Case Studies

Green Acres Cafe

Project Outline

This case study was assigned as a component of my Media Campaigns course in my Integrated Marketing Communications program. We were tasked with choosing a local small business or organization and conducting research on what they need from a multimedia standpoint to be successful.

Company History

Green Acres Cafe is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1946 by William Gratton. After expanding the restaurant to six locations in the city, Gratton decided to move to Birmingham, Alabama, and bring the business along.

The restaurant is most notable for its traditional chicken and soul food dishes, such as fried wings, pork chops, and fried green tomatoes. The restaurant’s presence in the historic downtown district during the Civil Rights Era and thereafter made it a staple in Birmingham history and culture. 

Client Research

In conducting a SWOT analysis of Green Acres Café, there were important points of strength and weakness. Their strengths lie in their identity as a community-based business. The taste and quality of food are still consistent with the same value it began within the 1950s. Much of that quality created their strength of identity and historical impact in the city of Birmingham. However, these same strengths play a role in their weaknesses. Aside from the outdated online presence, the restaurant relies on generational customers and outdated methods of business and advertisement. Often, food is not prepared in a timely fashion, and there is not much opportunity for dine-in at most locations. Furthermore, while the various locations are operated under the same umbrella, there is no consistent message and identity throughout.

Their competitors include other local chicken restaurants, such as the Wings Plus franchise and Wingstop. These companies, while not as historically significant or any further in social media presence, can deliver quality food, lower wait times, and multiple options to receive the food (dine-in, take-out, and delivery).

Screen capture of current website landing page and menu.

Brand Personality

The Green Acres Cafe brand can be described as service-oriented, traditional, consistent, appreciative, cultured, and family-oriented.

People that would represent this brand prioritize family and community over all. A person from this brand is always checking in with close ones, providing support when needed. This brand feels like a summer family cookout; full of familiar faces, hearty foods, recalling memories, dancing, and feeling at home. The brand reminds you of an uncle; traditional in values, gives good advice, known for giving tough love and has good intentions. 

Green Acres wants to share their values and commitment to family and history. Sticking to what has worked over the past six decades exhibits their passion for hard work and passing down customs and classic taste through generations to come. 

I wanted to redesign the branding toolkit to visual define the values of the restaurant. Starting with the logo, I decided upon a retro, minimalist design that told the story of Green Acres Cafe. The font pairing was definitive of the brand’s classic approach to service and quality, one being decorative and bold to highlight the brand and the other more modern for a clean feel. The color palette relied on a scope of the restaurant’s food and environment. A dark green was chosen to stay true to the name. The orange, brown and yellow colors both reflect the colors of the food and evoke warmth and confidence. 


To create a seamless, updated experience, the websites would be merged into one site that showcased the Green Acres Café history, listed all locations, displayed the menu, and included a link to order online. The site assets would encompass updated brand assets; a cohesive color palette, suitable fonts, a reworked logo, and a slideshow of high-quality images of the dishes.

As for the social media strategy, the restaurant’s Instagram page would utilize tools to increase engagement, such as quizzes in Instagram stories about the chain’s history or posts that helped the audience get to know the Green Acres Café family, such as the owners or the employees. The page would also make efforts to repost customers’ photos when they tag the page directly or mention the geotag of the restaurant. A strategy that helps the restaurant interact directly with consumers is a way to increase engagement, spread the word about the restaurant, and co-create content with the audience.


I created a mockup of a landing page for the Green Acres Café main website. The page incorporates the brand guide’s assets and simplifies navigation on the website. With a website that combines the restaurant’s story and services, customers will have a simplified and effective way of learning more about the brand and ordering food online or within the restaurant. The website will serve as a streamline for all outlets the company has. The company will see an increase in website clicks, online orders, and an overall increase in customers.

My plan also includes Instagram collateral, such as templates to improve social media interaction and content creation. In my research, I found that customers will often post pictures of themselves visiting the restaurant or photos of their dishes. Green Acres Café can take advantage of this interaction by showcasing the posts to create a dialogue with customers and foster conversations about their experiences. Creating a more communicative social media presence will benefit by driving traffic to the page and cultivating an online community that will inform the company on what products services perform best. Instagram also has built-in analytics to help define its target demographic and create content that will appeal to them most efficiently.

Mockup of website landing page and social media asset.