Last year burger chain Byron faced a serious financial crisis which threatened closure of up to 20 restaurants. This year they have reported a fall in earnings from £4.3m – £500,000 and as a result have decided upon an entire overhaul of their brand.
Byron are famously known for their anti-branded approach, a rebellious tactic which gave them a lot of standout across a saturated burger market. I myself am a big fan of Byron and during my time in London frequented many of their restaurants throughout the city. No single chain ever adopted the same branding as another, logos were all very different and the same went for the décor. It always felt nice to go to a different restaurant where the menu was consistent, but also felt like a completely new place. One day I was in Trafalgar eating in a diner clad in tiles, the next I was in Carnaby Street’s branch with its very urban stylings of wood and exposed metal. This trendy approach has held them in good stead over the years, but with their recent struggles they are trying something different.
The new visual identity will be implemented as a company-wide rebrand, where all restaurants will follow the same design style. Their concept centres around the idea of getting people around a table again and connecting with others, an altogether more social dining experience. A new simplistic logo reinforces this with a rectangle representing a table with guests (letters) sat around it.
Five guests around a table is fine, however I can’t help but feel that somebody didn’t turn up for dinner. It just somehow feels a little unbalanced, perhaps the N could’ve been centred on the bottom side of the table? It may have stopped it feeling a little lonely?
That being said it’s not just about friends coming together, the dining experience on site will feature long group dining tables more akin to Wagamama, allowing for friends and strangers to interact. It’s a bold step for them taking on a consistent brand image and an idea that creates an open social experience. As a fan of their food I look forward to seeing how this looks across all their restaurants and hope it turns it around for them.