Consultancy &SMITH has refined the brand strategy for YO! Sushi and created a new look for the restaurant chain, which is rolling out globally.
The consultancy says it has aimed to tie the brand more closely to “the true taste of modern Tokyo”.
This has meant introducing the Kanji script to menus and making sure all sections are named as they would be in Tokyo.
“Welcome to Tokyo”
&SMITH says the launch campaign has been based around Japanese dish names “so that everyone can learn the difference between Takoyaki (octopus-filled dough balls) and Okonomiyaki (street food pancakes)”.
The design also takes cues from Japanese anime and manga culture “but translated in a modern way”, & SMITH says.
Menus take the style of a magazine and are titled “welcome to Tokyo”, while type and graphic installations are used in YO! Sushi branches.
Based on autenticity
&SMITH director Dan Bernstein says: “As soon as I interviewed executive chef Mike Lewis on day one, I knew our idea had to be centred around authenticity.
“He told me his tales of searching the streets, homes and restaurants of Tokyo hunting down the best recipes and ingredients to bring back to the UK. From then on it was obvious this was something we had to shout about.”
Bernstein adds: “We wanted to give everyone a taste of what’s going on in Tokyo right now. That’s where the zine/newspaper menu idea came from. It gave us the chance to show some nice snippets of art, fashion and music alongside their food. The idea is that the editorial content will change four or five times a year “.
The new look is currently rolling out in all 70-plus UK sites and is set to launch to all sites in the US later this month.