CDG brand manager Megan Lewis-Thomas said the site, which opened airside at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in March 2008, wasn’t appealing to a wide enough consumer base in its previous state.
“Huxleys is one of the busiest sites in the CDG estate but it lacked a real brand identity,” she said. “We had a male dominated consumer base and wanted to appeal to more women. The restaurant itself was outdated and wasn’t really welcoming to families and we wanted to change this.”
Lewis-Thomas commissioned design agency Eat with Your Eyes to give the 150-cover all-day dining venue a new look and approach to help boost its appeal.
“We wanted a clearly defined brand proposition to inform all customer touch points, leading to a consistent customer experience. We also wanted the brand to appeal to a wider consumer base, whilst retaining our key customer,” she said.
Eat with Your Eyes decided to retain Huxleys British essence, while giving it a fresh look, so based the rebrand around a combination of 'Victorian heritage with modern London attitude and wit'.
“Using historical and contemporary literature references, wordplay and illustration, Eat With Your Eyes refer to the brand essence as ‘Hipstorical’. They created the whole brand experience from logo identity and interior design concepts to food and drink menus, uniforms, promotional POS, kids menus and website," said Lewis-Thomas.
As well as a new-look, CDG, owner of the Las Iguanas, Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia brands, worked on improving Huxleys food offering, introducing more healthier options, an improved children's menu and gluten-free dishes. Making all these changes, Lewis-Thomas believes are the reason for spend-per-head rising by 16 per cent at the restaurant in the last quarter.
"I love the new brand look and feel, the site, menu suit and uniforms look great," she says.
"We were able to welcome different customers into the restaurants and worked hard on the menu to really improve food quality.
"Our aim now is to keep refreshing the food and drink offering twice a year with specific seasonal specials throughout the year."