La Tasca Debrands UK Site
UK-based casual-dining chain La Tasca has debranded one of its Spanish-cuisine restaurants in a bid to appeal to a new cohort of consumers. The Brighton site will be replaced with an unbranded, ‘independent’ tapas bar concept called Bellota Bar Y Tapas.
Bellota Bar Y Tapas will have no obvious link to La Tasca and will feature a unique menu and design. The restaurant is expected to be a more mid-market alternative to the UK’s 40 La Tasca sites and will include the UK’s first standalone cava bar, developed in partnership with Spanish wine producer Grupo Codorniu.
"Bellota will operate totally independently and will have no branded signals whatsoever," La Tasca chief executive Simon Wilkinson told British hospitality magazine Restaurant. "There are certain demographics that demand innovation and independence alongside quality, and Bellota in Brighton will tick all those boxes."
If the venture is a success, there is potential to develop a further seven sites around the UK, with Edinburgh and London expected to host two of the venues.
While many chains offer individual styling to fit the venue and location (see Adam Fleischman: King of Umami and Making Global Brands Local), the trend for de-branding hospitality spaces is gaining ground, as consumers reject big brands in favour of unique, independent businesses.
However, companies must tread carefully. UK-based supermarket giant Tesco faced criticism from consumers in 2012 after it was revealed that it part-owned a seemingly independent London coffee shop called Harris + Hoole. See Quiet Branding for more on the subject.