Tandur

Tandur Indian Kitchen brings a bold new taste to Knoxville and beyond. This fast-casual restaurant chain needed to build their brand from the ground up, while standing out in a highly-crowded market and overcoming cultural stigmas that often come with ethnic cuisine.

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Branding
  • Logo Design
  • Website
  • Menu Design
  • Food Photography
  • Interior Photography
  • Email Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Outdoor Advertising
  • Public Relations

The Goal

Tandur Indian Kitchen came to Asen early on in the creation of their brand. Their goal in opening this new fast-casual Indian restaurant concept was to educate consumers about the benefits of Indian food, provide an open and friendly dining atmosphere, and integrate their menu into American culture the way Mexican, Chinese, and Italian concepts have done before them. That’s where Asen came in…

The friendly and fun, yet educational brand image Asen created for Tandur reflects their key values of authenticity and a “do good” mentality at every turn.

The Journey

In developing Tandur’s brand, our creative team strayed away from traditional Indian-style design intricacies. Instead, we modernized the new brand by embracing simplicity and making the brand feel more approachable to the American market.

Together, Tandur and Asen carefully selected every brand element, from the color palette and contemporary fonts to the elephant iconography (which represents good luck in Indian culture!).

The friendly and fun, yet educational brand image Asen created for Tandur reflects their key values of authenticity and a “do good” mentality at every turn. Their new brand story uses fun facts about Indian culture and spices to educate guests on the tasty ingredients in their food.

In addition, these new brand elements and highlighted ingredients make Tandur feel more approachable to those who’ve never tried Indian cuisine, which was one of their initial goals.

A Friendly Brand with Deep Values

In developing Tandur’s brand, our creative team strayed away from traditional Indian-style design intricacies. Instead, we modernized the new brand by embracing simplicity and making the brand feel more approachable to the American market.

Together, Tandur and Asen carefully selected every brand element, from the color palette and contemporary fonts to the elephant iconography (which represent good luck in Indian culture!).

The friendly and fun, yet educational brand image Asen created for Tandur reflects their key values of authenticity and a “do good” mentality at every turn. Their new brand story uses fun facts about Indian culture and spices to educate guests on the tasty ingredients in their food.

In addition, these new brand elements and highlighted ingredients make Tandur feel more approachable to those who’ve never tried Indian cuisine, which was one of their initial goals.

Website Designs

Opening Day Prep

Our partnership with Tandur had a grassroots start, beginning prior to the opening of their first location in Knoxville. We knew we needed to generate buzz before the big day, so we placed bold billboards with brief call-to-actions around town to drive awareness and encourage foot traffic.

Marketing is methodical and cumulative, meaning we knew those efforts alone wouldn’t be enough to generate the buzz we wanted. Tandur need a comprehensive opening day plan, so that’s what we developed. Our team strategically-placed radio ads and display ads where data showed their target audience was. Then, we set up remarketing ads to keep Tandur top-of-mind for those who previously visited their website.

Your Eyes Eat First

Because photography is critical to restaurant success today, both Tandur and Asen knew it had to play a big role in our overall marketing plan. Getting creative, close-up shots of their spices and menu items allowed Asen to magnify their meals before promoting them to the audience.

The photos we captured showcase Tandur’s food clearly and colorfully, which distinguishes it from other Indian restaurants and appeals to the amateur American diner.

An Inviting Interior

Marketing extends to more than just ads. It extends to the entire brand image, which includes interior design for many B2C brands. We partnered with an interior design firm in Charlotte to bring Tandur’s inviting atmosphere to life with a fun, yet educational environment.

To help visitors easily learn about ingredients and menu items, Tandur opted to use interactive Elo Touch screens. To go with these screens, an oversized spice wall was implemented in each location that educates guests on how spices are ground and Tandur meals are prepared. In addition, we decided together that the food prep area should remain open to remove any mystery from the process and create yet another fun opportunity for engagement!

A “Do Good” Mentality

As their comprehensive brand partner, our strategy for Tandur was complete with social media marketing, organic posting, and a sprinkle of PR (just to name a few).

Because social posts are extremely visual, we sprinkled Tandur’s new, mouthwatering food photography all over their online strategy… but that wasn’t the only piece of the puzzle we considered. To encourage even more interaction online, our social team consistently shared educational content in the form of “bite sized” information and fun facts.

Then, once visitors did engage with the brand, our team quickly responded to each comment, review, or question using language aligned with the brand’s overall personality.

A similar strategy was used to gain local traction before each location’s opening day, holidays or specials, and all-around good Tandur does for the community. One of the most memorable PR campaigns centered around Happy, a real-life elephant living in isolation at the Bronx Zoo. Tandur’s Happy Elephant Day event gave back 100% of lemonade sales to Happy’s relocation to a new home with other elephants.

Tandur’s support of Happy resulted in earned news coverage and social media buzz. Given their brand’s connection with elephants, this further strengthens the brand’s tie to its iconography and story.

The Results

Happy the elephant wasn’t the only one who benefited from Asen’s marketing help. Tandur’s support of Happy resulted in even more news coverage and social media buzz, which was already spiking as a result of their brand awareness campaign and word-of-mouth (the most effective tool in marketing!).

Since starting our partnership in 2016, Tandur has opened three new locations that continue to thrive today. At the time, the strong, yet playful brand Asen created resulted in higher-than-projected revenue for their Knoxville location and— with a fun image and “do good” mentality behind them— we see this tasty new restaurant reaching even bigger goals in the future.

Let’s work together!

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