Your restaurant brand defines who you are, separates you from the competition, and creates an emotional connection with current and potential customers. Check out these branding tips to help you grow your identity, improve customer loyalty, and attract new business.
Think about your concept, vision, values, and why you started a restaurant in the first place. This helps you outline your values and mission statement. The building blocks around your brand strategy should be centered around what customers can expect from you, what you set out to accomplish, and what sets you apart from your competitors. Is it the best burgers? Are you serving the finest, locally sourced ingredients? A friendly neighborhood watering hole? Offering authentic cuisine inspired by your heritage? Strengthen your brand’s position by clearly defining the concept and build your brand around that foundation.
What’s Your Story?
Your brand is essentially your restaurant's personality and identity. And just as no two people are alike, neither are any two restaurants. Storytelling builds an emotional connection between potential customers and your establishment, brings your mission to life, and by sharing your unique story, you can heighten brand awareness with new and regular customers.
Maybe you have recipes passed down from several generations of a family-run business, or you started out serving roadside tacos in a food truck, or your passion for cooking led you to leave your regular 9 to 5 to pursue your dream. Whatever your inspiring story is, embrace authenticity and consistently display what makes you different throughout your operation on social media, inside your restaurant, and on your website.
All in the Details
Your logo, atmosphere, menu design, staff uniforms, décor, and brand colors should reflect you as well. Consider your target audience and the image you want your customers to associate with the brand. Do you prefer a family-friendly feel where groups can gather to cheer on their favorite teams, a funky and fun neighborhood spot, a more classic establishment, or a trendy bar with craft cocktails and experiential dining? Your atmosphere and aesthetic will have just as big of an impact on customers as your food and service.
Even your glasses, bathroom décor, seating, and music deliver a message to patrons and impact their decisions on where they choose to eat. An eye-catching accent wall for snapping social media-worthy photos, a cozy lounge area with pops of color, creative cocktail glasses, and a decked-out patio all are great ways to help your brand stand out.
Take your amazing brand and ensure your strategy extends to your website, your social channels, signage, advertisements, and other marketing in order to establish a consistent tone that puts you in control of your message and the narrative that potential patrons see when they are looking for somewhere to eat. How you interact on social media, what you post, what your photos look like, and website usability all convey what diners can expect before they even step foot in your restaurant.
Going the extra mile is important to stay ahead of your competitors in today’s industry and imperative to your brand’s long-term success. It also impacts consumer spending decisions and customer loyalty. Getting involved in your local community, whether through supporting local music acts, creating a special menu or cocktail with proceeds going to a charity in your area, or stepping up your sustainability initiatives are all great ways to do a little more to keep customers coming back and heighten brand awareness.