Caulder Moore has designed a new retail environment and in-store communication for Smashburger to launch the US brand to the UK market for the first time. The first UK restaurant opened in Milton Keynes, with Brighton to follow in August 2016, and plans to open 35 sites over the next few years.
Rick Shaden and Tom Ryan founded the brand in 2007, as two men on a mission to create America’s perfect burger. Smashburger has a unique approach to the cooking process where 100% British beef is hand-formed into a meatball and smashed and seasoned on a hot buttered grill. The brand has grown to over 365 restaurants across 35 states in America, and seven countries.
Smashburger is targeting millennials – 20 to 30 year olds, young families and students, translating the US provenance to a new audience. Caulder Moore has identified a gastronomic ‘youth quake’ and uses design cues to attract this savvy breed of customer.
The new restaurant is emblazoned with urban typography and icons which tell the heritage and story of the brand. It uses American street style references that are inspired by downtown meatpacking districts. An open kitchen allows diners to ‘see the smash’ which is crucial to the cooking process. Booths mix with seating areas to create a change of pace, for diners who want to stay longer.
A mezzanine floor creates height as a backdrop to the bold signage reinforcing the brand appeal – ‘smash. sizzle. savour.’ Floor to ceiling black and white photography depicting typical American urban scenes utilise the height, and staircases are modeled on iconic metal fire escapes. An industrial palette blends with authentic materials to communicate the aspirational urban American lifestyle.
Tim Lowther, Managing Director of Smashburger UK franchise said, “We have been planning an opening in the UK for a while and are pleased to have found the right location and design partner to help realise this expansion. It is great to be able to share our concept with a market who are fast becoming burger connoisseurs.”
Ian Caulder, Exec Creative Director of Caulder Moore added, “Smashburger is a strong US brand to bring to the UK with its growth in casual dining and a millennial customer who is young, savvy and taste driven. Our design uses stylish urban cues with an American edge to reinforce the brand’s roots and personality.”