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CHASKA: Realizing a Street Food Obsession

Posted by Mike Lao on November 23, 2016
CHASKA: Realizing a Street Food Obsession

Chaska, a restaurant serving up the fresh flavours of Indian street food, opened it’s doors this past September. The concept realizes the long-standing vision of its founder Naveen Seth, who wanted to create a brand that captured his childhood memories of travelling between cities in India with his family, and stopping to eat at the roadside rest stops (Dhabas). At these stops, the food was always made fresh, and the sights and sounds were exhilarating, with vibrantly painted trucks and the sounds of truck horns creating an exciting backdrop to the delicious foods. This was the inspiration for Chaska, which literally means “obsession”.

From a menu perspective, the goal was to offer traditional Indian Street food offerings, but with a modern twist that used fresher, healthier ingredients and spices to create bold flavours, in place of the richer and heavier sauces that are commonly associated with Indian food. The goal was to appeal to both ethnic and mainstream customers, and given that the restaurant is located in a busy industrial area in Mississauga, there were plenty of potential customers of all demographics.

Working closely with Naveen and the Chaska team, BTI helped bring the vision and message to life beginning with the creation of a brand logo inspired by the typography of Bollywood movie posters and hand painted street signs. The tag line “Indian Street Food Obsession” gave a meaning to the Chaska name and passionately introduced customers to their offering.

Over the course of more than a year, BTI gave Chaska a voice and visual style that is one-of-a-kind, and brought it to life through the development of the complete brand identity, messaging, in-store murals, and brand website. The colourful and playful murals complement the rustic and modern restaurant interior, which is built around a unique live kitchen fronted by a life size painted truck facade! The entire Chaska experience successfully plays on the nostalgia of Indian Dhabas and the colourful sights and sounds of the flamboyantly painted trucks that stopped there.

This experience has led to a brand launch that has been overwhelmingly successful. Within the first week of opening, Chaska experienced line-ups that extended out the door, with sales and restaurant traffic more than double the projected numbers. The unique brand experience at Chaska has lead to repeat customers, a growing buzz around the concept in Mississauga and beyond, and plans for expansion to multiple locations. 

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