Posts filed under ‘Branding’
Am very happy and excited that Standing Sushi Bar is listed as one of Singapore’s Top 10 Sushi places on HungryGoWhere!
I think this is cool on a variety of fronts.
The main reason is that it’s a validation of the sushi we serve. The rice, the fish, the quality of ingredients, and of course the skills of the chefs! Led by Roy, our head chef, they’re helping me meet my goal of bringing high-quality sushi at affordable prices. Kudos and a bonus is coming the chefs’ way!
SSB is a small sushi shop in Raffles Place – another Japanese restaurant in a sea of sushi & sashimi. Japanese food is incredibly popular in Singapore and one can find a Japanese menu on almost every block. To go from being an unknown restaurant six months ago to being listed alongside Singapore’s mainstay sushi bars is, well, an awesome feeling.
I’ve had a user account with Hungrygowhere since their inception. Chipped in reviews on restaurants around my neighborhood and places that drove me to give praise or warning to others. The internet is rife with food bloggers, food articles, reviews, etc. and it’s great to have a portal that has enough critical mass to gauge community sentiment toward a restaurant. It’s interesting to now have the perspective of a restaurant owner being reviewed as well as a diner who contributes reviews. Certainly an open community review system like HGW has its drawbacks (some of which I have ideas on how can be ameliorated – I should send in feedback!) but overall having an organized space for a collection of mass opinions is a positive!
In Summary: YAY! Standing Sushi Bar is one of Singapore’s Top 10 sushi bars!
Vote for your favorite Singapore sushi bar at Hungrygowhere!
Frequently customers come by the restaurant during lunch and even though the restaurant is full of people standing (no chairs until after 2:30 pm), they’ll ask whether they can get a seat. Our standard response is that we place the chairs out after 2:30 pm as during the Raffles Place lunch rush, in order to accommodate as many people as we can, we don’t have chairs. (Let’s ignore the fact that the name of the restaurant is Standing Sushi Bar). Some of these customers will try standing and eating, other folks will look aghast that we have no chairs and then storm out in a huff… to go stand and wait in line at another restaurant so they can get a seat.
Personally I find standing and eating to be comfortable. I think that’s one of the reasons why I was enamored with the standing sushi bars that I ate at in Japan. Couple that with handmade sushi, a variety of fresh fish, and the casual ambience of a neighborhood sushi bar and I think one gets a reflection of what SSB is here in Singapore as well. I also feel that in Raffles Place, the office crowd are spending their morning and afternoon… basically their whole day… sitting at a desk. Don’t folks get restless? Don’t they want to stretch?
Yesterday I read an article about how too much sitting is bad.
The health benefits of pulse-quickening physical activity are beyond dispute – it helps ward off cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, among other problems.
But recent scientific findings also suggest that prolonged bouts of immobility while resting on one’s rear end may be independently linked to these same conditions.
Just for kicks I decided to enlarge the article and place it at the front of the restaurant. Perhaps it will help the folks who are averse to standing and eating to think twice about their health!
I wish I was talking about the interior of the restaurant. Instead, I’m referring to the construction hoarding that is covering the front of the shop while renovation goes on inside.
As a temporary effort, I printed out posters of the logo, the website, and the twitter address for Standing Sushi Bar. There’s still so much white space though!
Since the renovation will be taking a few weeks, it would be good to increase the profile of the restaurant and get key messages out to potential customers. There is a lot of foot traffic in that hallway, and most importantly, there are many sushi-eaters. Why are there sushi-eaters? Because Sakae Sushi, one of the few Raffles Place sushi joints, is diagonally across the hall from me.
Every day a line forms at Sakae… and while I don’t intend to compete directly with them, they are the primary competitor in the area.
While people wait to enter Sakae, I can use the construction hoarding to make them aware of Standing Sushi Bar and what my restaurant will offer.
To keep the wall ‘fresh’ I’m changing the posters every couple of days. Sushi haikus, trivia, quotes, and other writings to entertain the passer-bys.
Haha, and easy blog content – I’ll post the sushi haikus!
Today I met with a supplier from CTL Solutions PTE Ltd.
Their tagline: “For all your alternative packaging needs.”
It was an informative meeting. I looked through a few samples, discussed other items they could create, and talked about the importance of finding proper take-away / carry-out packaging.
I learned a lot about plastic and paper packaging today. Granted my knowledge on the subject was near zero prior to this meeting, but who would have expected such an interesting coffee session?
Most of the take-away sushi containers I’ve seen are flimsy and crumple when you squeeze too hard. I worry that unless the container is stapled the food will spill while I carry it home. That experience affects my impression of the whole restaurant.
That led me to think about how Standing Sushi Bar will approach packaging:
- Thick, solid material – no flimsiness! If people want to hand-carry it, stuff it in a bag, or knock it around I want to ensure that the contents don’t spill out.
- Vehicle for awareness – the logo should be on the box and on the bag. Perhaps one day people will prize my logoed bags like they do a purse that says Gucci on it.
- Clear top, colored bottom – I’ve decided against paper containers because you can’t see the contents. With a clear plastic top you can see the type of sushi inside. It’s important that people can look at the pre-packaged take-away sushi and feel confident that it is high-quality and value-for-money. With a dark green or black bottom, that will contrast nicely with the color of the fish and rice regardless what surface the container is put on.
I hadn’t thought about the bags we would need to provide to take-away customers until today’s discussion with the CTL rep. I hope we have many repeat customers; I am toying with providing linen bags for frequent diners and providing a discount on the food when they reuse the bag on subsequent visits. While producing the bags might be costly, they are eco-friendly, the customer can re-use them (not just for sushi), they look nice, and the bags would be seen enough to increase brand awareness.
Never think about packaging before? Try it now and see if we’ve missed anything major on how it relates to the restaurant!
Oh, golden rule – the packaging shouldn’t cost more than the food. (The representative kept emphasizing this after I went off on a tangent thinking of what kind of custom-design packaging I could create).
Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Ben: Yes I will.
Mr. McGuire: Shh! Enough said. That’s a deal.
The designer has gotten back to me with an assortment of draft logos.
Do any of these look better than the original one? Which do you prefer? Do you have a totally different idea?