The founder of Chorizo Mexican Grill opened it after a trip to Mexico showed him that there was more to Mexican food than sombreros and salsa. After spending weeks learning the trade from local chefs, he brought his formula for success home to Canada, and Chorizo Mexican Grill was born.
Chorizo is a Mexican-inspired concept, using the freshest ingredients to make their salsas every morning, and grilling meat when ordered – nothing is ever frozen or microwaved. With the food locked down, Chorizo was unsure of how to properly position their restaurant in the market to attract their target demographic. Furthermore, Chorizo had built their loyal customer base one relationship at a time, and the Chorizo system worked because the owner was there to make it work. He wanted to share Chorizo with a broader customer base by expanding his operations to additional stores, and possibly even franchising out beyond that. Chorizo needed a prototype and a set of brand guidelines that would allow future stores to be built off of their successful model.
We began by refining the Chorizo logo to give it a proprietary treatment with a more contemporary font that is more Mexican-inspired than Mexican. We then worked with Chorizo to develop a retail concept that made the grill a feature of the space, providing seating around it to highlight the theatre of this area. A new branded magnetic-panel menu system was installed that easily allows for changes, and a brand wall behind the staff preparation area delivers brand messaging in full view of the customer. We developed branded product packaging, proprietary washroom signs and created a large drop bulkhead over the seating area with brand graphics.
Promotional materials included a humorous Mexican-inspired poster series to extend the brand, employee t-shirts with funny slogans that could also be sold and would appeal to a youth demographic as quirky, stylish apparel to wear outside of the store as brand ambassadors, a loyalty card design for the new Chorizo loyalty program, and a branded website that deepens the brand through animation and facilitates communication through a CMS. We also helped Chorizo to develop their brand voice, by creating language around the scale and share-ability of their product.
Profits at the original Chorizo grew steadily after the implementation of the new retail design program. A second store in Oakville opened early in 2008 and also experienced consistent growth, and several more stores followed.