Gló Restaurants: Create Your Inner Gló
Food artist and celebrity chef Sólveig Eírksdóttir (better known as Solla) bought Gló Restaurant in 2010. Turning it into one of the most popular restaurant chains in Iceland, offering a wide selection of vegetarian, vegan and raw food options. With the support of retail entrepreneur Birgir Biltvedt (of Joe and the Juice fame), the brand is now embarking on its next stage of growth beyond Iceland.
We’ve been working with Gló to devise a clear brand proposition and scaleable environments to support its aspirations for a franchise operational model. Following a thorough review of the US, UK, and European markets in terms of quick-service/casual dining offers and food trends such as healthy eating, we defined Gló’s vision: to make it easy for busy people to discover and try new, exciting healthy meals that enrich the mind, body and spirit. Gló is the Nordic pioneer that challenges the ‘healthy eating’ category, popularising fresh, health, affordable on-the-go and dining in options that are adventurous, rich in attitude, and full of flavour.
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All of this is encapsulated in the brand idea ‘Create your inner Gló’. From menus to marketing communications and through to the environments/customer experience – everything that the brand says and does should deliver on this.
Three scaleable retail formats are built from robust, modular components that flex to suit the local demand, size and location restrictions:
- Gló Market: Flagship units from 200-250sqm, the store offers the full food product range with an additional A La Carte menu, a retail offer, and a full seating arrangement.
- Gló Restaurants: Suiting locations of 120-200sqm, the store offers quick ‘grab & go’ products, as well as a full sit down meal experience with a focus on ‘create your own’ salads.
- Gló to Go: Targeting locations from 20sqm with high footfall like airports and train stations. Main focus on convenience, accessibility and speed.
No matter the size, spaces feel timeless and uniquely Nordic, blending the sensation of indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly, and using glass and natural light so that there is quite literally a glowing aspect to the environments. Like the high quality of Gló’s food ingredients, so too is that of the natural materials and finishes, which are tactile and authentic in feel. Engaging, sensory, and immersive, the experience feels social and enriching – a place you want to spend time in.
Personalisation and customisation was a major consideration – customers can specify their own combinations of food. And whilst a lot of quick-service or casual dining retailers might offer fresh or healthy food, often the connectivity between the final prepared meal and the raw ingredients that go into that meal is lost. Not so with Gló, where customers can actually buy ingredients that are centrally displayed, like an in-store mini food market.
The launch of its first outlet outside Iceland – in department store Magasin du Nord’s famous Copenhagen flagship – provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the brand’s new positioning and retail format. Gló is the core anchor for Magasin du Nord’s completely redeveloped basement food hall, which has direct access to and from a Metro station. The 240sqm 105-seat restaurant and food-to-go area is open from morning to night. It takes up almost one-quarter of the entire food hall, as the department store moves away from a traditional supermarket model and towards a casual dining and leisure food model.
We’re also currently working on a standalone Gló-branded fresh juice bar and fresh produce area. Initially launching as part of Magasin du Nord’s new food hall, it will also supply bottled product and produce to its main restaurant and kitchen. It’s all about fresh ideas and solutions that are closer to the point of consumption rather than commodity produce – and a modular solution means it can be considered for the larger Gló Market formats in the future.