Twenty-five years after Checkers Drive-In Restaurants launched its well-recognized double drive-thru lanes and legendary black-and-white checkered design, the now 800-unit chain has opened a new restaurant prototype in Mobile, AL, designed by Chute Gerdeman.
The Columbus, OH-based award-winning strategic branding and design consultancy worked with Checkers to create a dynamic new design that enhances the overall customer experience. For loyal Checkers’ customers, though, the restaurant is still easily recognized as it retains iconic elements such as the stainless steel banding, eye-catching signage, neon, checkerboard accents, red umbrellas and a bold black, white and red color scheme.
All of those elements have been re-imagined by the Chute Gerdeman team to generate a more dramatic presence. Most notable are a new sweeping, wing-style roofline, soaring bright red columns and a bolder checkerboard pattern.
The new design also features a large family-friendly outdoor dining area under the right-side canopy. The order window is more prominently featured, keeping the walk-up guest in mind. And the ordering process at the window is much easier now, with the menu boards positioned inside the window to help reduce visual clutter on the exterior. A completely new sign system creates a bolder, more approachable tone of voice at all customer touchpoints.
“Throughout the new store design, the focus has been on improving the guest experience by providing a friendly, more efficient drive-thru experience,” said Chute Gerdeman’s Vice President of Environments, Lynn Rosenbaum.
“For the past several years, we have been working on taking Checkers to the next level by refining our processes and systems, hiring a fresh team with new ideas, and adding innovation to our franchise system,” said Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Chief Executive Officer Rick Silva. “All of what we have worked on internally will now shine through to our guests with this dynamic new design.”
Silva said the new prototype’s field test will be run corporately for at least six months to ensure its rollout to Checkers’ franchise system will be free of operational kinks.