Industry News | February 25, 2009

Mama Fu's Cuts Build-Out Costs

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Mama Fu's Asian House developed a new, contemporary restaurant prototype that streamlines the construction process, enables franchisees to better serve customers, and radically reduces build-out costs.

The new Mama Fu's prototype includes more Asian-inspired colors, architectural elements, and décor. From tabletops and flooring to cabinetry, drapery, and wall coverings, the restyled Mama Fu's provides a comfortable, beautiful, and more functional restaurant environment. Cutting the time and cost of restaurant build-out were the company's key goals in developing the new prototype. By making wise decisions about materials and opting for a modular design, Mama Fu's franchisees will save roughly 20 percent in start-up costs, a dramatic reduction in build-out expenses.

To ensure success in their efforts, Mama Fu's engaged the expertise of Back Lot Productions, an Atlanta-based brand development and design firm. Back Lot utilizes a self-created philosophy called Markitecture, which is marketing a brand through the built environment to evoke the desired emotional response from consumers.

"Building on our extensive experience in the retail and hospitality industries, we were able to further develop the Mama Fu's brand and translate it through to all customer touch points," says Tracey Barker, co-Founder of Back Lot Productions.

"What Back Lot created here is who we are as a brand," says Randy Murphy, President and CEO of Mama Fu's Franchise Group. "Based on consumer research and feedback, it was clear that our vision for the Mama Fu's brand was not conveyed within the four walls of our restaurants. Our challenge to the team at Back Lot was to close that gap and reduce cost. This new prototype accomplishes both of those goals. We now have an atmosphere that clearly communicates the Mama Fu's story, all while providing our franchisees with a lower cost of ownership moving forward. The final product looks fantastic."

The first Mama Fu's location to don the new look is set to open in April at Wolf Ranch in Georgetown, Texas, with another new location opening soon after in New Braunfels, Texas.

Among the fastest growing restaurant segments, Mama Fu's Asian House is a unique "flex casual" service model with a fast-casual approach to lunch and relaxed, tableside dinner service.