The Halal Guys Redesigns Restaurants, Inspired by Pandemic Pivots

New York CityThe Halal Guys, the fast-casual restaurant famous for pioneering American halal food, is unveiling its newly designed restaurant concept. The new design pays tribute to the brand’s roots as a New York City street cart and incorporates new, innovative safety precautions for customers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Halal Guys selected Rubber and Road Creative, a San Francisco-based brand strategy and retail design firm, to work together on a design that could elevate the customer experience and brand identity for its growing international franchise while continuing to prioritize the health and safety of its customers and team members.

The strategic design concept uses hinged graphic metal panels, subway tiles that conjure images of city cabs and urban trains and manhole covers on the floor of the ordering queue as a nod to the experience of visiting the original New York City street cart. The location’s open design provides transparency and allows customers to see everything being safely prepared from the grill and skewers.

“It has been 6 years since we opened our first franchised restaurant, and while we are proud of our early stores, The Halal Guys’ brand has evolved and we felt it was important to acknowledge that,” says Margaret Carrera, chief development officer of The Halal Guys. “We hope the new design pays homage to the origins of The Halal Guys while continuing the evolution of the brand well into the 21st century.”

This new concept will also feature two seating options for individual and communal gatherings. Customers can choose between comfortable banquet park bench-style seating around New York City-themed photo tables or window barstools.

“We developed a great design language that allowed us to be flexible during COVID,” says Brent White, design director at Rubber and Road. “Chevron graphics on the floor were already part of the plan to streamline the flow of traffic for customers eating in, third-party deliveries, web and to-go orders. We also incorporated plexiglass panels and sketch art on protective glass to reinforce branding while maintaining protocols for safety.”

Enhancing the customer experience and ensuring safety have been key factors in The Halal Guys’ growth strategy over the past year. In September 2020, the brand launched a new user-friendly website and POS system as a platform to continuously inform and educate customers, as well as current and prospective franchisees with the latest company news, services and COVID-19 safety protocols. The store redesigns also follow the brand’s recent 30th anniversary celebration and the re-launch of its mobile application.

The Halal Guys continues to expand its U.S. and international presence through franchising development. With more than 90 locations currently in operation worldwide, the brand plans to open another 400 units over the next few years. For more information, visit

The Halal Guys grew from humble beginnings as a food cart on the streets of New York City to a global icon known as the largest American halal street food concept in the world. The food cart was first parked on the corner of 53rd and 6th Avenue in 1990 by three like-minded men from Egypt who came to America in search of a better life. In 2014, The Halal Guys began expanding its authentic halal cuisine from the food cart into restaurants and now operates more than 90 locations within the United States, Canada, Indonesia, South Korea and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

Rubber and Road Creative brings a multidisciplinary approach to engage consumers at every level of the brand experience — from strategy to design to rollout, everything the agency creates is designed to achieve strategic goals. The team (many from the former Tesser design agency) was the creative force behind some of the nation’s most recognizable brand redesign programs including Ben & Jerry’s, Noah’s Bagels, Denny’s, Chuck E. Cheese, Sheetz, Savers, Quaker Steak and Lube and Jersey Mike’s.




SOURCE: The Halal Guys

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