Creating innovative QSR prototypes that hold defensible positions in a crowded market is no easy task, but we’re always up for a challenge. White Castle, an American fast-food hamburger chain, asked us to design three brand-in-brand casual dining concepts to expand the chain’s market reach.

In order to create three unique restaurant prototypes, we immersed ourselves in every aspect of the brand experience, ranging from food science and brand identity to interior fixtures and exterior design. We brought the three restaurant design concepts to life by marrying heritage-inspired signature elements with bold new palettes. Each new offer had to combine effortlessly with White Castle’s historic brand, appealing to its cult-like followers and a new customer type alike.

Creating new brand-in-brand concepts within existing White Castle locations presented several unique challenges. To solve these design obstacles, our team studied White Castle’s heritage design elements and looked for imaginative ways to capitalize on its iconic brand image. We also paid close attention to the queuing process, which ensured design elements defined each path to order. Signature brand components married modern touches, and custom fixtures highlighted White Castle’s iconic brand.

White Castle tested Deckers, a triple-decker grilled sandwich concept located in Nashville; Laughing Noodle, a soup, salad and noodle dish concept in Springfield, Ohio; and Blaze Modern BBQ, a barbecue concept in Lafayette, Indiana. The prototypes helped fuel White Castle’s future design.