What is your brand?
It’s hard to answer that question, isn’t it?
The answer should encompass everything related to your restaurant business, from the logo to the staff’s attitude, from the interior design to the food menu.
So how do you achieve success in the restaurant branding process? We’ll give you 15 rules to follow.
1. Be Remarkable
Your target audience has plenty of restaurants to choose from. Why should they come from you?
Your restaurant must be remarkable in a unique way. That’s what branding is all about. This unique vibe should encompass everything: the interior, menu, website, uniforms… everything.
2. Pick the Words that Describe Your Place
To find out what makes your idea remarkable, ask yourself: what adjectives would you use to describe your brand?
Positive, customer-friendly, modern, urban, upbeat, eclectic, unique experience, home-cooked vibe… depending on your concept, different descriptions will come to your mind. Use them to identify the overall appeal of your brand.
3. Choose the Color Palette
Branding has a lot to do with color. The colors you choose will dominate the logo, the interior, the menu, the website, the uniforms, and everything else related to your brand.
It’s smart to contact a graphic designer and an interior designer, who will help you choose the right color palette.
4. Develop a Logo
We cannot stress this enough: the logo is what makes your brand recognizable. You need a really good one! Don’t even think of imitating famous restaurants’ logos; that’s been done and it doesn’t work.
5. Develop a Branded Menu
If, for example, you’re opening a restaurant for fitness junkies, you’ll offer all kinds of healthy and highly nutritional meals. If you’re starting an Italian restaurant business, you must add a unique flare to a common idea. Add something special in your menu, such as gluten-free pizza and pasta options.
Analyze your audience. Find out what they like and don’t like about your competition. Then, develop a menu that’s better than any competitive offer.
6. Invest in Comfort
Remember: this will be a place where you want your target persona to relax and bring dates or business partners. If you’re not that good with the aesthetics, it’s wise to hire an interior designer, who will take care of the flooring, wall decorations, furniture, accessories, and lighting.
7. Hire Great Staff and Train Them Well
The chefs, waiters, bartenders and hosts are responsible for the reputation of your brand. Finding great talent is not easy, so be very careful when you interview candidates. Start the hiring process early and take your time.
When you have your team, you have to train them well. Inform them about your brand’s vibe and teach them how to act in accordance with its values.
8. Invest in a Website
Someone was at your restaurants and they told a friend about it. The first instinct the friend is going to have is to check out your website.
Your restaurant’s website should provide all information a potential guest needs. It should feature a searchable menu, a fun About Us page, and photos of the interior. You should definitely make online reservations possible, too. Don’t forget to link to the social media accounts.
9. Invest in Social Media Marketing
People like tagging themselves at places they’ve visited. They are also sharing Facebook and Instagram stories of direct experience. Your social media marketing campaign should be on point, so you’ll benefit from all that potential.
All pages should evoke the brand’s spirit. Someone should always be available to answer questions and possible complaints. People will be able to rank your business on Facebook, so that will serve as an inspiration for you to provide a great service every single time. The positive Facebook rating will be your best promotion.
10. Invest in Content Marketing
You want your restaurant to be “searchable” on Google. That’s why you must invest in content marketing. You may do that through a blog section at your website, where you’ll publish useful articles on how to behave in a restaurant, how to choose a meal, how to combine meals, how to pair a meal with wine, and more.
11. Claim Your Business Online
Yelp, Google Maps, Google Places, Swarm, and Facebook allow you to claim your business. That’s a smart thing to do, since it adds to your authority. You’ll be able to respond to people’s reviews and you’ll get a chance to show what your brand is all about.
12. Invest in the Sign
Presentation is everything. Adding a new, attractive sign that makes your restaurant noticeable from a distance will attract people your way. Naturally, the sign will be in the spirit of your brand.
13. Give Them Nice Music
What kind of music describes your brand? Is it Bob Marley? French chanson songs or Italian music, perhaps? Classical music or maybe even opera? Think about the people your brand is trying to attract. What kind of music would they like to listen to while they eat?
14. Pay Attention to the Details
Branded napkins and deserts with your restaurant’s logo as a decoration will make your restaurant brand memorable!
Chances are, you’ll be upgrading your restaurant over the years. That’s why your brand must be flexible for growth. The uniformed image will stay, but it has to accept changes that will align it with the growing needs of your audience.
That’s why you must make ongoing assessments of your brand and reinvent it when necessary.