Roadster Who? | Hybrid Talks

Roadster Who?

Design Featured Article

What’s next, Roadster? Karaoke or Latino Night?

Flashback to 1998, Roadster Diner pops up in Lebanon and takes a hold of our hearts right away. An American-style, 50s era diner theme with all the colors and motifs, Roadster Diner grew to be a part of every outing with its unique and much accepted concept. Flash-forward to the present, and Roadster has given up their entire identity. Goodbye, American-diner feel! “There goes my heart,” and it’s not coming back to Roadster, at least.

Lebanese bloggers, critics, and creatives have been weighing in on Roadster Diner’s re-branding, and it hasn’t been a pretty sight. We’re here to give our two cents.

Roadster Who? | Hybrid Talks

Old Roadster Diner

After 18 years, they sought out a new look to revamp their brand, and that is understandable, but let’s be honest, their ‘new’ design isn’t anything new. The trendy and over-used urban theme has been exhausted over the past couple of years, especially in Lebanon. The original Roadster Diner identity is no longer recognizable in any aspect of the new branding. The American 50s theme is non-existent, and the casual, fun vibe of a diner has changed into more of a sit-down restaurant kind of atmosphere.

Roadster Diner completely abandoned their original and unique DNA and went for something that made them blend in with every other restaurant on the block. Why on earth would they want to do that?

Roadster Who? | Hybrid Talks

New Roadster Diner

Many Lebanese brands have re-branded, but they kept us on board and won us over, again and again, with their new facades, because even if they changed entirely, they were still unique in the market. They created their own entirely exclusive identity. This is what Roadster Diner failed to do.

What’s worrisome here is the strategy behind it all. What pushed Roadster Diner to completely dump their identity? What made them choose a total re-branding over an uplift or revamp? With its already very distinctive look, the brand could have been given an aggressive face lift, while still sticking to their main theme of being a diner. Updating the color palette would have been enough for a fresh and exciting feel, without changing the essence of the brand, which everyone has grown to know and love. Now, we’re wondering if Roadster should still even be called a “diner”.

With an unrecognizable face, will Roadster be able to keeps its loyal customers on board? Or is the aim to gain new clientele, “out with the old and in with the new”-style?

We can easily and humbly say, Roadster Diner’s rebranding was a hit and miss. The intentions are understandable after 18 years, but the result is disappointing, to say the least. A very ordinary result is heavily contradictory with who Roadster Diner is known to the public to be, as an entity. To us, the whole ordeal is a total turn off.

We’re forecasting some more changes in the future, let’s just hope it doesn’t get worse.

Learn about the importance of brand consistency and how to achieve it.

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