Creating a tasty new brand for Whitbread

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Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator, appointed Bonfire to create the branding for its newest pub restaurant offering Cookhouse & Pub.

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When Whitbread identified growth potential in the current casual dining market for a quality, contemporary and great value pub restaurant chain, they turned to Bonfire to create the brand identity and collateral for the first site launches. 

Cookhouse & Pub is an exciting new concept that aims to re-invent the pub dining experience, delivering the quality food and service of a restaurant with the relaxed vibe of a pub. 

Whitbread had already selected the name, so Bonfire set about researching the casual dining landscape to get a better picture of this highly competitive market. 

The new brand had to be contemporary, inclusive and fresh, and needed to stand out in a saturated environment. Our pitch-winning concept was to build a visual brand world around the idea of ‘togetherness’ and reflect the pub restaurant’s open and inviting environment where customers can create and share great memorable moments. 

The identity itself is the epitomy of togetherness: the design concept is based around creating a unique, ownable ampersand from letters ‘C’ and ‘P’ of Cookhouse and Pub. The identity has a handcrafted feel, with a complementary block-printed style typeface and this natural and relaxed approach inspired the rest of the branding style, featuring hand-drawn illustrations of natural pairings such as a knife & fork, bottle & glass and steak & chips.

The complete Cookhouse & Pub brand identity was delivered by Bonfire along with launch collateral for the first site opening, which included a full menu suite, point of sale, signage and interior graphics. 

Alongside the Whitbread marketing team, Bonfire have written and designed brand guidelines for Cookhouse & Pub so that future openings and roll-out are consistent in delivery. Bonfire worked closely alongside Whitbread’s other agencies to bring the new brand to life across social, digital and ATL advertising, as well as the interior designs in the environment. 

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Food and drink sales at opening site increased year on year.

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Bonfire were tasked to deliver a huge amount of work in a very short period of time. I’m delighted not only with the outcome, which absolutely delivers against the brief, but have thoroughly enjoyed working with the talented team there.

Brand Development and Marketing Manager, Whitbread PLC
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