Whether you are working on branding your new restaurant or rebranding an existing one, restaurant branding is about more than creating a strong visual identity or a memorable dining experience for your customers. It’s about understanding exactly who you are as a company and why people are coming to your restaurant, rather than with your competitor.
Here's everything you need to know about building your restaurant branding.
How to Define Your Restaurant
This is the step where you need to figure out who you are as a restaurant.
This means determining your:
- Restaurant name
- Restaurant theme or concept
- Find your purpose
Understanding your purpose and beliefs will narrow down what you value as a person and how you want your restaurant to emulate those values (Toast).
After you figure this out, think about your restaurant compared to others in your industry - how will yours stand out from the rest? What is going to make your restaurant different? Knowing the answer will narrow down your unique selling point (Toast).
Auditing Your Existing Branding
If you are an owner who has already established a restaurant, you might be considering a rebrand if your restaurant isn't performing as well as you want it to be. If you aren't sure how to check for this, we've got you covered.
- First, review the results of your past goals. Have you reached them with flying colors? If not, set new and realistic goals for your restaurant. Don't forget to align your goals with the expectations of your customers.
- Determine your strengths and weaknesses.
- Then take a look at your business through a wider lens. How are you performing compared to competitors?
These answers will give you a better perspective on where your restaurant stands. This evaluation will help you determine what your restaurant has a strong suit in and where your restaurant needs improvement (Brandwatch).
Finding Your Voice
Now, think about how you are going to communicate your restaurant to your audience. It must alignment with your brand.
Your voice is portrayed through many different outlets - social media, your restaurant's website, and through staff members. When training employees and creating your online presence for your restaurant, you must always keep your brand in mind to make sure these outlets are emphasizing the personality you want (OpenTable).
All staff members should be on the same page when servicing guests. They need to know the restaurant's purpose and how to uphold brand values whether it be through particular verbiage or gestures (Toast).
The ambiance that guests get when they walk through your doors or sit at your table should be the same ambiance they receive when they visit your website or read posts from your social media channels (OpenTable).
Brand consistency is a pattern of expression that effects how people look or perceive your brand. You want to make sure your audience is being exposed to core messages, visual branding, and other brand elements repeatedly, which can help to solidify brand recognition. Your restaurants needs to keep everything consistent in order to acheive this.
Being consistent is something that needs to be worked at on a daily basis. The quality of service provided should not differ from day to day. It should be the same everyday and be found across the board - in the food, drinks, service and the way your restaurant presents itself (RewardsNetwork).
When you achieve consistency, you begin to build a positive reputation that is an important part of building your brand name.
Identifying Your Target Audience
Knowing the type of people you want to specifically reach with your brand is helpful to planning the elements to drawing in those audiences. Who do you want to appeal to?
Maybe you specialize in barbecue and you appeal to those who not only love the style of food, but also those who enjoy a western feel and that will determine the decor of your restaurant. Or maybe, you want to bring a modern element to the barbecue scene and to those who appreciate old school barbecue with a twist, and that will be the aim for your decor.
Consider the location your restaurant inhabits (Gourmet Marketing). Does your location choose your target audience for you? Maybe you're business is very close to a truck stop - working people who are always on the go and need a quick bite to eat. You can try to cater to those with fast to-go options to appeal to that clientele to boost business.
Taking the time to brainstorm the clientele you wish to attract and how you will attract them will make creating menus, prices, and the atmospheric feel to your restaurant easier, as it will provide you with a distinct direction to work towards.
Determining your target audience is also helpful in knowing which other marketing avenues to take such as social media. Determine which channels will be the best for your restaurant to use (singleplatform). Marketing your brand can be pricey and can take time. We understand that not all marketing ideas will make the final cut and priorities need to be created. If you know the audience your business is aiming to attract the most, you can decide on the social media platforms that are the most important to focus on because they correlate with your target audience.
Developing Your Look
How do you develop a brand identity that tells a consistent, coherent story without saying a word? All these elements will contribute ideas for the design of your logo. Your logo is a visual representation of your brand and most of the time, it's what provides customers with a first impression.
All elements of a logo call for thought. The typeface, colors and size should provide its viewers with the most important details they need to know about your restaurant. Does your logo come off as casual or formal? Do people think your logo is traditional or unique? Make sure that your logo tells a story that your restaurant can capitalize on (OpenTable).
Another element that contributes to the look of your restaurant is the interior decor. All the elements you choose to showcase in your restaurant need to continually emphasize the story you are depicting to your customers. Make sure all other aspects are in alignment with the same theme (mkonnekt).
This includes the design of your menu and the uniforms you assign all staff members to wear. It's a head to toe job. Be convincing in the story you are telling!
Creating a Mission Statement
Your mission statement should describe the purpose of your restaurant. When creating your mission statement consider what your restaurant offers, markets, values, concern for public image, and maybe priorities of activities for survival.
Mission statements for a restaurant are normally short and should span a few sentences. In fact, some of the best restaurant mission statements are just a few words.
Just a few examples of restaurant mission statements:
- Panera Bread - a load of bread in every arm.
- McCormick's and Schmick's - absolute guest satisfaction.
- Domino's Pizza - sell more pizza, have more fun!
The best restaurant mission statements cater to the desires of the audience, yet are honest about what the restaurant is trying to accomplish.