EAT.s accessible chain of café food shops that make and serve hot and cold food – sandwiches, soups, hot pots, pies, pastries and more – have been in business for 20 years, but these days, operate in a marketplace far more complex, competitive and crowded than when they launched in 1996. It was time the brand established some more clearly defined points of difference that can be translated through all customer facing touch points. Alongside a team of strategists, researchers and consultants, Afroditikrassa embarked on a plan to develop and execute a four-part brand repositioning and design-led roll out and refurbishment initiative.
We delineated two distinct schemes: a London-centric metropolitan design concept to launch at Finsbury Pavement, and a second, completely new sub-brand model that would launch at Chichester and roll out beyond the M25 in key market towns across the UK. Afroditi and the team defined and crafted the concepts, distinct positioning, brand identity and interior designs for both schemes, each reflecting EAT.s points of difference in their respective markets.
Metropolitan Scheme: We engineered our approach to address several principal objectives: optimise slower parts of the day, showcase the quality food, and increase visibility for passers-by. Through introducing some dedicated quiet zones, employing astute lighting and using richly textured, warm materials, the shops became more appealing for mid-day and afternoon use. Making food more central to the EAT. experience was also key so we opened up the kitchen and adjusted the preparation process to better engage customers. Smell plays a major role too so we retained the natural baking aromas produced in the kitchen instead of extracting them. New fridge designs and custom made glass cases served to showcase the produce much more effectively, improving visibility and overall kerb appeal. EAT. sites would now be zoned into three distinct areas; an enticing and engaging retail/kitchen zone, a dynamic dining zone and a more laid back, softer, café zone. To communicate this new redefined brand positioning, which reinforcing seasonal cooking and EAT.s strategic focus on hot food, we introduced a new brand mark and simplified its use across all touch points , bringing back the heritage of the original brand.
Market Towns Scheme: For this new sub-brand model, the branding, product range, service style and design was conceived for an older target audience, less likely to be familiar with EAT. The central idea was a design catering for a longer dwell time, , incorporating a third space environment with an ‘all day café’ interior scheme. A strong residential and local feel, with an unbranded, sophisticated set of colours and materials, was contrasted with more urban touches such as deep coloured wood finishes, intricate stonework and bespoke artwork, expressing the urban roots of the brand. All cooking and ordering takes place around a central, blackened, metal-clad counter featuring Italian coffee machines, indulgent cake displays, fresh hot food and soups. Lounge style seating compliments the co-working communal tables, with provision for charging stations and laptop docking.