New restaurant concepts are challenging the industry’s most established brands.
There is a restaurant Renaissance taking place in America. These new venues have innovative food concepts, unique designs and established branding right out of the gate. Culinary trends include an emphasis on organic and locally sourced ingredients along with ethnic and fusion offerings to name a few. These concepts with an emphasis on fresh and made to order dishes in quick serve venues are challenging industry leaders such as Darden’s stable of brands. For example:
The Rail, a burger joint in Canton, OH mixes an industrial interior with concrete floors, retro light fixtures, and hints of the farm vernacular via a stockade feature wall; sophistication is gained with black trim and a pop of red color surrounding the open kitchen. The ‘Rail’ name is reinforced with a meat rail hanging over the bar complete with meat hooks, sans the side of beef. The whimsical logo-mark with a steer silhouette, flat on its back, and legs straight up with white text provides a bit of graphic humor reminding patrons that this is a place to have fun. The epicurean side includes over thirty local craft beers and Ohio raised organic beef. Now, one can say that this is just another burger place, but the category keeps on reinventing itself and The Rail is a great example of this evolution.
Bottom Line Diners want an authentic experience. These new concepts are challenging the established order of the industry. Fast food chains are battling perceptions of being unhealthy, and the legacy fast casual chains are predictable and well just boring. This sameness is creating a void in the space and entrepreneurs, sensing and opportunity, are stepping into the void in droves battling the curse of irrelevancy in the marketplace.
Logo via: The Artful Pint.