Since bursting onto the London food scene in 1992, wagamama has become one of the UK's most popular restaurant destinations famed for pioneering the casual dining experience and bringing fresh, fast-paced Japanese cuisine to western high streets. By adopting the challenger mentality that made the chain so iconic, we created a revolutionary new experience for the brand that positions it as the icon of high street takeaway.
Our challenge was to "reimagine the full wagamama takeout experience." We immersed ourselves in the existing offer and came up with an entire preparation, packaging, delivery and structural design system that not only solved functional problems, from leakage to dish order confusion, but connected the product to the brand idea of 'sharing positively from bowl to soul' in a way that hadn't been apparent before.
In the absence of staff, the design tells the wagamama story and reflects the care and consideration that goes into every bowl of food.
The challenge was to reimagine the full wagamama takeout experience by better connecting the customer experience at home to the excitement, taste and aesthetic value that can be found in the wagamama restaurants.
Moreover, we saw wagamama's vision as not only the opportunity to showcase the wagamama brand values within takeaway, but to challenge consumer perceptions of the entire high street takeaway experience with a new, exciting and contemporary expression that would surprise and delight.
We conducted a full audit of the brand's existing takeaway experience and worked in close collaboration with wagamama's food development chefs to optimise a customised, take-out food solution which gave consumers the same quality of experience eating out of the restaurant as they do eating in. Part of our structural packaging design challenge was also to consider the real world journey of each takeaway meal.
The new takeaway experience is sleek, holistic and brand-appropriate. The big and small bowls, standard in size and shape, are stackable for delivery and allow for practical and convenient storage in the restaurants. Packaging materials choice and form contribute to a system that performs functionally, improving heat retention and maximising freshness and presentation of every meal. The various inserts provide the functional benefit of maintaining the integrity of different elements of the dish, such as sauces, whist also providing a well-presented meal on opening the lid. Each bowl is delivered as a complete package, wrapped with a belly-band that lists the full wagamama menu – so that the enclosed order can be indicated – and provides a considered place for the chopsticks, held within the outer sleeve.
Simple and straight forward design that tackles both design and functionality.