A new menu design system for a chain of BBQ restaurants leads to greater sales and a change in brand perception.



Brother Jimmy’s BBQ


Positioning & Messaging
Creative Direction
Menu Design and Strategy


2015 - 2017


The Challenge


The Approach

The team behind Brother Jimmy’s BBQ came to us with a unique challenge. Sales were great. Customers loved their fun-filled, energetic environments and always appreciated the quality of the food and service they received, often commenting that it well exceeded their expectations. The problem was that despite their internal commitment to serving some of the best BBQ possible, they were primarily seen as a place to hang with friends and get drinks — it was rarely seen as a food destination.

Our research led us to the conclusion that the fault laid primarily in the menu they had been using for years. We were able to identify many problems and areas for improvement:
— it was jam packed to the point of being illegible
— with little visual hierarchy it was hard for guests to know where to look first
— the half food / half drinks did not put enough emphasis on the food
— the single plastic card, while durable, felt cold and corporate
— the menu didn’t speak to authentic, hand-made BBQ


Working with the Brother Jimmy’s team we realized that perennial food items were consistent across locations – the drink selection was more customized. This allowed us to create a system where the food items were presented in an outer shell with the drink insert nested inside. Hand-drawn category heads helped guide guests’ decision making, an increase in breathing room improved legibility, and the overall tone was in-line with a southern BBQ joint. Where Brother Jimmy’s had been seen a raucous bar that served some some “tasty, satisfying grub” they could finally, proudly say that they were a legit BBQ restaurant that, by the way, had an awesome bar program. A simple shift in brand perception with high returns for this restaurant chain.

18% increase

in food sales

11% increase

in check averages