HIQ GöTEBORG, Goteborg / LEGO / 2018
LEGO® House matured much of the rest of the LEGO House concept before we were brought on board. Now they wanted to add a novel dining experience for families. Something unique and high tech, that embodied the joy of building and reflected their brand values of Creativity, Fun and Learning Through Play, furthering their mission: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.
We were tasked to create a 45 minute family dining restaurant that only LEGO could have done, and that was hard if not impossible to copy. They wanted families to compose their own meals using bricks according to the Eat Well Plate. And with tired families as the core audience, balancing fun and simplicity was key.
Also, staff needed all the supporting tools to serve the experience – hot food on table, with a smile, a thousand times a day and up to 250 times per hour.
Families are attracted by dancing robots and a spiral conveyor with colorful food boxes. An entrance screen shows the menu and experience. They are shown to the table by staff who give their take on the story: a restaurant run by minifigs. Staff seat the guests and demonstrate how to order on the screen of a custom box on the table, called the Foodifyer.
The titular Mini Chef scans the guests’ LEGO-built orders. Guests then follow their builds being sent to the kitchen and their meals being cooked.
Backstage, kitchen staff receive slips with guest builds and fire orders on the conveyor, triggering an animated sequence that shows the boxes being sent off.
The boxes appear on the conveyor in sync with the animation, and are handed out to guests, who recognize their box by the lid color and the image of their build on the slip.
The House is a round-the-year destination for families primarily from northern Europe and with kids in the 6-10 age range, and fans from all over the world.
A family meal is an important moment of rest and recreation in an intense day of experiences. The Mini Chef is an informal mid-range option, between a quick snack in the Briccaccino Cafe and Le Gourmet fancy dining. The dancing robots are a key visual feature, attracting guest into the restaurant.
The guest journey was structured as a 45-60 minute session centered around the two magic moments of building your meal together and getting it from the robots. These moments were designed to be fun and easily understood on children's terms, as well as memorable and shareable.
Aside from word-of-mouth, the Grand Opening featured royal and celebrity guests, and a full day of VIP guests trying out the House, encouraged to share.
The Mini Chef family restaurant was developed over a two year period, following five years of development, building and strategy for the rest of the LEGO® House. These two years were filmed by a documentary crew that airs on Netflix since July 2018. One segment is dedicated to the Mini Chef.
After one year of development, a major user test was conducted with fans at the LEGO World fair in Copenhagen.
The full solution was fully staffed and operational one month prior to the Grand Opening, and tested on successively larger groups of employees.
The Grand Opening was preceded by a partner event, and followed by an exclusive fan event, both of which encouraged active social sharing.
The restaurant seats 150 inside, 100 outside, 800 guests per day, 250 per hour, seven days a week on high season.
A TripAdvisor sharing prompt was added for the first high season.
Grand Opening media outputs (not specific to Mini Chef, although it is widely mentioned):
- extensive global PR coverage in major titles as well as special interest titles: CNN, TIME, NYT, Guardian, Verge, Architectural Digest, Wired, Vice, etc
- 1116 articles
- 1131 mentions
- Coverage: 255.592.208
Social media results, Mini Chef
- 1,2M+ Fan video YouTube views
- 180 TripAdvisor reviews
Target audience outcomes, Mini Chef
- 3194 reviews
- YTD score 4,45 / 5
Business outcomes, Mini Chef
- 85.605 guests served in the first year of operations – September 28, 2017 to September 27, 2018
- consistent 4.1-4.7 daily guest rating throughout first high season
- Finalist, judge's "so cool", Gold Key Awards for excellence in hospitality design