Assessing the Caff矕no Brand

Each week in association with retail and marketing consultancy Pragma, MarketingWeek.co.uk looks at a high-profile UK brand, assessing its performance against a range of criteria and offering suggestions to improve its overall score. Marks for each section are given out of five stars, while the overall rating is given at the end of the review.

Brand **

Caffé Uno is a very safe choice of venue for mainstream Italian food.  Generally targeted at middle-aged suburban professionals with young families, there is a wide variety of dishes and 6 different menus meaning there is something for everyone. This proves to be something of a double-edged sword however, since it also means it falls short of its competitors. The experience is very middle of the road and makes it a dull choice for dining. 

Experience **

The exterior is deceptively enticing.  Inside, the atmosphere is fairly inconsistent, ranging from relaxing to mild chaos. The restaurant’s fixtures and fittings feel and look very dated. Easy listening compilation tapes of 70s and 80s music combined with low ceilings and quasi Italian terracota features may have been deemed authentic ten years ago, but are now unconvincing.   The service is friendly but slow.

Product ***

The food is good, well presented and there is a good choice of pastas, pizzas, salads; children are particularly well catered for.  The presentation and quality of food can be inconsistent even within the same restaurant.  It is not a very innovative menu and there is no obvious pizza take out (unlike main rivals). Like the brand and environment, a rather tired offer.

Value Positioning ***

Overall is it reasonable value for money.  The children’s menu at £4.95 is good value and the rest of the menu is in line with similar restaurants. 

Recommendations

  1. Clarify the proposition to the customer.
  2. Quality food and presentation standards need to be introduced and policed.
  3. Introduce some innovation to the menu.
  4. Consider updating the stores – they are starting to look a little frayed (heighten those ceilings!).
  5. A more contemporary selection of music.

CAFFÉ UNO **

www.pragmauk.com

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