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Haldeman, from page 82 siders the opportunity to create a new income stream under the existing overhead. Remember a rebrand is not starting from zero, there is no moving, the lease is in place, the infrastructure exits, the kitchen is operating, the bathroom plumbing has been run, the zoning is there, and the owner is now intimately familiar with the market. Now a concept can be developed by carefully and thoughtfully applying all the wisdom and knowledge gained in the initial operation to the new brand. Many operators are using rebranding and its promise to get it right the second time around. Here is a quick case study of a restaurant rebrand: I recently completed a restaurant rebranding job for Jeff Gernitis, who purchased The Pilot House in Cape May, NJ, on the Jersey shore. A musty old run-down seafood house. Jeff and his partners kept the restaurant operating for several months while formulating a rebrand plan. During this time they set about familiarizing themselves with the nuances of the location on Washington Street Mall, a pedestrian promenade of shops and restaurants, a short distance from the oceanfront site of the iconic Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant which they also own. This was invaluable because while operating as the Pilot House they were able to answer many questions, test theories andmenu items and spare injury to the future brand as mistakes and miscalculations were absorbed by the old Pilot House brand. The old “fried seafood combo platter” menu format was tossed and replaced with a more contemporary “fresh fish” & “local ingredients” type menu developed by Chef Carl Messick. Gernitis gave me free rein in the conceptual theme and functional details of the redesign and I took

full advantage of his confidence. I decided to exploit the city’s excellent reputation as a tourist destination by creating a concept that would propel the restaurant to the top of the town’s “Top Must-See Tourist Attractions List” and one that would appeal to all ages. If an hour and half wait for a table at 7PM on a Wednesday evening is any indication, this goal was most certainly accomplished! The entire space was gutted to

“open concept status” and then large design elements such as two 12’ aquarium-walls and a 10’ seethru stainless steel and barn-wood fireplace were custom built and installed to break-up the vastness of the space, separate the bar from dining areas, and enable the operators to shrink & enlarge the space as needed depending on the day of the week and time of year. The edge lit blue water glass bar-top provided the most dramatic WOW FACTOR.

700 linear feet of soft, dramatic and glowing LED lighting, detailed architectural craftsmanship and quality finishes were used to create the Casual & Contemporary Aquatic Theme. I am happy to chat with anyone who is planning a restaurant rebrand and has design questions. My goal is to help you enhance your vision. Call me on my cell! 305-9688855







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July 2019 • Total Food Service • • 101

Profile for Total Food Service

July 2019 - Total Food Service  

From - Total Food Service's July 2019 Digital Issue features an exclusive Q&A Interview with restaurateur & author Stratis Mor...

July 2019 - Total Food Service  

From - Total Food Service's July 2019 Digital Issue features an exclusive Q&A Interview with restaurateur & author Stratis Mor...