Lately, it seems there is a trend in retail toward creating big, exciting in-store experiences.
Curry are doing it with their new Currysdigital concept stores, Comet are creating their own concept stores and HMV are starting to roll ‘experience’ focused outlets, with areas that people can test games, hang out and buy snacks.
In Tel Aviv, we went to a store / restaurant that without a doubt beats all of them, without even trying that hard. Max Brenner, the self-described bald man, has opened up a chain of restaurant / stores across the world with the aim of creating ‘a new chocolate culture’. And he has definitely put his money where his mouth is. The story of the new chocolate culture is woven through every single aspect of the store and restaurant.
Starting with the very large and very wonderful menu.
The opening page of the menu tells Max’s very personal story of how he fell into the chocolate business; without any sugarcoating or spin. This was so different and unlike anything that I had ever seen on a menu and it really drew me in and made me want to find out more.
The menu is split into sections, with wonderful images and copy alongside. It was such a feast for the eyes, that if I could have ordered the entire menu, without turning into the Stay Puft Marshmellow Woman, I would have.
When we ordered, our waitress told us about a contest they were running where people could submit their doodles on the existing logo to win a chance for their design to become the new logo. So we set about doodling on the handily provided napkins with a very competitive spirit!
One of the best parts was the attention to detail. Everything had a cute little quirk and something memorable about it. The cups with a special hole for a straw design, the mirrors inside and outside the loos with nice messages, even the way they gave us the bill and our change. All great storytelling fodder.
And the food, you ask? Well, the presentation was amazing and it tasted absolutely divine.
If you have the chance to go to a Max Brenner restaurant (if you’re in Israel, NYC, Philly, Oz or the Phillippines), I urge you to drop everything and go! Check the great website here.