Tender Greens, the Los Angeles-born, chef-led kitchen with locations throughout California—and a flagship East Coast location set to open in New York City this winter—unveiled a holistic rebranding Wednesday.
The bold brand overhaul reintroduces Tender Greens as a Chef’s Kitchen where true chefs cook and innovate new dishes twice a day, every day. The work includes a new logo, custom font, mobile app, website, uniforms, packaging, and menus, as well as an improved in-store/take-out experience optimized for speed and hospitality. The company is redesigning all of its restaurants, beginning today at Tender Greens Santa Monica, with renovations and brand transformation rolling out at all locations now through December 2017. In addition, the brand is making a major core menu upgrade by introducing four new menu items that are available starting today: a Fried Chicken Sandwich with spicy maple glaze, Grilled Salmon that’s GLOBAL G.A.P. certified and sustainably farmed, a Serrano Grilled Shrimp Bowl with California sprouted rice, and an Italian Chopped Salad featuring P. Balistreri Salumi.
The new branding is reflective of the dynamic and fast-growing chef-led company that pioneered the seasonal, healthful fine casual space and is an industry leader with 24 restaurants in California and plans to expand nationally in 2018. On the recommendation of restaurateur Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group invested in Tender Greens in 2015, the company was introduced to graphic designer Paula Scher, a partner at Pentagram who created Shake Shack’s logo and branding along with many other high-profile, award-winning projects. To develop a modern visual identity for Tender Greens, Scher looked to the core of the company’s culinary-driven philosophy and what truly sets it apart from the competitive landscape of healthier fast casual offerings – its much loved, talented chefs and craveable, seasonal cooking.
“This new branding captures the original vision for our restaurants and offers a window into our future,” says Tender Greens Co-Founder & CEO Erik Oberholtzer. “Paula designed an identity and mark that captures what makes Tender Greens so special—a team of chefs who create dishes daily, and the energy and passion that happens in their kitchens. The ‘g’ mark is exciting and dynamic. It offers us the freedom to visually articulate how we pursue our passions, express ourselves creatively, and innovate real-time in the world as chefs and entrepreneurs. Above all, the most gratifying moment has been feeling the excitement of our teams when we introduced the new branding. I’m inspired by the limitless potential of our new identity and driven by the opportunity to lead the fine-casual food movement into the next wave.”
"Tender Greens is a true chef's kitchen, and our goal in conveying this modern, upbeat fine casual experience was to make it a real tribute to the chef's cooking," says Paula Scher, Partner at Pentagram. We were inspired to create a logotype showing an overhead view of a pan in silhouette. We created custom typography and use the "g" to help communicate the daily specials, often through the use of photographs. The strong modern graphics, color treatment and signature "g" will soon make Tender Greens even more recognizable to all of its customers."
Founded in 2006 by Erik Oberholtzer, David Dressler and Matt Lyman in Culver City, Los Angeles, Tender Greens is a chef-led kitchen serving seasonal and responsibly-sourced food to improve the way people eat every day. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurants serve the kind of comfort food chefs love to cook for themselves and their families—in a modern, relaxed environment that is accessible daily. Each restaurant’s design and specials are unique to the neighborhood it serves, and each kitchen is helmed by a classically trained Executive Chef ensuring that everything is made with the utmost care and attention.
Scher developed a clean, modern and efficient visual identity for Tender Greens. The primary focus of the new tomato-red logo is the “g” mark in Tender Greens, formed by two stacked circles—the canvas of the chef; the top circle representing a pan ready to cook market driven food and the bottom, a plate ready to serve something delicious. The primary green color of the former logo was replaced with an opposite spectrum red, harnessing the vibrancy of a roasted red pepper or sun-ripened heirloom tomato.
Modern, fresh and clean, the refined store design incorporates natural light-colored woods plus a black, white and gray color palette with pops of red, teal and yellow. New store design will focus on the open kitchen and showcasing food and chefs as the star of the show. Some of the unifying design elements include modern, high contrast black and white tile by Cement Tile Shop, Cedar and Moss globe pendant lighting, and reclaimed woods by Terra Mai. Bespoke pieces and artwork also adorn each location reflecting the neighborhood vibe and its artisans.
Tender Greens’ revamped website features an improved online ordering platform by Olo, and spotlights each restaurant’s unique chef, and the Specials that change twice daily and vary by location. A new app rolling out in September will feature mobile ordering, payment and a rewards program developed by Punchh. Available for iPhone and Android, the app provides guests with a fast and easy way to pay with their phone, earn perks, and get exclusive invitations to chef’s dinners and events. In-store pickup and payment has also been optimized for speed and efficiency to enhance the guest experience.
To distinguish the chef at each Tender Greens location, Executive Chefs don custom-designed Hedley & Bennett denim aprons with red apron strings, “g” tag, and monogrammed names. Uniforms were updated with black and gray t-shirts with pops of color, and custom Manduka headbands.
New all-white recyclable to-go packaging made from 20 percent recycled plastic was custom designed in-house to mirror the unique shape of Tender Greens’ recognizable Steelite plates, and includes a “g” mark stamped at the bottom that snugly holds side containers of mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables in place. In addition, the restaurants are switching to recyclable paper bags as part of Tender Greens’ commitment to the environment and 360-degree sustainability.