Redesigned HelmiSimpukka Restaurants Offer the Best Breaks of the Roads

Starting Point

Serving more than 2.5 million customers every month, HelmiSimpukka is Finland’s fourth largest restaurant chain. The mission of the cross-country chain is to provide customers on the road with the most comfortable break they can, consisting of on-site food, delightful service and memorable spatial experience.

Rune & Berg designed a new spatial concept for HelmiSimpukka, which supports the ambitious goals set by the company: to raise HelmiSimpukka among the most popular brands in Finland and thus further increase sales and number of visitors.

We Delivered

The guideline for concept design was clear: creating the best possible break experience. Building blocks of the concept were mapped out in workshops with the customer. The design process was began with finding out the current state of the chain and where it wants to be in 15 years time. Based on the functional and visual guidelines created together, Rune & Berg designed a fresh and approachable spatial concept that reflects the chain’s promise of cheerful customer service and the best food on the road. Simultaneously, the distinguishing factors of the chain were refined: Helmisimpukka’s mentality self-made products was made visible and customer paths were clarified to better display the range of products and services. As part of the concept upgrade, an easily implementable signage concept was also designed for restaurants.

Helmisimpukka’s cosy and straightforward concept was spiced up with a bit of nostalgy and old time gas station spirit. With over 110 outlets around the country, localisation of the concept plays a major role too. HelmiSimpukka restaurants serve not only the traveling customers but also the residents of the area, for whom the service station is often an important service and meeting place. The concept, which is being implemented all over Finland, leaves room for site-specific flexibility in order to maintain a local feel at the stations. For example, each renovated restaurant will be designed with locally customised wall illustrations.

The hallway illustrations in Savonlinna include Olavinlinna Castle and a ringed seal enjoying Lake Saimaa.
In the submarine, children can see their parents through the periscope in addition to the windows. Walls of the play area were designed so low that adults can easily peek in from above.
The fixed furniture designed for the concept had very strict practical requirements: in addition to the user experience, durability and maintainability had to be of highest quality.

Final Outcome: Customer-friendly concept increased sales

The upgrade made HelmiSimpukka’s spatial concept much more user-oriented. Streamlining customer paths with spatial solutions and signage improved customer experience and, consequently, sales: in the clarified space, core messages and services stand out more. Thanks to the strong and comprehensive spatial brand, HelmiSimpukka restaurants can now be better distinguished from their competitors.

Photos: Aleksi Tikkala
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