Contributed by Ron Boucher, creative director at Orlando-based Push.
Mark Unger, one of the Push partners, is also co-owner and chief executive officer of Hubbly Bubbly, a falafel eatery in the Orlando neighborhood of College Park. We get about 40 percent of our business from restaurant clients, so we envision the restaurant, which opened in 2013, as a laboratory of sorts that will help us to better understand how clients operate.
“Just like you have a test kitchen, we wanted a test restaurant. We want to be experts in the space, and this gets us as close to the customer as we’ll ever get.”
— MARK UNGER, PUSH
Opening a restaurant that brings Middle Eastern food to the masses was a dream of Mark’s father-in-law, George, originally from Nazareth, who opened Hubbly Bubbly with Mark.
The restaurant is named after the slang for hookah (water pipes used to smoke flavoured tobacco), and the cartoon character (illustrated by Justin Harder) is modelled after co-owner and main falafel man George.
Located in the old Blackwater Bar-B-Q on Edgewater Drive, Hubbly Bubbly is a fast-casual restaurant, where customers watch workers in an assembly-line style behind the counter.
Diners choose from several types of protein, which can come in a pocket sandwich, salad bowl or hummus bowl. It’s similar in concept to Italio, a small Italian chain that we helped with its branding.
Hubbly Bubbly customers can place orders from digital menu screens, or can order ahead online.
Technologies that we have been watching in the restaurant include Square, a system that accepts credit cards on iPads, iPhones and Android devices; ChowNow, an electronic ordering system; and a pay-with-your-phone program called LevelUp.
Mark has also been testing Facebook marketing that finds potential customers based on people who have “liked” nearby businesses.
Running the restaurant has made our team think differently about suggestions we make to clients, thinking more about cost efficiency instead of jumping on the coolest, most creative new thing.
Brandon Manly, chief operating officer of our client Sonny’s BBQ, said that although he hasn’t yet adopted any ideas from Hubbly Bubbly, he likes working with a marketing firm that can speak his language.
“It really has helped them have a better understanding of what we do every day.”
— BRANDON MANLY, SONNY’S BBQ