Tandur Indian Kitchen
Bringing Indian Cuisine to the mainstream. Tandur Indian Kitchen is a Knoxville-based, fast casual Indian restaurant with a bold taste for growth.
What We Did
Interior Store Concept
To appeal to the American market, Tandur needed to build and develop their brand from the ground up, stand out in the competitive fast-casual market and overcome cultural stigmas that go along with Indian restaurants. That’s where Asen came in.
The Tandur concept was born from two brothers’ vision to make Indian cuisine mainstream in the United States. Their goal is to educate about the benefits of Indian food, provide an open and friendly environment and integrate Indian food into American culture like Mexican, Chinese and Italian cuisines have done before them.
Creating a friendly brand
In developing Tandur’s brand, our creative team wanted to stray from typical Indian-style design intricacies. Instead, we wanted to embrace simplicity and make the brand feel approachable. We chose everything－ from the colors to the elephant iconography, modern fonts and more.
FUN FACT: elephants represent good luck in Indian culture!
Tandur’s brand story connects their menu items to Indian culture and highlights Indian spices to educate diners on vital but tasty ingredients in their food while focusing on six key Tandur values (Delight, Be Real, Respect, Enlighten, Do Good, Be True).
The friendly, fun and educational brand image we developed for Tandur makes the restaurant and its food approachable for people who may have never eaten Indian fare.
Simple, effective promotion
“Build it and they will come” only works for baseball fields built by Kevin Costner. To spread the word about Tandur’s new restaurant, we placed boldly simple billboards around their location to drive awareness and foot traffic. We also use strategically-placed radio ads to speak to a targeted younger demographic. To increase their digital brand exposure, we target specific audiences in a tightly-focused geographic area with online display ads and utilize remarketing ads to keep the Tandur brand top of mind for previous visitors to their website.
Food photography is vitally important, and this is magnified when promoting an unfamiliar food. We worked with a world-renowned Indian chef to capture the essence of Tandur’s food.
Eating with your eyes
Everyone eats with their eyes first, mouth second. Please do not try to reverse this order! Food photography is vitally important, and this is magnified when promoting an unfamiliar food. We worked with a world-renowned Indian chef to capture the essence of Tandur’s food. The photography showcases their food cleanly and colorfully, which distinguishes it from other Indian restaurants and appeals to the American diner.
An inviting interior
Any restaurant’s interior is vital to their brand. We worked with a Charlotte interior design firm to ensure Tandur’s atmosphere was fun, inviting and educational. The restaurant is equipped with an ELO Touch interactive screen where visitors can learn about the ingredients in Tandur’s dishes. An oversized spice wall informs patrons about the spices used and how they’re ground and prepared. Finally, the food preparation area is open to remove the mystery from Tandur’s food. These elements combine to create a fun, engaging and appetizing atmosphere for customers.
Socially accepted, socially approved
Tandur’s social media strategy reinforces their brand and its story. Social posts are typically very visual and educational, encouraging followers to engage with the brand. And when they engage, we engage back, displaying Tandur’s approachable, friendly personality. When we’re not educating on social media, we focus
on the food. By highlighting ingredients and preparation details on social media, Tandur remains transparent and develops a comfortable rapport with customers.
What matters most is making a difference
Our PR strategy for Tandur is focused on giving back. The latest PR campaign centers around Happy the Elephant － an elephant who lives in isolation at the Bronx Zoo. Tandur held a Happy Elephant Day event and donated 100% of their lemonade sales to help relocate Happy to a sanctuary where she could live happily 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 strong Tandur brand Asen helped build and develop has resulted in higher-than-projected revenue for their Knoxville restaurant, which continues to grow and thrive! Tandur plans to open a second restaurant in Charlotte in Spring 2018 and are currently negotiating a lease to open a third restaurant by the end of 2018.