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Toast and The Restaurant Man

The Restaurant Man, Russell Norman, BBC2

Back in October 2013, Toast were approached by Twenty Twenty Television who were filming a new BBC programme with restaurateur Russell Norman, the man behind Polpo, who we’re big fans of. The show that they were filming follows Russell helping and advising six different couples in realising their dream of setting up a restaurant, and has just started on BBC2 on Wednesdays at 8pm, called The Restaurant Man.

Based on Toast’s experience with branding pubs, restaurants and food businesses and in particular, on our work for the Embankment in Bedford and the One Elm in Stratford-upon-Avon, Twenty Twenty approached us as they were looking for a brand design agency to help Gloucestershire-based couple Dave and Debbie, who had just bought a lovely but run down 17th century pub in the village of Selsley, just outside of Stroud.

Dave and Debbie did have a logo design for the pub, The Bell Inn, but it didn’t really get across their concept of ‘Field to Fork’ as they will be supplying most of the food for the pub from their own nearby farm, which is an amazing proposition for the clientele. They also had plans for a farm shop and B&B within the pub.

Twenty Twenty and Russell Norman felt that they needed a brand identity that clearly and creatively communicated their concept for the pub to their target audience and potentially worked for all of their business aspects.

After some initial discussions with Twenty Twenty we proposed that what Dave and Debbie would benefit most from was a Toast Brand Workshop, to be filmed at Toast’s offices. In our brand workshops we work with our clients on the fundamental requirements of the project, identifying the who, what, where, why and how and investigate the best way to engage with their various audiences.

Our brand workshop with Dave & Debbie was filmed by the team from Twenty Twenty and we loved every minute of it. It was an amazing and enjoyable experience and most importantly we grasped a thorough understanding of what Dave & Debbie were looking to achieve, their concept, offering, target market and their plans for the business. They were clearly passionate about their pub and what they wanted to offer to their customers, they just needed a brand identity to help get this across and support the business.

filming the Restaurant Man at Toast Design.

In the days following the workshop we created a series of concepts that built on the fuller offering. This meant not just focussing on the pub, but on the brand identity that works across every aspect of their business; the farm, the pub, the farm shop, B&B and their game meat company. A strapline was created to convey their “Field to Fork” concept, and was designed to bring the end consumer closer to ’where their food comes from’. At The Bell Inn, the majority of the food served in the pub comes from five miles away, so it’s a very strong proposition.

Initial simple sketches were used to investigate a number of different ideas and then a short list was agreed before the concepts were developed digitally. From the initial concepts, Dave and Debbie selected one that they felt answered the brief best and through a series of developments, looking at arrangements, fonts, colours and styling we created a final brand identity that not only works for the pub, but across all aspects of their businesses. It aims to tie them all together in a consistent and recognisable brand style.

We then created designs for signage, menus and stationery, staff uniforms, vehicle livery and internal posters.

Branding for the Restaurant Man and The Bell at Selsley.

We loved working with Twenty Twenty and Dave and Debbie on branding The Bell Inn and its related businesses. The end result is something that we’re really proud of, as it gave them so much more that just a logo. They’ve got a brand identity that is adaptable and will not only grow as their businesses grow, but will also evolve alongside commercial changes.

Unfortunately the brand workshop that was filmed at Toast won’t be shown in the programme as the focus is around highlighting the trials and tribulations of opening the pub, but the branding will of course be shown on the signage and other material. Most importantly Dave and Debbie love their branding and it’s working, in the first few months of opening the Bell is doing very well!

‘We wanted our food brand to hit the ground running and our customers to be instantly familiar and comfortable with it. Toast created a brand structure that allows us to communicate our passion for the “Farm to Fork” process that makes us unique. We feel the brand can grow with us and help us achieve our dreams.’

Dave & Debbie. The Bell, Selsley.

If you are looking to brand a pub, restaurant or food related business, give a Toast a call on 01295 26 66 44. We’re experienced, passionate and results driven and we can certainly help you meet your objectives.