It’s important for a restaurant to have a clear idea of what their brand is communicating to their customers. The brand needs to be coherent, consistent and memorable. Your restaurant isn’t only in the business of providing food. Eating is an experience of all the senses. Customer service with a smile should be part of every restaurant’s brand experience but you need your own personality incorporated into it to differentiate it from your competitors.You can define a brand as the ”Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” You could also add that a brand is part of the feelings that are associated with that good service. That’s’ the concept but in practical terms what do you need to create and maintain your brand?
Quality Products, this goes without saying. If the food is no good there is no amount of branding that can save it.
Name, Logo, and Slogan, also obvious but important, does the name represent you, is your logo and slogan catchy and memorable?
Clean, inviting interior, people remember if a restaurant isn’t clean. The premises are also a blank space where your brand design and colours can be imprinted on your customers.
Engaging staff, if your staff are motivated and well trained they will reinforce what your brand is trying to do.
Branded packaging, distinctive packaging with your logo and brand design on it will keep your name at the forefront of people’s minds.• Menu Leaflets – include a menu leaflet in delivery and take-out bags to encourage and facilitate repeat business. These menu leaflets can also be distributed to local businesses and clubs.
Put your brand in the Community, get involved with local schools, charities and sports and social clubs and make sure the brand is a visible presence in the area.
Reasons why your brand is important?
If you are the only quick serve in your town it might not seem branding has much use but if you want to stand out in a crowded market place then having a good brand is critical. It is especially important if you are ambitious and have plans to expand to different locations a few years down the road. If you have a very clear brand identity for your restaurant, then when you need to open the next location you will have the theme of the restaurant, the level of service that is expected and be able to explain clearly what your brand is to new staff.
Once you’ve done the hard work of creating the brand, then making decisions and communicating with your customers becomes easier. You just ask yourself on every new business question whether it reinforces what the brand is aiming to do. Does the music in the outlet suit the brand? Are we sponsoring the right local sports clubs? Are the staff representing the brand in the right way?
Your brand has a personality that will communicate directly to your customers and you need to be very definite on what that is. If your brand personality is likable your customers will want to spend more time (and money) hanging out with it. The brand personality becomes infused into everything that you do. It will be reflected in the customer experience, in your employees, in your food, in your ambiance, in your logo and tagline and in your marketing messaging. If your brand personality is memorable people will tell their friends about it and remember your place when they are thinking about where to eat. People who self-identify with your brand personality will likely become customers. Also, your brand personality will attract employees for whom your brand personality is a fit.
How to put personality into your brand?
Do you think your band lacks personality? If you are the founder and owner can you put aspects of your personality into the brand? We’re talking sense of humor and interests. Think of who your ideal customer is and what they might want in a brand. Ask customers what they think of when they hear the name of your restaurant – can these aspects be incorporated into the brand or are there things associated with the brand that you should change?If your brand has the right personality that reflects the ethos of the business your customers will always have you in mind when they are thinking of eating out. Use social media and email lists to keep the brand in people’s thoughts. Get your brand out in the community, working with sports clubs and social networks. After all, it’s easy for your clients to keep you in mind if they keep seeing your brand in their local community and regular social circles!