A high-end dive? Uneeda Burger

I’m constantly amazed at how successful restaurants use brand experience to tell a story with everything they have: decor, menu, design, staff. Many of them really get it.  I mean, you can get a hamburger nearly anywhere these days, but Uneeda Burger in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood creates a welcome experience of a “premium roadside burger shack” that I’ve been craving.

The brainchild of Chef Scott Staples, whose other local favorites include a high-end bistro (Restaurant Zoe) and a fine gastropub (Quinn’s), Uneeda is playful, authentic and super fresh.  How does one open up yet another burger joint amidst options ranging from McDonald’s to the classic 50’s-styled greasy drive-in, Dick’s to the experimental and futuristic build your own burger vibe Lunchbox Laboratory.

Some ways Uneeda differentiates:

  • Decor: With an old gasoline station-type sign out front, and an outside patio framed by wooden beams, you might not give this place a second glance driving by. It’s got a very “last rest stop for 100 miles” feel to it. When you step in, wooden tables, floor and counters greet you in a very Western-evocative setting. You can alsmost hear the cowboy boots kicking up dist as they clomp, clomp, clomp over to the counter to order.
  • Design: The Uneeda logo mimics lettering from an old fashioned Western hot-iron brand, combining think block letters and scrip. It instantly conveys casual, farm-fresh and even a bit of rebellion, in my opinion. They also use detailed illustrations like you’d find in a old school book or almanac.
  • Menu: But anything but a dive bar menu awaits on the chalk board above the cashier. Burgers are made with all-natural beef or you can sub-out 100% Wagyu (Kobe) grass-fed beef for additional coin. They tout locally sourced beef, chicken and veggie options as well. Premium toppings run the gamut from Gruyere to portobello mushrooms to manchego cheese to carmelized onions to roasted chili relish to watercress. You an also order salads, sandwiches and soups. And hand-dipped shakes and “artisinal sodas” stand alongside standard beverage staples. They also offer craft beers and wine.
  • Staff: You order at the counter and your food is then brought out to you. But the behind-the-counter staff is as friendly as the table servers you’d find at Staples’ sit-down dining establishments. They know all about the food, can make recommendations – and our gal even let us know that another Uneeda Burger would be opening up in Seattle soon.  They cross-sell and interact with customers just as a table server would, which differentiates them from your basic fast-food joint.

Just goes to show that you don’t necessarily have to be selling something no one’s ever sold before. You just have to put your unique brand spin on it and communicate that differentiation through  every customer touchpoint. People will notice.

What customer touchpoints do you focus on to stand out from your competition? What is your unique edge in a crowded market? Post a comments and get some link-love back to your site!

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