“Do you know what a Schnitzel is?,” a voice says on the telephone line. “Yes, we love it!,” we replied quite emphatically. “Well, we want to open a restaurant based on it. So, where do we go from here?” That was the first call with the guys from a restaurant that would become known as Seven Hens.
We may have known what a schnitzel is, but that doesn’t mean the marketplace does. Our largest hurdle would be educating the public on the cuisine while concurrently building new trials and establishing a strong brand presence from the start.
Although schnitzel was unique, that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Competition reduces the need for education when it comes to brand awareness and communications. For Seven Hens we had to create intrigue in our audience in order for them to want to learn more. We knew that wanderlust runs deep within a large portion of the millennial market, so tapping that emotion and tying it to the culinary picture would be a good way to education and entertain simultaneously.
Through our proven restaurant branding process, we were able to extrapolate the key elements that made Seven Hens truly different beyond the fact that schnitzel hadn’t yet landed in Atlanta. We identified the passion of the brand and created a strategy to bolster it and communicate it starting with the name.
The schnitzels were going to be inspired by world cuisines. Seven countries would be represented. In order to keep the concept away from other chicken-focused concepts, we decided using the word “chicken” in the name would be a no-go. Instead, we implied the higher quality of bird used in the food, along with the seven countries in a memorable name: Seven Hens.
The name allowed the creative team to design a logo that “said” Seven Hens visually. With the logo as a base, the brand was developed across every touch point possible. Rather than slapping logos everywhere, the Vigor team approach each opportunity as a new way to extend the brand’s voice visually.
Imagery like chicken wire patterns, black washed wood, white washed wood all were pulled in to nod towards common hen house materials without being blatant. This created an Americana feel that served as a strong basis for injections of cultures much like America’s melting pot population.
Seven Hens opened to the public July 13th, 2012. Already the logo has been selected for inclusion in the Communication Arts 2012 Design Annual published September of 2012 as well as the second volume of I Heart Logos.
The brand has expanded to two units in the Atlanta Metro area with franchising and other units in the works.