Taste of Europe By Zaq Dayton
Back in March of 2013, I started working for a Eastern-European style restaurant, primarily specializing in Russian cuisine. Since 2013, the restaurant has made many efforts to rebrand itself after winning many awards, as well as being featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and A&E's Storage Wars: Texas. All of this publicity has increased the restaurant's clientele and demand for its exotic Eastern-European dishes. As a result, I was chosen to aid in the restaurant's rebranding efforts to cater to its new consumers, as well as rendering Taste of Europe as a contemporary establishment, rather than an antiquated joint.
The first effort was in altering the company's logo into an icon which portrays an essence of decadence and professionalism, instead of the establishment's prior cluttered and outdated persona. The owners did not want anything stereotypical in regards to Russia or Eastern Europe, as it is usually shown in a negative light. Therefore, after many efforts we decided on this simple text logo. It is simplistic, yet elegant. Thus, portraying a sense of a higher-class establishment. The typography illustrates something of European decent, and harmonizes with the restaurant's strenuous remodeling efforts taken, which has transformed the location from a cluttered half-restaurant, half-grocery, half-deli, half-Russian-novelty-shop into an establishment that exerts a luxurious ambiance of a small European diner located in a relaxing foreign town.
The second effort was in the alteration and reorganization of the restaurant's menus. Many of the items were out-of-date on the previous menus, and the establishment also wanted to cater to its Russian-speaking customers that had trouble reading its English menu. The goal was to design a bilingual menu that was contemporary and intrigued English-speakers and/or Americans. It is fairly interesting to view a menu in English, with its Russian equivalents on the opposite side of the page. In addition, the owners wanted a menu that was different from the rest, and gave the restaurant more of a "voice." The solution I proposed was more of an interactive menu, of which utilized a key for the flags of various European countries, as the name of the restaurant is Taste of Europe, rather than Taste of Russia which entices more consumers to stop by and try the exotic cuisine.
In addition to Taste of Europe's dinner menu reconstruction, I also created many other menus for the establishment. That list included: a breakfast menu, a lunch menu, as well as drink menus after the restaurant received its liquor license. I also created many signs around the restaurant as well, as the location also sales other items not included on its menus.
Another crucial rebranding effort taken by Taste of Europe was the complete reconstruction of its previous website. As shown to the right, the site on the left is quite outdated, however, the newly designed website is modern and responsive. The site is also available in both English and Russian, utilizing MySQL to ensure that the owners will keep their new website up-to-date in an easy and convenient manner. Many issues with the restaurant's previous website were addressed and resolved. The site's news feed is sleeker and easy to read. The menu is up-to-date, interactive, and compliments the restaurant's redesigned menus. The site is responsive for both tablets and smartphones. The restaurant is now easier to contact at just a click of a button as well.