The company behind Sbarro has created a new fast casual pizza concept, Pizza Cucinova. It’s a higher end customer experience than most brands aspiring to become the “Chipotle of pizza.” Check out this video audit and analysis of the brand experience: DLYohn Brand Experience Brief: Pizza Cucinova from Denise Lee Yohn on Vimeo. other brand […]

(Here’s the latest in my series of insights and analysis on new and interesting restaurant and retail concepts, Brand Experience Briefs.) Fresh 2 Order is a fast casual restaurant concept that seems to have a good thing going but lacks design excellence and coherence*.  Check out this video audit: Brand Experience Brief: Fresh 2 Order […]

(Welcome to my new Brand Experience Brief — these videos provide insights and analysis on new and interesting restaurant and retail concepts.) Many fast-casual restaurant start-ups are trying to copy Chipotle, so it’s refreshing to experience one that does things it’s own way.  Pei Wei Asian Market, the newest concept from P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, offers a cool […]

(Here’s the latest brand experience brief — video briefings of new and interesting restaurant and retail concepts.) Everyone, it seems, is trying to figure out the healthy fast casual business.  From LYFE Kitchen in California to Energy Kitchen in New York, there are dozens of budding concepts attempting to make it big by tapping into consumers’ […]

brand-as-business bit:  One of my colleagues in private equity, Rahul Aggarwal of Brentwood Associates, and I were recently discussing the importance of image and environment in the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industry segments.  He relayed a sentiment that really resonated: new always wins He was referring to the buzz and excitement that a new facility […]

Fast-casual restaurant chain Firehouse Subs is…on fire!  Founded by firemen, the 450+ unit chain had a record-breaking 2011 with increases in same-store sales, AUVs, restaurants opened, and donations made through its Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.  In today’s interview, CEO Don Fox joins me to share some of the secrets behind the brand’s success. It […]

(Here’s the latest Brand Experience Brief — insights and analysis from my audits of a new or interesting retail or restaurant concept.) Pie-o-logy, a new pizzeria concept inspired by Chipotle, delivers a remarkable brand experience — check it out: other brand experience briefs: The Habit Burger Grill uniqlo ihop express   […]

NBC’s new reality show, America’s Next Great Restaurant, aired again last night — contestants had to pick a chef, design a logo, and feed 1,000 people as a “proof of concept.”   Here’s my recap and takeaways for all entrepreneurs: DLYohn America’s Next Great Restaurant 03.13.11 Episode 2 Recap from Denise Lee Yohn on Vimeo. […]