Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ’n Biscuits (Charlotte, N.C.), the iconic hand-breaded, bone-in chicken, sweet tea and biscuits quick-service restaurant, has a story to tell. To weave the tale, the brand created an environmental narrative in a new location in Greenville, S.C., that pays homage to the company’s authentic Southern heritage, while also defining a new approach to quality fast food.
The restaurant chain partnered with San Francisco-based Tesser to execute the new strategy. Tré Musco, ceo and chief creative officer, Tesser, says, “We wanted the Bojangles’ story to differentiate them from the competition. Southern authenticity has a specific meaning. We didn’t want to be cliché, rather, we wanted to find the subtle balance between Southern comfort and the modern South.”
The initial customer touchpoint for the 3900-square-foot branded environment is a bold street presence. Musco explains: “The strategy was to be competitive but not [loud].” In order to accomplish this, extra height was added to the building’s façade, along with multiple windows that reveal the activity within, and also welcome natural light into the space. Upon entering the vestibule, customers are greeted with the memorable and recognizable tagline, “It’s Bo Time.” Musco adds, “We made the tagline part of the building experience.”
While the exterior of the building is clean and contemporary, its surface is clad in a traditional material: brick that’s sourced and manufactured locally. Once inside, customers are treated to high ceilings and wood flooring. Other interior finishes include chicken wire-infused glass and the same bricks used on the exterior.
The quality of the food is an integral part of the Bojangles’ story, and the menu sets a high standard for fast-food restaurants with from-scratch cooking. To communicate this important message, the kitchen was positioned front and forward with more equipment, colorful crocks and better showcasing of its homestyle comfort foods.
The highlight of the experience is the “biscuit theater.” To celebrate the restaurant’s renowned fresh, buttery, home-baked Southern biscuits, the design team strategically positioned a glass-enclosed “biscuit making stage” so hungry customers can watch a Bojangles’ “master biscuit maker” whip up a fresh batch of the golden-brown delights every 20 minutes.
In defining a fresh approach to fast-food dining, patrons are given personalized seating options that include banquet tables, rocking chairs or picnic-style tables. Additionally, Bojangles’ communicates strong branded messages of authenticity with storytelling enhancements, such as oversized dimensional cookie cutters intended to convey the notion of “fresh baked” and layers of rolling pins forming a custom wall treatment. Through its holistic design, the Bojangles’ environment communicates the essence of the modern South.
Bojangles', Charlotte, N.C.
Tesser, San Francisco: Tré Musco, ceo and chief creative officer; Brent White, design director -- environments; Scott Gagner, design director of brand communications; Mark Rushing, senior designer -- environments; Stacy Baas, director of strategy
Bojangles', Charlotte, N.C.: Clifton Rutledge, ceo; Kenneth Avery, coo & svp of operations; Tony Hopson, svp of franchise operations; Doug Poppen, vp, marketing & corporate communications; Randy Icard, vp of franchise development & construction; Randy Poindexter, svp marketing; Claude Clark, director of engineering and construction
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Photography: Dustin Peck Photography, Charlotte, N.C.