Moxies opts for an elevated new look

No longer a "bar and grill," the dining chain's brand refresh focuses on quality to make inroads with elder millennials.

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Casual dining chain Moxies is about to get a bit less casual, with a brand relaunch to make it more refined to better appeal to its millennial target demo.

Moxies’ new identity includes excising its apostrophe, plus “bar and grill” from its name, and refreshing its logo and visuals, complete with a new website.

There’s also an accompanying campaign, “Delicious is in the Details,” highlighting the quality guest experience and the restaurant’s fresh ingredients. It will run in a nationally televised commercial spot, billboards and digital ads.

Cydney Shapiro, Moxies’ director of brand and marketing, says that rebrand is about feeling modern and fresh and elevated. It’s also about emphasizing things Moxies does well, that perhaps guests are not as aware of.

“We are looking to compete more with the Earls of the world,” Shapiro says, referring to the other premium casual dining chain also based out of its home base of British Columbia. “We are looking to expand and open up in some new locations, particularly out west,” she says, as it aims to attract older millennials, those aged 30 to 45, who eat out frequently and enjoy happy hour.

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Top of line ads emphasize the quality of fresh ingredients in order to drive awareness about who the restaurant is and where it is going.

Creative agency Full Punch led the new brand design. Thinkingbox led website design and development. MediaCom is handling media planning and buying for the new campaign, while Pomp & Circumstance is leading Canadian public relations.

Shapiro says during the RFP process, it found out that many of the shops pitching the Moxies business were going to outsource or contract out part of what the restaurant brand wanted done.

“What I liked about the Full Punch model was that they had a partners plus model, where they invited the other agencies who they saw working and supporting other areas of the business,” Shapiro says.

The move to rebrand the restaurant chain was in the works since Joanne Forrester, who had a twenty-year tenure with rival Boston Pizza, joined the Moxies team in May of 2019.

Partnerships with like-minded brands will catalyze Moxies’ new identity. In July, Moxies was named the official Canadian restaurant launch partner of Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila. The brand has also partnered with leading Canadian fashion house Aritzia to outfit Moxies’ restaurant teams with new, elevated uniforms.

Six new openings — including locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boston, and Scottsdale, Arizona — comprise the brand’s North American immediate growth strategy.

The brand has 55 locations and more than 7,000 employees across North America. And its parent, Northland Properties, has plans to re-open Kelowna and Downtown Vancouver Moxies locations with refreshed identities in 2022 and early 2023. The brand will also be opening a new Edmonton location in 2023 with the new look and feel.