Shokoladnitsa is a well-known café brand across Russia rooted in Soviet history. It has long been the iconic location in terms of both food and service since it first appeared in Moscow in 1964. Yet, in the past few years, the chain has been losing market share due to newly emerging concepts in the two major areas of its business — coffee and dining.
The brand had to target a new generation of consumers while preserving its existing devotees. In addition, the scale of business sharply increased the riskiness of any possible solution. This made the project not a carefree talk over a cup of coffee.
Like Shokoladnitsa itself the initiative became a venue for a cross-disciplinary discussion—from bringing in an architectural firm to the pitch stage, to holding a series of passionate workshops, opened with a benchmarking session in Paris—together with the key stakeholders and a service design partner. The new logo, being the graphic alluding to the first letter of the Russian word ‘Шоколадница’ and symbolizing the warm atmosphere inside, was just the tip of the iceberg. What was more important, no less than 137 touchpoints were examined within the service model, bringing the brand much closer to what it craved to be — a city of pleasure, chocolate and desserts being the cornerstone of the menu.
The company is ready to invest $10 million in the brand transformation over the next two years. The first two renovated locations welcomed guests at the end of 2017. Before then, many of the solutions developed throughout the project, like grab&go option, have already become positive drivers for the average bill across the chain.