Launch your cafe, restaurant or retail store in award-winning style

With countless cafés, restaurants and retail stores bidding for our business every day, it’s increasingly hard to be a successful new business owner. But it’s not impossible. With careful planning, a solid offering and a creative direction to match, you’ll be well on your way.


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Finding a location for your café, restaurant or retail store is one of the first steps you’ll need to take. Consider ease of parking, what’s nearby and the amount of foot traffic in the area. Your location will also be governed by other factors. What can you afford to pay in rent? Are licensing fees involved? Have you considered the additional costs, like a security deposit, utility bills and rates? Will you offer takeaway or focus on dine-in? Does your choice suit your location’s demographic?



It’s important from the onset to determine what sets you apart from your competitors and how you can exceed your customers’ expectations. Market research is a good way to understand your competitors. The easiest way to conduct market research is by spending time online or checking in with industry associations for their latest information and data. You can gather competitor pricelists, check out their websites and visit their premises to get a good idea of what they offer. Look at what they do better than you’re planning to do – investigate price, quality, customer service and the professionalism and effectiveness of their marketing materials.

Another useful exercise is to conduct a SWOT analysis to see where you fit alongside other cafés, restaurants and retail stores in the area. A SWOT is a great way to identify your areas of strength, weakness, opportunity and threat. If you want to go a bit further, you can divide your SWOT into internal and external factors to give you a clearer picture of where your business sits in the market. Once you complete your SWOT, you can turn the results into a list of goals for your business.



Having a slick brand doesn’t mean that your business will be a success. Your brand is just one part of what you hope will be a thriving business. You need to ensure that your offer aligns with your business in every way, and there’s a lot to think about.

• Consider the ingredients you use and where they come from.
• What foods are on trend?
• Do you have a variety of food and beverages for your customers to choose from?
• Is your menu accessible for everyone?
• Will it suit those who are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, dairy free?
• How much do you need to charge?

Determine which customers you are trying to attract and think about what they want and need from your café, restaurant or retail store. How can you make the experience relaxed and memorable for them? How can you get your customers to come again?



Today’s marketplace is extremely crowded. For your new hospitality business to have a chance, you need to clearly define what your value is to your customer. That’s why articulating your point of difference is essential. If you don’t have one, you need to create one.

The way we help our clients do this is by working with you to build a unique story, demonstrating what sets you apart from your competitors. What makes your business different? How do you turn your business from a ‘me too’ business into something that stands on its own? Our comprehensive Q&A session – where we ask all the right questions – results in a succinct story that is unique to you and provides a focus for your future marketing, branding, advertising, online presence and more. It ensures that you’re clear about what your business offers and provides an emotive and engaging descriptor to clients, customers and others. It also provides your designers with a basis for their creative work.




Developing a well-considered brand and strategy is a key part in building your business. From the colours, typography and graphic elements used through to the interior design and fit-out, these all tell your customers who you are and what you represent as a business.

One mistake a lot of start-ups make is not investing properly in a professional and effective brand – taking the cheap and quick way rather than getting it right the first time. Often this leads to failure of marketing efforts, dollars down the drain and valuable time lost when you have to start again.

When it’s done well, a brand identity can help you hit the ground running. And contrary to popular belief, it’s more than just a logo (although a logo is important). It’s about creating visual guidelines that cover fonts and colour – and it’s also about creating emotional parameters for copywriting, social media and advertising campaigns. It’s strategic, it’s planned well and it’s designed to continually connect with your target markets.



Design automatically tells your customer what type of business they’re dealing with – young, on-trend, dynamic, professional, confident, classic, adaptable, attentive, energetic, calm, welcoming, cooperative, friendly, reflective, fun, trustworthy, modern and more. If you invest in a great brand and put it to work for your business, you’ll lift performance, connect with your customers, create a memorable experience and drive positive business results.

Customers care about what things look like, and smart businesses recognise it. Creative and effective graphic design is a great way to achieve your objectives and attract attention. Visuals are the best way to leave a lasting impression because they make an immediate connection. That’s where we come in.

If you’re starting a new café or restaurant we can help you create a professional and contemporary brand that brings your idea to life. We’ll give your business a personality and a character that people will remember and will want to engage with.



It’s important that your designer and architect work together to ensure that your brand messaging is achieved. With some clients, we’ve developed the branding and look and feel, then introduced our clients to one of architectural partners to bring our vision to life – with us providing input where needed. In other cases our client has already employed an architect, who we work with to ensure the same result.



Apart from creating a brand, our highly experienced team can also assist with naming development, packaging, web design, social media, print advertising, publications, expo design and any other design that you may need to help your hospitality business take off.


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Need design answers?
We’d love to hear from you.

We understand that each business and brand is different,
and that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. So let’s chat.

Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.
Alternatively, give us a call or send us an email.

Level 2, 66 Albert Road
South Melbourne, Victoria 3205
+61(3) 9696 4116


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