Leading designers launch new brand consultancy for operators

Ian Dunstall and Steve Abbott

Leading international design company Harrison has launched a new division to offer operators of bars, pubs and restaurants advice on developing and refreshing their brands.

It has hired Ian Dunstall, former director of marketing at pub and restaurant group Mitchells & Butlers, and Steve Abbott, a sales and marketing specialist with a background at Diageo and Allied Domecq.

Pictured above, they will work alongside Harrison’s existing design teams to offer clients strategic advice on new brand research and development and the refreshing of existing brands.

Harrison’s managing director and founder Philip Harrison said: “We are not paying lip service to the strategic side of brand design – this is a serious investment in talent.

“Ian and Steve have both worked in the leisure hospitality sector for over 25 years, covering the development and marketing of brands such as Toby Carvery, Miller & Carter and Pizza Hut. Their experience is both extensive and international, covering over 30 markets on six continents.

“This level of strategic and operational brand knowledge is not something that you encounter day to day, and we are extremely pleased – and very fortunate – to be able to combine our very relevant and focused skills and knowledge and pass them onto our clients.”

The appointments come on the back of the consultancy’s successful brand revitalisation programmes for high-profile high-street names such as Pizza Hut, Bella Italia and TGI Friday’s, including a revamp of TGI Friday’s in its native USA.

Harrison first made its name in the bar and restaurant sector over 20 years ago, masterminding the development of the All Bar One brand in the UK for Bass, now Mitchells & Butlers.

The consultancy now employs over 40 full-time designers, architects and project managers working out of offices in both the UK and the US, handling a diverse range of clients, including Nando’s, Yo! Sushi, TGI Friday’s, Searcys, Harrods and Pizza Hut.

The consultancy is also carving out a significant reputation in the Middle East with 15 design projects about to complete, with clients such as Food Fund International, Nando’s and Giraffe.

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