Redefining the NYC to-go food experience: Mil Gustos Hospitality Group
Reimagining the restaurant experience
Crafting visual identities for delivery-only kitchens and refreshing the parent company branding to unite them all.
After weathering the many iterations of the COVID epidemic as a NYC restauranteur, George Constaninou, owner of Mil Gustos Hospitality Group and well-known restaurants Bogota Latin Bistro, Miti Miti Modern Mexican, Miti Miti Latin Street Food, and Medusa Greek Taverna, sought to redesign the kitchen concept to accommodate the new normal. Under Mil Gustos, George repurposed some of their restaurant spaces during the pandemic to maximize cooking space for their new delivery-only kitchens: Dirty Birdy Wings, Forks & Greens, and a donut & coffee shop. George tapped fellow Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member Liz Reitman and her team at REIT to cook up distinct visual identities for each space that would pack a punch and refresh the Mil Gustos branding to reflect the dynamic spirit of the company.
REIT pulled from our extensive experience designing bar and restaurant branding (our founder used to own a bar and burger joint on the Upper West Side) and referenced our long-standing experience with NYC-based clients to create a visual experience unlike any other. We started by creating mood boards for each delivery-only restaurant, then folded in Mil Gustos’s feedback, and finally distilled these ideas into a distinct visual identity so each concept could stand on its own.
We delivered three unique visual identities to help Mil Gustos and its entities stand out from the crowd: Dirty Birdy Wings, Fork N Greens, and Mil Gustos. From naming and logo design, to color palettes, typography, and supplementary paper products, REIT worked with Mil Gustos from concept to final design. Our solutions emphasized the individuality of each experience while our work with the parent company logo helped to bring them all together under one roof.
REIT’s design strategy was as adaptable as Mil Gustos’ pivots during the COVID pandemic; we immersed our design team into the Mil Gustos offerings and ethos, and explored several recipes for success. Across all designs, we infused the character and energetic spirit that defines Mil Gustos.
While we were originally only tasked with working with Mil Gustos’s entities, our energies aligned so much that REIT was brought on board to modernize the parent company branding. Our work with Mil Gustos continues as we build out their third delivery-only restaurant experience.
Turning heads and taking names
This visual identity turns up the heat. The textured font is paired with the funky, “handwritten” typeface, giving the logo a bold, gritty flair. The bright neon colors, sunglasses, and flames around the chicken’s tail imbue personality and character that make you do a double take.
The paper products blend the vibrancy of the logo with the playfulness of the brand. Iconography of a chicken wing and a leg percolate the paper to create a striking pattern that is instantly recognizable.
Breaking the salad status quo
Salad take-out spots in NYC are often defined by their minimalist branding. Fork N Greens wanted to flip the script and create a more energetic take on salad. By incorporating a less uniform font, a stacked logo, and an abstract piece of stenciled lettuce behind the brand name, we added dimension, color, and life to the brand. Including the fork icon in black supported a visual interplay between the forefront and background of the logo.
Bringing it all together
Our experience designing Dirty Birdy and Fork N Greens was as fun, free, and dynamic as the final designs – a testament to the character that runs through Mil Gustos. In redesigning the Mil Gustos logo, we wanted to accentuate the personable and playful spirit of the characters behind Mil Gustos. To do this, we combined different fonts of the same family, added diacritics (or “accents”) underneath the letters “U” and “O,” and paid homage to their original branding by incorporating a pop of pink into the logo. Because Mil Gustos is the parent company, we chose a serif typeface that effuses both sophistication and originality.