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The Parlour Italian Kitchen & Bar

Century Hospitality Group started out with Century Grill back in 1999. They now own and operate nine restaurants in Edmonton. These restaurants appeal to a wide audience, which means there's always something for everyone.

At Habit, we love our food — in fact, we have three clubs just for lunchtime activities. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that when CHG asked us for a brand design and positioning for their newest restaurant, The Parlour Italian Kitchen, we jumped at the chance. (After all, we'd need to taste-test the product, right?)

Pizza Icon

Develop a brand, website, social media, and launch strategy to introduce The Parlour to Edmonton.

The Audience

The Parlour would focus on pizza, pasta, and other traditional Italian fare, but its atmosphere would be similar to that of other CHG locations.

This wasn't Mama's kitchen: this was going to be a cool and cosmopolitan pizza joint like nothing else in the city. It was familiar yet unexpected, modern yet traditional, with a foot in the past and a fork in the future.

Before we could move forward with the brand, we had to know who would be eating there. The Parlour would be a natural dining transition for people who were already CHG customers, but its friendly atmosphere would appeal to new customers, too.

And since the restaurant was located in Edmonton's city centre, "new customers" meant residents, workers, and students in the downtown area.

Man Carrying Pizza Box

The Purpose

No brand exists without an idea behind it, an idea that drives everything the brand does. In the industry, we call that the brand promise. If we wanted to know what The Parlour was going to be, we had to find out what it stood for.

The Parlour had just brought in one of the world's top pizzaiolos (that's a professional pizza chef) all the way from Naples, Italy, so they were going to have some of the best and most authentic pizza in the city. And any restaurant worth its sauce values the calibre of the food above everything else. But how were we going to communicate that as a brand promise?

We looked for inspiration in tradition, but it had to be something that was still relevant to today's audiences. After a visit to Nonna's house, we found what we were looking for in old Italian proverbs that described both the comfort of Italian food and the lifestyle that goes with it. One proverb in particular stuck out to us: "Those who eat well, live well."

Eat Well Live Well

The Values

In Italy, the shops are closed every afternoon while the shopkeepers go home for lunch. They relax, share a meal with family, and take the time to connect with each other, even if it means losing business.

With that in mind, it didn't take long to settle on The Parlour's four major values: pizza, wine, family, and atmosphere. And we used those values to round out the rest of the brand language.

Gusto (Taste)

We take taste seriously, which is why everything we serve is created in our kitchen. The pasta is handcrafted, and our Italian pizzaiolos make the pizzas from start to finish. From starters to salads to signature dishes, the menu is bursting with all your favourites.

Family Tied

Family is whatever you make it. No matter who you consider your family, coming together at The Parlour is always quality time.

Oh-So-Vino

Who needs bottle service? The Parlour's wine is on tap and served at the perfect temperature. That means a wide selection of chilled whites and just-right reds by the glass or the carafe.

La Vita Moderna (The Modern Life)

Classic Italian cuisine in a contemporary atmosphere. It's the essence of The Parlour life, so relax, be yourself, let loose, and go for the gusto!

Worth a Thousand Words

When CHG asked us to brand The Parlour, they already had a name and logo: a classic mark with a distinctly European quality.

We tightened up the identity to fit with the brand direction, and we defined it even further by adding black-and-white lifestyle photography of people eating, drinking, and enjoying themselves.

Child eating pasta
Pizza Boxes

Thinking Inside the Box

There's no food symbol quite as iconic or as well-loved as a pizza box. Whether it's hot takeaway or chilled leftovers, the box always suggests something great is waiting inside.

And in this case, it's Edmonton's finest pizza made by one of the world's greatest pizzaiolos, a fact so important it deserved to be on the box.

Our Pizzaiolos Travelled Over 8000 KM
To Make You This Pie. Now That's Dedication
Our Pizzaiolos Travelled Over 8000 KM To Make You This Pie. Now That's Dedication
Coasters
Laughter is brighter, where the food is best divider The beauty of good taste divider Food, like life, is better shared

Take It to Go

Parlourtogo.com is a clean, well-organized mobile menu that fits right in the customer's pocket.

We stripped down all of the website's extra content for mobile devices, and we gave people the only two things they really need from a pizza parlour on their phone: the menu and the number to call.

The Launch

We knew the orders would come flooding in right away once people knew how great The Parlour was, so we set up a soft launch to give the kitchen and wait staff a chance to practice. The launch told people about the restaurant and invited them to come taste the good life for themselves.

We wanted to capture the energy and excitement of Italian cooking and dining, so we came up with a series of vibrant ads that were displayed throughout City Centre. We captured the Italian food craving by using simple, forceful language and letting the rich imagery speak for itself.

From the authentic pizza to the wood-burning oven, a different facet of the restaurant was promoted in each message (and the high-quality photography was enough to make our stomachs growl).

Get Sauced!
Eat Well Live Well! Hand Tossed Wood Fired!

Results

Buzz grew steadily, and the Parlour's doors opened in late 2013 to generally positive reviews. Customers found an authentic yet contemporary Italian restaurant where they could bring their families and friends. And Century Hospitality Group received a brand that paired the quality of their food with old Italian culture.

We can do great work for you.

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