Rebranding of Sotto Cucina & Bar

Hyatt Place London City East by Cycas Hospitality Marketing Team

A 3-month restaurant re-brand project was managed by the Cycas Marketing team, co-ordinating a range of service providers to deliver a successful hotel restaurant launch within the crowded London dining scene.

Following the opening of the hotel in 2019, the on-property management team knew they wanted to evolve the hotel’s existing Sicilian restaurant offering, to capitalise upon the demand for lunch & evening dining options within the area, whilst offering hotel guests a truly authentic in-hotel dining option.

The Challenges

Lack of External Visibility/ Dedicated Entrance: With a sub-terranean space in the basement area of the hotel, the dining areas including a private dining Orangery and external Terraza courtyard do not benefit from passing trade.


Multi-purpose Space: The central dining area services in-house guests for breakfast. As such, the new branded restaurant needed to provide a clear direction to showcase the outstanding, authentic cuisine on offer (versus its early morning incarnation as the breakfast room).


Walk-in Trade & Advertising: Without an on-street presence, walk-in trade was formerly limited with the restaurant reliant on external & digital advertising (as well as repeat business), to drive covers.


  1. Refresh the restaurant brand identity including a new name & logo development, to align with growth plans & market opportunities
  2. Ensure the brand reflects the restaurant’s commitment to authentic Sicilian cuisine & ingredients
  3. Develop a cohesive brand strategy that includes visual elements, messaging, and customer experience to effectively compete with neighbouring restaurants

The Re-brand Process & Concept

Cycas Hospitality Marketing oversaw an in-depth research phase, reviewing local competitive offerings, market trends in the London restaurant scene and emerging consumer preferences. Feedback from existing customers was also solicited to understand the current perception of the restaurant & menu options.

A new brand strategy was crafted, including brand positioning, personality, core messaging and a complete suite of creative elements including a new name for the space.

Brand Name Creation

Following an extensive research and consultation process, ‘Sotto Cucina & Bar’ was selected as the restaurant name, reflecting the subterranean location of the restaurant, whilst referencing the Sicilian influences of the space & menu offering. The further strapline, ‘Experience Sicily, Stay Local’ is used throughout creative materials.

Creative Execution

Creative elements delivered as part of the project included logo and visual identity design, typography selection, drinks & food menu design & print production, photography shoot management and a full online presence across restaurant website, digital marketing programme, social media channels, online table booking system and PR/launch programme to establish visibility across key foodie influencers and profiling of the new Executive Chef, Alfio Laudani.

Content Creation

Creative content delivery was essential to establish cut-through in the competitive London dining scene, across imagery & video segments for use on social and web channels.

Key Results
  1. Revenue Growth: A 45% boost in revenue attributed to higher average spend per customer and increased bookings for private events over the first 4 months post re-brand.
  2. Brand Recognition: Positive media coverage and a significant increase in social media followers and engagement on restaurant Instagram handle @sottocucinalondon
  3. Customer Feedback: Uplift in positive feedback from existing and new customers, including reviews with booking platform, The Fork, Open Table, Google My Business & TripAdvisor.



The rebranding to Sotto Cucina & Bar has transformed the commercial success of this underground Sicilian kitchen and bar in the bustling heart of East London, aligning it with the growth aspirations of the hotel owners and wider stakeholders.  Building a brand which marries the Catania roots of the restaurant’s Executive Chef with an impactful customer experience, has been central to the transformation of the hotel’s business growth and improved market positioning.