Are you eager to start your own restaurant? Do you have your recipes narrowed down and your décor on point and the only thing missing now is the perfect branding? To avoid being ‘just another eatery in town’ you need to give your restaurant a certain personality that will differentiate you from your competitor. And while branding is essential in any industry, it requires a specific approach in the hospitality sector.
Let’s have a look at 10 restaurant branding must-haves that will make your venue the talk of the town.
Know Who Will Come to Eat
From the very start, it’s important to know your target market. You’ll have two approaches:
Now stay consistent when creating menus, the atmosphere and your marketing material, so you’re always relevant to this group’s interests and needs.
Design a Tasty Logo
Your restaurant must be represented by a unique and catchy logo. Potential diners will see your restaurant brand logo on all your marketing material so make sure it’s beneficial to your goal. For example, your logo should represent your restaurant’s style so people know what to expect and it must be appealing to the desired demographic. A funny image is more appropriate for an ice cream store than a five-star restaurant.
Also, logos should be unique and free of common restaurant clichés, such as only using a knife and fork. That doesn’t set you apart. There are many resources online to help you and you can test the logo through an online poll to see which one makes the most impact.
Pick the Right Color Scheme
Each color will influence your customers in a certain way, so make sure your colors in the venue and on all your marketing will boost sales. That’s possible when you use colors derived from your logo and synonymous with your food, such as using blue and white for a fish restaurant, so customers can imagine the sea. This adds to their experience so they’ll stay longer and want to come again. Or use warm colors that tend to spark hunger, such as red.
Share Your Story
Although people come to your venue for food, people are always excited when they’re part of something bigger. So, include the story of your establishment in your menu, your marketing and even in your décor.
Learning more about why and how you created the eatery can endear you to people. They may find respect for what you overcame to realize your dream. These thoughts lead to emotional connections with your restaurant, which makes you less clinical, more memorable and a unique brand they want to be part of.
Create the Right Menu
Creating a unique menu is key to a successful restaurant andbrand. Ensure the menu caters to the intended demographic and is different from competitors’.
Usually, it’s best not to overwhelm guests with too many dishes. Diners want to see what type of food you’re really good at. You don’t have to cater for all tastes at one venue. To get the right selection of dishes, do a test run of your restaurant menu on a few guests within your target audience and get their feedback before committing to the final list.
You can also tweak your restaurant menu often to keep it freshand interesting.
Important tip: make sure your kitchen staff are trained to deliver on the promise of your menu so your brand becomes synonymous with quality food.
Take Advantage of How Food Looks: Become an Instagram Regular
The restaurant business is no longer only about what food tastes like. Instagram and selfies have made it essential that your food’s aesthetic is as exceptional as its flavor.
Word-of-mouth is one of your best branding tools and diners will go to places that others talk about. And where and how do people talk about their meals? By sharing images on their social media profiles. If they’re impressed, they’ll post about it and if it looks good the moment it arrives at the table, you’re halfway to being talked about on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to post images yourself so you can attract followers.
Use Your Storefront as Your Stage
You can’t market through printed or digital media onlybecause many of your customers will be walk-ins. But they’ll only cross the threshold if they think it’s worth their time, money and tastebuds. So, tell them everything they need to know if they happen to glance at your storefront, using these ideas:
Prepare and Dress Your Staff
Your staff—waiters, chefs and more—are all part of your brand. Customers will judge your brand based on the people they meet inside. They must be trained in the dos and don’ts of customer service to uphold your brand’s reputation at all times. This includes the friendliness of staff, anticipating patrons’ needs and providing information promptly. The experience as a whole needs to leave a satisfying taste in the guests’ mouth!
Your staff members’ attire must also suit your brand. Make sure waiters look neat and that their outfits match your intended style, atmosphere and brand story.
Treat Your Customers as Guests
Treat your restaurant customers as guests. Provide them with a quality dining experience they won’t find anywhere else and also, spend time interacting with them, encouraging them to return and bring friends! Building relationships turn visitors into loyal supporters.
Make Your Food More Accessible: Deliver!
Society’s needs change over time, and for success in the 21stcentury, accessibility is key, especially during this pandemic lockdown. Consumers want their whims fulfilled in record time and for many the drive to a restaurant seems like too much effort. Help them enjoy your food in the comfort of their own homes by offering delivery services or joining one of the many food delivery services active these days. Make sure your delivery containers keep the food in excellent condition until it reaches the destination and you may soon be on a customer’s speed dial.
Starting out in the restaurant business requires several strategic steps. By following our list of must-haves, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring guests have an exceptional dining experience and return for more soon!
David Anderson is a business graduate with a marketing major. He specializes in communication design and has helped many brands achieve their goals in marketing communication. Now he writes for freelance clients on topics related to brand design, visual communication, and marketing.