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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Zippy’s

Restaurant Insider

July 14, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Saimin (Restaurant $6.55, takeout $4.55) Food prices may vary by location

ANNE LEE speaks with culinary director for Zippy’s Restaurants CHEF TREVOR LUKE and the communications and social media manager DANIEL IKAIKA ITO

Zippy’s has been satisfying appetites for 53 years since it started on Oct. 17, 1966.

Established by brothers Francis and Charlie Higa, the name Zippy’s comes from the term ZIP Code, also introduced in 1966. The first restaurant was Zippy’s McCully, where the company’s administration building is located.

Since its beginnings, Zippy’s has bloomed through the years into a multifaceted food business continually featuring delicious new special items and more.

“Every few months, we launch a specialty item, such as our do-nuts,” shares Chef Trevor Luke, culinary director for Zippy’s Restaurants.

“We are going to unveil the Korean Chicken Bun, and this is Kings Hawaiian sweet roll grilled with butter, with our famous Korean Fried Chicken, mac salad, furikake and kim chee. It’s a delicious morsel that you can hold in one hand. This will make its debut at the Luau on the Lawn event,” Luke adds.

Anne Lee enjoys the delicious food of Zippy’s Restaurants with Chef Trevor Luke and Daniel Ikaika Ito.

Luke commenced his career at Zippy’s nine years ago this month. He started as a line cook at Zippy’s Kahala while attending the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Program with a double major in culinary and pastry chef. Zippy’s Restaurants’ created the culinary director role in December specifically for Luke.

Luke and Daniel Ikaika Ito, the communications and social media manager for Zippy’s Restaurants share more about what’s new with the company:

AL: Can you please explain the new look and concept of Zippy’s renovations?

TL AND DI: The rebrand was to reinvigorate Zippys, bring new energy into the brand. The logo that precedes this one was a mashup of the red letter Z, and circles back to the original Zippy’s logo, and incorporating the ‘80s and ‘90s version of Zippy’s.

Chili Bowl (Restaurant $7.70, takeout $6.55)

We refer to this new logo with the combined elements, the “grownup Zippy’s logo.”

Our new logo is orange, one of the reasons we wanted to really brand the color orange, is to own a color in the fast food space. Orange is a brand color in Zippy’s history.

This is a way to show homage to the brand before and now modernize with this new typeface. The Makiki location is the first location for the new redesign with logo branding and full remodel of the restaurant.

AL: What are some of the top sellers at the Makiki location and overall?

TL AND DI: The best selling items at the Makiki location are the Zip Pac, Korean Chicken and Chili. Across all the restaurants, the Korean Chicken is the best seller. We also have a new online ordering system, this is part of the rebrand. We are meeting the needs of the consumer. Go online to zippys.com and click on order online.

Zip Pac (Restaurant $12.75, takeout $10.95)

AL: Anything else you’d like to share?

TL AND DI:The logo redesign is incorporated on our cups, website, take out containers, paper goods, we will be rolling it out in locations as we go through existing inventory.

The Makiki location design is the color scheme and feel of what the newly redesigned Zippy’s will look like.

Its an exciting time for Zippy’s. We have a solid base of customers for 53 years. Now it’s an opportunity to connect with a younger consumer, where the whole family can come to enjoy local comfort food that is very popular in Hawaii.

We have the seniors come in at sunrise and the younger generation comes in after midnight.

Mobile and online ordering engages the younger consumer. But at the end of the day, we are a family restaurant that offers a variety of items to all ages.

Luau on the Lawn

Mark your calendar for Luau on the Lawn, which will be held Saturday, July 20 at Bishop Museum from 5 to 10 p.m.

Zippy’s Restaurants is collaborating as a participating restaurant at the event, which is being organized by popular clothing brand Hawaii’s Finest and Hawaii’s Best Kitchens.

During Luau on the Lawn, Zippy’s Restaurants will serve an old school favorite, the Korean Chicken Sandwich (right), which is being brought back.

The company has modernized the Korean Chicken sandwich — giving it updated flair and contemporary appeal. The event will include 25 chefs and eateries, along with performances by Hawaii’s top musicians. Tickets for Luau on the Lawn are $60 for general admission and VIP for $100. For ticket information, visit Hifinest.com.

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