Branding your restaurant for success.

Kay Transtrum

When was the last time you reviewed your restaurant branding? If you’re like a lot of restaurateurs, it has been quite a while, maybe even since you launched your first location. We know you’re extremely busy and we understand, but your customers might not.

Over time you’ve probably had a few different designers, or worse family members with a Microsoft Paint, create marketing materials. As you review marketing materials ask yourself if the signage, banners, restaurant menus, business cards, brochures, website, and social media were created using the same brand guidelines. It’s likely they were not and it’s time to consider a rebrand.

 

Consistency. Even if the colors and logo match, the messaging on all marketing may not be consistent with how you want your brand represented today. Maybe you changed your tagline (or want to) or you’ve received recognition for your signature dish. Whatever it is, we want to be sure it’s highlighted across all brand platforms.

 

Target customer. When you think of who you’d like dining at your establishment, what comes to mind? Is it families with children? Business people on a lunch break? Young couples? Keep them in mind as you’re going through the creative process. You might not need a kid-friendly menu if you have a hip dinner spot for young professionals.

The interior. Whether you’re designing a new restaurant or redesigning an existing one, your customer experience should match your brand. If you’re updating brand colors, don’t forget to update the interior of your restaurant to reflect the change.  If your menu is Rustic Americana then you should think twice about installing fine Italian marble flooring. Remember this is about your brand and your customers, not what you’d prefer in your home kitchen.

 

Competition. Understand what the competition is offering so you create a brand that’s positioned differently and distinctive from other restaurants in your niche and geographic area. Your customers will come to know your restaurant brand by what makes it different.

 

Brand Reputation. Did you know as many as 7 in 10 Americans rely on reviews and social media when making a purchasing decision? That includes where they choose to dine. Don’t ignore the opportunity to respond to online feedback. Whether you’re thanking them for a good review or responding to negativity, it’s crucial to show customers that you value their feedback. Even if you’re not sure of what to say, consumers view a lack of response as worse than a bad one. And don’t forget to update these sites post-rebrand.

 

When branding or rebranding your restaurant, consider not only the marketing materials but tone of your messaging, the design style of the restaurant, your menu, and your online reputation. Each plays a very important role in creating a brand that people love.

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