Inventing a millennial playground.
With over 900 restaurant locations across Canada, Cara Operations Ltd. (now Recipe Unlimited Corp) asked Breakhouse to reinvent one of its Canadian legends – Kelsey’s.
First opening in 1978, and growing to a peak of more than 120 locations from coast to coast, Kelsey’s was the first of its kind in Canada – a national branded restaurant which was enjoyed as a local hangout. The banner had remained relatively untouched for nearly 30 years when Kelsey’s recognized that it was time to reposition and build stronger relationships with the evolving millennial marketplace.
We studied multiple restaurant locations of varying vintages, in various surroundings. We interviewed staff and held stakeholder workshops. We compiled a competitive landscape audit. The resulting brand strategy would evolve the Kelsey’s brand narrative from old and tired to energized and forward-thinking.
Uniting both customers and employees under the new mantra, “Ambitiously hardworking and socially unpredictable,” Breakhouse developed a marketing and communications plan to match the bar-focused restaurant renovation design and strategy. The plan was scalable to work across different store footprints and budgets, always a challenge with franchise networks.
Not only did the new Kelsey’s now register on the radar of an audience who hadn’t been aware of the brand, it was enthusiastically embraced.
The first store opened in 2013 on Toronto’s The Queensway.