Oporto shakes up store design to target Millennials

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2018 View comments

Oporto has unveiled a fresh take on its Portuguese heritage, revealing a new store design to appeal to Millennial customers.

The brand new look can be seen at the latest store to open in New South Wales, at Green Hills Shopping Centre, Maitland.

Craig Tozer, Oporto CEO, told Inside Franchise Business, “We’re constantly innovating around experience and this is part of that program. It’s our first restaurant in a fast casual precinct.

“We wanted to design a restaurant that would be innovative and meet the needs of millennial customers, and be disruptive at the same time.

“The branding we’ve put into the business really stands out, we redesigned our brand archicture. Our customers want to have an experience, so it’s about welcoming them in and showcasing the history of the brand but in a modern, lively and trendy way.”

The Green Hills location also heralds a refocusing of store operations and customer service.

“It’s a particularly high quality, high end development in fast casual,” says Tozer.

“The key elements of the customer journey will stay the same. We don’t expect to put this restaurant everywhere but will use certain flagship stores for a more defined look.

“We serve really high quality food and we want to showcase that food and what made Oporto famous – high quality food, an open kitchen because we’ve got nothing to hide, and we want to welcome you into the restaurant.”

This has led to Oporto making a big call: store team members will be less focused on order taking and more on welcoming customers.

“It’s a transformational change that is very, very difficult, but less difficult when you’ve started as a family business. It’s like welcoming someone into your home, rather than sitting behind PoS. Layouts will change, people will have a meet and greet role.”

Craveable Brands is investing $2m over a two year period to ensure technology can assist with this new focus.

Customer service is paramount to the brand, says Tozer who is proud of awards in the last year particularly for its Asia Pacific business which won global Loyalty magazine’s Best Omnichannel Loyalty Initiative of the Year, and a Salesforce Partner Innovation award for its personalisation and programmatic marketing in partnership with Kalido.

“It’s something I’m very passionate about, it’s as important as the palette and the store build,” he says.

“This restaurant is the first to redefine this, to enable people to see what the brand was like when it started.”

Tozer slates another four or five outlets in this design mould over the next 12 months among its 25 planned store openings.

The new look isn’t taking over from the standard fitout however. The more adaptible black-based layout can easily translate into sites across airports, food courts and as drive-throughs, Tozer says.

“Our restaurants will all be designed for specific locations, and demographics but broadly there are elements that will be consistent across the network, we are seeing democratisation of the development process. building something that is fit for each location.”

Next week Oporto unveils the next stage in its evolution when a Queensland drive-through is open for business.