Case Study

Chino Latino

That wasn't chicken

One of the Twin Cities’ most successful restaurants, Chino Latino serves “Street Food From the Hot Zones” – dishes from cultures along the equatorial belt. Supervox Agency played an instrumental role in creating the restaurant in 2000, and in refreshing brand going forward, most recently on the occasion of its 15th anniversary in 2015.
Discover

Just as we did when creating the Chino Latino brand, we studied dining trends and the dining scene before embarking on the 2015 refresh. Much had changed in 15 years: the public had grown more sophisticated; competition had become keener; and guests not only demanded more value for their money, but more authenticity and adventure. Chino Latino remained a respected restaurant, but it had lost its novelty. To regain its position at the forefront of culinary trends, fresh research was called for. We helped lead it on a series of restaurant search trips, mostly recently to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. One thing we discovered: Chino Latino’s concept was more on-trend than ever before.

Eat The World Billboard
Plan

Chino Latino opened with ambitious goals for revenue – north of $7 million annually for a dinner-only concept. To do that kind of business, the restaurant needed notoriety, and we fueled it with a lush, textured brand and provocative attitude. The strategy worked, and the brand became almost iconic in the Twin Cities. Fifteen years later, our challenge was to maintain continuity with the past while blazing a trail forward. We did this by shifting emphasis away from naughtiness and provocation toward authenticity and adventure. The public had had its fill of snark. It was time for them to rediscover the romance of Chino Latino’s exotic cuisine and unique ambiance.

Chino Latino Menu
Create

Chino Latino already enjoyed a rich brand, one saturated with attitude and color. The work we did in 2015 built upon this foundation, yet deviated in key ways that reflected the changing dining scene. New menus, billboards, and other materials emphasized adventure, but toned down the level of provocation for an audience that was both inoculated to the Chino Latino attitude and – in this era of outrage – more prone to be offended by it. Consequently, the materials played up the richness of the dining experience and the restaurant’s renewed focus on being a culinary leader.

Activate

As a one-off brand, Chino Latino never had the resources to make big media buys, so we limited advertising to neighborhood outdoor – compensating for our lack of reach with impossible-to-ignore messaging (sorry, kids, about the “Aw, Phuket” billboard above the Jefferson Elementary School playground). Now 15 years later, Chino Latino still uses outdoor, but also communicates across the digital spectrum, providing its audience with steady evidence of all that’s new. Recognizing the public’s uncanny ability to sniff out stagnancy, we have partnered with Chino Latino to create a year-long roll-out of the new brand elements in sync with the introduction of various menu offerings.

Chino Latino Billboard

Testimonial

Supervox is more than our creative agency; they’re a vital member of our ‘Kitchen Cabinet,’ teaming with us on concept development through brand creation and ongoing marketing. Their intimate knowledge of our brands, the restaurant space in general, and how this translates into promotional strategies and sales support, enhances our position in a crowded, constantly changing consumer environment. We also team with Supervox on consulting projects for hospitality clients nationwide. They’re a great partner for Parasole because of their breadth of capabilities, and because their flexibility and reliability all but ensure client satisfaction.

Kip Clayton

VP - Marketing, Parasole Restaurant Holdings