lunch menu. We couldn’t resist trying the Breakfast Mac N Cheese that comes with a sunny side up egg on top. We put YOLK brand habanero sauce on it and it was really, really good. They offered an optional side upgrade with my patty melt of “onion chips” so I upgraded to check them out. Lastly, we ordered a single Pancake of the month which was a Red, White & Blueberry which is a pancake with yogurt, raspberry puree, blueberries, raspberries and whipped cream. Needless to say, we got a LOT of food on this review trip. The Skillet breakfast and the Mac N Cheese were the heroes. Onion chips I had higher hopes for and while the patty melt was good and the buttered, griddled rye bread was DELICIOUS, it wasn’t the best Patty Melt I’ve ever had. I don’t normally mention prices in our reviews but I will say this was a very pricey lunch. The Patty Melt was $15 plus an extra $1.50 for the onion chips.

Environmental Branding:

You’ll see below in the brand section that I love the YOLK branding and while I like some of the interior design, I don’t love it. I feel like the furniture needs a update. I have a particular dislike of this chair style and the blue is a little much, but that’s just my opinion. They do have some nice outdoor patio furniture and they do a great job with the retail section and pastry display. The exterior signage is also nice.

Branding DNA:

Yolk has great retail apparel, packaging, bottled sauces, cute coffee mugs and baby bibs, etc. They have really pretty glass water bottles with the logo and they serve beverages in several sizes of mason jars. Logo’d pens, free stickers, cute take out cups and tray liner. Menus are good. I love the logo. 

Digital Branding:

Yolk has great Facebook and Instagram accounts that feature fun lifestyle imagery and beautiful food photography. A few of their images take advantage of marketing their branded products like their maple syrup and hot sauce. While they have great social media accounts, their website could use an update. They have a brick image background that is pretty distracting and could use a more modern flexible grid layout.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives YOLK an A- and Danny gives it an A.

#FridayFeed:

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

Super Chix

Crispy Stuffed Avocado Sandwich

Crispy Stuffed Avocado Sandwich

SUPER CHIX. SUPER DELICIOUS. Worth every last carb.

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is SUPER CHIX in Addison at Preston & Beltline. The concept was developed by Yum! Brands and sold to Nick Ouimet, the concept founder. Read more about the partnership & expansion plans here. There are 4 DFW locations and one slated to open in Alabama this summer.

Order Up!

SUPER CHIX has the BEST chicken tenders I’ve ever had. SUPER CHIX hand cut fries might be the BEST fries I’ve ever had too. I was planning to order a chicken sandwich before we got there and then this Gouda cheese stuffed fried avocado sandwich with garlic aioli sandwich caught my attention. I ordered it and told Danny to order extra tenders so I could try both. The crispy avocado sandwich must have gotten a little too much seasoning because it was too salty to eat but the cashier gladly replaced it with 3 regular tenders which were game-changing and reminded me to always order the chicken when you go to a chicken restaurant! Danny ordered the Nashville Hot Tenders. Because nothing we ever order is really hot, Danny poured more Nashville hot sauce all over his tenders before dipping into Ranch. He found the heat this trip, haha! We also got an order of cheese fries and while they weren’t actually what we expected, having queso on top vs melted cheddar, they were SUPER delicious! We saw an order of the loaded fries come out and they looked even more delicious – will try next time. I know we didn’t mention frozen custard here which is a big part of this concept SUPER CHIX – “Chicken and Custard” but the photos look great and we saw tons of people ordering cups and shakes so it must be good. Sorry Nick, next visit for sure.

Environmental Branding:

I love bold design so this yellow and black branding and interior design had instant appeal for me. So many fun details on the walls, on the floors, in the furniture design and lighting. I suspect that this is one of the early designs and we will see design modifications in future store roll-outs. The few things that seemed to be retro-fit items were the massive digital menu boards which seemed to be a little dark, glossy and blue tinted. The other area that could use some love is the order area and the semi-open kitchen area in full view behind the cashiers. Pretty much just stainless equipment. No graphics, no photos, no inset drink well, no custom counter display. There was also a giant white plastic bucket of iced bottled beverages on the counter. Too big and too tall for ease of use. It was all love after I got done ordering though. I love the layout, varied seating areas and all of the decor. Nice job STUDIO 11 DESIGN!

Branding DNA:

Super Chix has a great logo and signage. The cup and tray liner designs are also really fun. While we were eating, we were watching the digital displays in the dining room which rotated photos from their social media feed and website. The photos are great! They do however, show the food in some packaging that we didn’t get to enjoy. Maybe these cool fry packages and custard pint containers haven’t made it to the stores yet? See pics we grabbed from Instagram.

Digital Branding:

Super Chix has a bright, clean website that highlights the freshness and quality of their ingredients as well as their chicken. Their website is easy to navigate, has a mouthwatering photo gallery, and even has a section dedicated to their flavor of the week frozen custards. They have great Facebook and Instagram accounts, no shocker here, that primarily focus on beautifully shot food photography. In fact, their Instagram feed will make you insta-drool! Overall Super Chix has awesome digital branding, but could use a few more lifestyle images to elevate the brand even more.
–Danny

Score:

MJ and Danny give SUPER CHIX an A! We’ll go back for sure for loaded fries, custard and the pickles we forgot to try.

#FridayFeed:

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