GoGo Cluckers: A New Restaurant in Your Driveway
(Disclaimer: This was an April Fools’ joke. Proceed with caution.)
A very wise man (Account Director Jesse McGowan’s Dad) once said that “The secret to getting rich is to nail two things together that have never been nailed together before.”
After years of helping build great restaurant brands for wonderful clients, I’m happy to announce that our branding agency decided to launch our own restaurant.
I’ll give you a second to take it all in.
Good? Okay, Let me tell you how it all started.
The Navy Stonewall
The idea came to me about 20 years ago. It was one of those loose concepts that floats around your head for a while. It wasn’t until I was attending a very professional business networking event that everything clicked.
I remember it like it was yesterday. We had just started our branding and design firm, and I was wondering the same thing that most new business owners wonder: how do I get clients?
Most of the people there were well dressed, having seemingly brilliant conversations about their entrepreneurial endeavors and business investments. I had no idea what anyone was talking about.
I stood in a circle of people sharing their latest business ideas. After a bit, there was an awkward, quiet gap in the conversation. No one was talking.
So, maybe feeling a few of the complimentary beverages that the event was serving, I blurted out the sketchy business idea that had been forming in my brain.
“I have a business idea,” I muttered.
My words were met with a surprise as the circle of navy business suits pivoted to give me their attention.
“Yeah. Ah, um. It’s a fried chicken delivery place, but the twist is that they cook the chicken in your driveway in the bed of a grease-filled El-Camino.”
No one smiled. Or blinked. They just stared at me.
My nervousness quickly turned to bursts of uncontrollable laughter and I tried to speak the last sentence of the idea.
“…And it’s called…It’s called. Ha!…It’s called….“GoGo Cluckers!”
I was in tears, cracking up at myself, barely able to breathe. I looked up to meet the eyes of the navy suited circle—and not one person smiled. Not even a grin. Here I was, 24 years old, dying on stage, and not one of them would throw me a life vest or give me any hint of a smile.
The awkwardness of it all made me laugh even harder. I was dying.
To demonstrate, here are 2 video clips of my partner Jesse McGowan cracking up at his own jokes.
In silence, the circle of navy suits turned and went back to mingling with each other, deep into the night. My delivery was a complete failure–but an idea was born!
It would just take 20 years to hatch.
So 20 years later, with several successful brand identities for restaurants under our belt, we’ve decided to make GoGo Cluckers a reality.
There’s no industry that has had to pivot more during the pandemic than restaurants. We’ve witnessed some amazingly innovative ideas on how great dining experiences can happen just by shifting the way we think about restaurants.
This really inspired us to revisit the GoGo Cluckers concept. In a world of curbside food service, there is no curb closer to families than the one on their driveway.
Plus, GoGo Cluckers chicken is cooked completely outdoors in the open air of your own driveway (no carports—sorry). This alone makes it safer than leaving your house or getting traditional food delivery. And as long as you and your family stay back the recommended 10 feet from the grease pit in the El Camino, GoGo Cluckers is a safe choice.
An early prototype of the service.
Building the Brand
A lot of branding starts with brand positioning–expressing how you are unique from competitors. The GoGo Cluckers driveway cooking method is so unique that positioning wasn’t much of a challenge for our veteran branding team.
Giving the Brand a Voice
Honestly, we went into this thing with about 20 years of “chicken in your driveway” jokes and puns, and we thought that laying them all out would be easy. It was harder than you’d think.
Sometimes in branding, you have to make difficult choices. You’re choosing one door out of several to walk though, and really, we got a little
chicken nervous about which direction to go. We got a little stuck on the language, and then we remembered the goal of project: “to get to the other side.”
Inspired by these words, we quickly decided.
Designing the Visual Identity
To me, GoGo Cluckers is a brand in motion. It’s fast. It’s exciting. It’s chicken-y. It comes at you a little bit from left field, but still feels really familiar, like that cousin you haven’t seen in years.
When designing the identity for the brand, we wanted to capture all of that, but base the logo design on the brand’s most unique trait – the Chevrolet El Camino.
Now, legally, GoGo Cluckers has no affiliation with Chevy. But that wouldn’t stop us from using a modified tracing of a vintage “El Camino-like” car for the base of the logo.
The Logo for GoGo
For the logo-type, the name lent itself perfectly to the concept of motion. Using two Os in the word GoGo, we created a graphic device for the idea of wheels. This really was breakthrough for us, and immediately we used the idea for the wheels on our vehicle. Sometimes everything just clicks.
Finding the Chicken Head
As you probably well aware, there are good chicken heads, and then there are great chicken heads. (But no chicken heads will ever be on our menu.) Our team spent a lot of (non-billable) time trying to create the perfect one.
We failed. And we ended up using this one we bought on a stock illustration website. But how did we decide? We didn’t want it to have eyes.
Fast food mascots are weird to us. Are you supposed to want to love them, or eat them?
Either way, here are some of the chicken heads we explored.
Building the Website
Websites are where the rubber hits the road—and the grease spills everywhere.
We wanted the GoGo Cluckers website to be informative of the new driveway cooking service, but also show that real people are choosing us for their dinner-tainment.
Since it’s difficult to find an El Camino (much less a fleet of them) we once again had to rely on design to save us. We used a tool called Adobe Photoshop to assemble a hero image of the GoGo Cluckers Wagon to place front and center.
We adjusted the vehicle to be the brand’s colors, and completed the look with a door graphic and a much larger, rubber chicken head on the roof.
But here’s the catch. This one has eyes.
Our thinking is that you would never actually want to eat the GoGo Cluckers Wagon itself, and therefore, it should have a soul.
GoGo on the Go, Yo
Ideas like GoGo Cluckers are the type of things that spread like driveway wildfire. Another idea that has really caught on is mobile phones.
We knew that the GoGo Cluckers brand would be something people would want to carry with them in their pocket, but we weren’t exactly sure how to shrink an El Camino that small.
Instead, we made the GoGo Cluckers website design mobile responsive, so you can order from anywhere—even your driveway.
We shrunk the logo for merch, too, so that Cluckers (what GoGo fans will start calling themselves, we think) can wear their brand love loud and proud.
To quote a wise man, “A: You can never go too far. B: If I’m gonna get busted, it is not gonna be by a guy like that.”
Thank you for reading, and for your support on our new venture. Beyond branding, we don’t have much restaurant operations experience, but what is the worst that can happen? We’re expecting business to boom.
Also, I was actually “Pasta House Co. Cook of the Year. 1994.” So I kinda know what’s up.
GoGo Cluckers will be headed to your driveway on April 1. You can order through the GoGo Cluckers website.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, GoGo Cluckers is a product of our imaginations, and nothing else. Unfortunately, we won’t be bringing chicken to your driveway anytime soon. But check out our restaurant branding projects for some actual restaurants you can enjoy—and happy April Fools’ Day.