Food for thought


By May 31, 2019 No Comments


This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is SkinnyFATS in Uptown (Dallas).

Order Up!

They have 6 locations in Nevada, 1 in Dallas and one coming soon to Salt Lake City. Their tagline is Live Healthy, Live Happy and their primary brand icon is a happy face emoji which they have incorporated into custom paintings, drink cups, custom paper straws, tray liners, etc.

Per QSR Magazine article, the story is  “the consultant-turned-restaurateur chose to split the menu in two: the Healthy Side with 600 calories or less per item, and the Happy Side, which is more about taste than calorie counting. His chef consultants had health-food backgrounds, but with the location being in a very industrial area of Las Vegas, Slobusky knew the concept needed to serve both the working man and the indulgers, too.” The menu reminded me of the Larry North North/South concept where you could choose the healthy version of a menu item or you could get it “fattened” up a bit. In fact, each section of the menu is divided into a “healthy side” and a “happy side”. The menu is a great mix of foods and the menu items have great names. Offering both healthy and happy is a great cure for avoiding the “veto vote” when someone in the group just won’t buy in to going somewhere that has only healthy or only happy foods.

I was looking for the fattest thing I could find because butter and cheese makes me really happy. I stepped up to the counter service bar and ordered the Meltdown. Two 1/4 lb beef patties, cheddar, provolone, caramelized onions, tomato, spicy aioli on grilled sourdough bread that was so buttery and crispy. Got the truffle fries as the side. Danny ordered the Sweet Cheese Us with shaved steak, pepper marmalade, caramelized onions, pepper jack, portobello and cheddar sauce on a hoagie with sweet potato fries. The hoagie bun didn’t hold up past the first bite but it looked really tasty. Other fun menu names include the Cranburkey, Steakation, Cherry Popper, Yummus and pre Birds (deviled eggs – clever but I don’t like to think about my eggs turning into birds really). I want to go back and try the S’motherload breakfast with filet mignon, sausage, fajita pepper, potato & egg burrito, cajun cheddar sauce and pico. Sorry – I know I haven’t really talked about the healthy items on the menu – you can go find those later. They offer Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and lots of HOT stuff – love that.

Environmental Branding:

SkinnyFATS in Uptown (Dallas) was designed by LEBODESIGN. The decor elements in the Dallas location are primarily industrial with reclaimed wood and lots of steel coupled with live edge tables, giant edison bulbs, big TVs and as I mentioned before, custom paintings and artwork that are really crazy – kind of Salvador Dali-esque. Two items worth mentioning are the live edge table that looks like its drips to the floor (where did they get that???!!) and the giant TV inside of a space helmet  painted on a two story wall mural in the stairwell to the loft seating area that overlooks the main dining room. They clearly have a lot of fun with their environment design and maybe just maybe, they enjoy some form of mood enhancing drugs when they sit down to brainstorm ideas. Where the ideas come from or why doesn’t really matter, it’s part of the fun. It is a great example of an instagram brand!

Branding DNA:

Strategically speaking, the name SkinnyFATS is a good description for the brand. The logo isn’t anything earth shattering or genius, but it works for the brand. Their smiley face reminds me of the old Nirvana logo. In fact, they even have shirts and stickers that highlight this resemblance.

Digital Branding:

SkinnyFATS has a website that is both easy to navigate and user friendly. The G.O.T.M. (Guest Of The Month) highlights specially selected guests from one of their various locations and is a great way to give their guests more of voice. Their Instagram and Facebook focus heavily on their beautiful food photography and feature the Guest Of The Month. Overall, they have awesome digital branding that primarily focuses on their food and the customer.


MJ and Danny give it 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