Murphy’s Deli

Brand to Human®

Murphy’s Deli started out as a single location; and was, in fact, named after the street Murphy Road on which it was built in Stafford, Texas. Upon opening the deli in 1993, the owners were uncertain of future growth and focused mainly on the development of the single location. After its success, however, the owners proceeded to open a couple more locations and realized the business had potential for major growth. With this in mind, they called IDealogic® for help.

1) The owners of Murphy’s Deli wanted to open a new location as a Signature store concept. With the lack of a consistent brand, the first objective was to perform a major brand overhaul to guarantee growth on a franchise level. This included interior and exterior design, all print work, menu boards, etc.

2) As future growth was not a consideration at the beginning of their endeavor, the owners did not consider factors that would influence the deli’s expansion potential on a franchise level. A major factor, that they named the business after a single street location, inhibited expansion to other areas. As Murphy is an Irish name, they also faced limitations from the single-culture reference, which did nothing to promote the deli’s unique, multi-cultural menu.


1) Without a name change, we had to separate the tie from Murphy Road and break free from the single-culture reference. We needed to promote their signature sandwich, the muffaletta, along with a variety of other unique menu options such as hummus, grape leaves, gyros, and more. We developed a concept to link the deli’s name to their diverse menu via the creation of a character brand, Mr. Murphy, and gave him a unique story to bring everything together:

Irish Millionaire and sandwich connoisseur Mr. Murphy searched the seven seas on his quest for the perfect meal. This trip lasted many years as he sailed through vast, rough waters to visit dozens of countries. Each journey led Mr. Murphy to encounter unique recipes. On his last expedition, shipwrecked off the coast of New Orleans, he discovered the ultimate sandwich to complete his worldly menu. It was there that he was introduced to the Creole flavor, where he combined the flare of New Orleans with other exotic ingredients to create the savory Muffaletta sandwich that you enjoy today.

By fusing the Mr. Murphy character brand and his around-the-world adventures throughout the brand theme, we successfully tied the deli’s name and diverse menu together. Their signature sandwich and unique menu selections were incorporated into the brand in a memorable way, giving Murphy’s Deli ability to use their distinct menu as a strong selling point to both franchisors and customers alike.

2) For a business to have competitive franchise appeal, it must have brand appeal- the “amazing factor.” The brand must be consistent throughout all mediums, be geared toward the target market, and be easy to duplicate (from both a brand and an operations perspective). To give Murphy’s Deli franchise appeal, we created a powerful brand that would transcend that of existing delicatessens, therefore giving Murphy’s Deli a major edge in the marketplace.

Using the character brand theme, we created a memorable logo featuring Mr. Murphy’s mustache. This signature ‘stache is immediately recognizable, easily giving customers the ability to associate the symbol to the company. A welcoming, cheery in-store ambiance was created with an infusion of vibrant color schemes in authentic New Orleans style, and we incorporated custom-designed menu boards to complement the theme. By using original artwork illustrations (created in-house with a pastel medium), we supplemented the Murphy character brand with additional characters- musicians, singers, and a complete sidewalk café illustration. We also designed a unique brand pattern to enhance the brand theme, which could be used across all branding mediums and promotional campaigns. These colors and characters are not only featured in each store but are incorporated consistently throughout the brand- from menu boards, ads, POS, billboards, website, interior and exterior design, franchise brochure, to go and catering menus, all custom photography, every branding and advertising campaign, etc. The inviting, upscale look of Murphy’s Deli stores were designed to work well in any area, from casual shopping centers to corporate office buildings; and equipped with a brand that sells, the owners were given the tools needed to begin their franchising endeavors.


Quick-service restaurants appeal broadly to consumers in all major demographic groups. Fast-food outlets typically try to appeal to the largest number of consumers by offering popular menu items at a modest price. Customer attitudes and tastes change over time, however, meaning that some food items may fall out of favor with the general public. Shifting attitudes about health and diet can also affect the popularity of certain foods. QSR operators generally try and monitor changes in consumer attitudes; some chains invest heavily in research and menu development efforts. Also, restaurants tend to locate in rapidly growing areas of the country. States with the most restaurant locations are California, Texas, New York, and Florida.

Murphy’s Deli Average Demographics in a Two-Mile Radius:
Total Households: 17,291
Median Income: $58,526
QSR Deli Households: 1,453
QSR Deli Dollar Demand: $1,344,725
Primary Competition: 2
Total Restaurants: 95

Murphy’s Deli Average Demographics in a One-Mile Radius:
Total Businesses: 1,218
Total Employees: 20,919
Total Population: 12,228


Immediately, implementation of the new brand started a positive chain of events: it created the necessary franchise appeal and gained brand trust on the franchise level, it successfully paved the way for a foundation of brand loyalty by effectively encouraging customer rapport, and it earned company recognition from both the franchise and customer standpoints. From 2005-2010, Murphy’s Deli became one of the fastest growing deli franchises in their area with the development of over 100 locations; and, in their market, also became the lead competition for Subway.


The US fast-food and quick-service restaurant industry includes more than 200,000 restaurant locations with combined annual revenue of about $155 billion. Major companies include Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, and YUM! Brands. The industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 20 percent of the market. The industry includes limited-service restaurants that differ from full-service restaurants in that customers generally order at a counter and pay before eating. Most quick-service restaurants (QSR) serve simple, average quality food, which is typically packaged “to-go” for consumption off-premise.