The Situation

Pyrogrill is a fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in grilled-to-order chicken, steak or pork served on a bed of yellow rice, brown rice, or shredded romaine lettuce, then topped with fresh toppings, veggies, and your choice of the brand’s 12 proprietary sauces. Opened in southern Florida in 2001, the concept quickly attracted a devoted following, and a reputation for the freshness of the food, and the irreverent fun-loving "personality" of the brand. By 2007, the time seemed right to expand the concept via a franchising strategy. Founder Mike Curcio, along with partners Jerry Schlie and Jason Curcio, recognized they should first fine-tune the brand and restaurant design to draw customers in new markets, and to excite potential franchisees and investors. And so Pyrogrill hired King·Casey to come up with a red-hot new identity, a sizzling new store design, and to fire-up their in-store communications.

The Solution

King·Casey first took a look at the old brand name and logo (Pyro’s Grill). Customer research revealed that although consumers liked the "flame" element of the old logo (it communicated the grilled concept) they did not like the grimacing face (it was scary and suggested super-spicy food). Research also revealed that a significant percentage of consumers thought that "Pyro’s Grill" must be a Greek food concept – which it is not. King·Casey shortened the name to Pyrogrill (a name that would still be familiar to their existing customers and much less likely to conjure up Hellenic thoughts!) King·Casey developed a detailed brand positioning statement, and created a list of brand attributes (words) that cumulatively reflect the unique personality of the brand (e.g., fresh, grilled, fun, irreverent, casual, etc.).

King·Casey’s strategy for Pyrogrill was to put the primary visual impact on key customer zones (order zone, food prep zone, and pay zone). This not only brought an element of "theater" to the customer experience, it also served to reduce perceived wait time and focus on a key brand differentiator: fresh food cooked to order and topped with a signature sauce. The distinctive new design dramatically increased the restaurant’s seat count from 34 to 62 and created an exciting and unique customer experience that is a 3-Dimensional expression of what the brand is all about.

The order point contains the most important communication tool in any restaurant. For Pyrogrill, this zone had been the greatest source of problems for both management and the customers. To put it simply, customers didn’t understand the offerings or how to order at Pyrogrill. King·Casey did a business analysis of sales and menu offerings to identify opportunities for growing desirable sales and improving the order process. The resulting new menuboard has vastly improved the entire order process: Customers now understand how to order; thru-put has dramatically improved; and sales are up by double digits in those restaurants utilizing the new menuboards.


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