Newk’s Eatery debuted a new restaurant prototype in its home market of Jackson, Miss., and re-opened all seven of its home market locations.
The new prototype was inspired by the chain’s Project Strive initiative. “The purpose of Project Strive is to build from what our guests love about Newk’s and evolve the brand to be more aligned to their lifestyles. It stems from our brand mission to strive to exceed expectations for all Newk’s guests,” says Michelle Spohnholz, vice president of marketing at Newk’s Eatery.
Founded in 2004, Newk’s Eatery operates and franchises more than 120 restaurants in 16 states.
Reaching its 15-year anniversary presented the chain’s leadership with an opportunity for reflection. The team at Newk’s Eatery undertook an effort to understand what guests liked best and what it could do better. Guests praised Newk’s for offering the right balance of wholesome and satisfying meals they enjoy in a comfortable dining room, order online or have delivered to meet their busy lifestyles, according to a release.
Newk’s has always featured an open kitchen, where guests can see everything that goes into the chain’s meals. As part of its customer research, however, Newk’s discovered guests had not necessarily been aware of the concept’s commitment to fresh preparation and ingredient selection. The new prototype features an updated red soffit that reflects the tagline, “Our Kitchen is an Open Book,” and fun facts about the ingredients and preparation methods.
“This project connects our brand story with the guest experience through an upgraded restaurant environment, paired with a generous dose of hospitality,” says Mike Clock, president of Newk’s Eatery.
The contemporary and comfortable design features updated light fixtures, new countertops and millwork, tufted booths, hardwood accents, new plate ware and menu boards. Updated artwork tells the story of Newk’s roots as a homegrown brand with a passion for food and family, along with their purpose “to Strive To Make A Difference with every guest every day,” per a release.
The design prominently features the color teal, which represents the company’s Newk’s Cares initiative and efforts to raise awareness and money for research to support Ovarian Cancer. “The new teal mosaic tile wall is an important feature that weaves our philanthropic work into the restaurant experience,” says Rachael Myrick, Newk’s director of design.
The new restaurant also features an updated beverage station for the chain’s signature iced tea and new all-natural lemonade offering. Exterior improvements include new awnings, string lights and a patio.
The brand aims to continue to renovate and refresh its restaurant locations across all 16 states as well as new builds.