Success or failure of a restaurant depends as much on its ability to stand out amongst the competition as on the quality of your food and services. Creating a distinct brand identity helps you develop this competitive advantage over your peers. A brand is essentially an identity of your business. As a restaurant, your brand represents how you want customers to perceive your business. Building your Restaurant Brand goes much beyond your logo or tagline to include the food, services, and the overall experience that you extend to your customers. Your brand should give customers a clear idea of what they can expect from your restaurant.
Building Your Restaurant Brand
1. Laying the Groundwork
Before you dive into building your brand, you need to answer some key questions:
a. Define your Identity
Lay down your priorities as a restaurant. Take a moment to deliberate on what you would like to offer to your customers, the kind of food, the ambience and the nature of services. The next question to consider is how you would like to position yourself in the market. Do you want to be perceived as a family restaurant that provides quality food at affordable prices, a hip hangout for young professionals, or a high-end establishment?
b. Identify your Target Audience
Once you have answers to those key questions, you can go ahead and identify your target audience; these are the customers that are most likely to visit your restaurant. You can think of this in terms of the age, lifestyle, likes, and dislikes of the people to whom your food and services are likely to appeal. If you have been in business for some time, you can obviously figure this from the kind of customers who visit you regularly.
2. Give Your Brand a Voice
Build a voice for your brand in line with your identity and target customers. If you were an affordable, family-friendly diner, you would want to adopt a casual fun voice while a high-end luxurious place would have a voice that is prestigious and elegant. Develop a logo, tagline, and story that are consistent with the image you want to project. Your brand should be immediately recognizable to customers. To achieve this, ensure that every element of your brand marketing is well coordinated. Select brand colors (preferably those that you have used in your logo) and use them across all marketing channels. Your brand’s voice should consistent in all your communication with your customers, whether it is your visiting cards, flyers, brochures, menu, website, or other online personas.
3. Work on your Look and Ambiance:
The look and feel of your restaurant should align with your brand’s voice. The look should be consistent and adequately carried over to your online identities such as website, your Facebook or Instagram page.
4. Develop Strategies to Help Your Restaurant Create its Own Identity
Building your Restaurant brand is an ongoing process. You have to define your brand, differentiate it, and take it out to the customers. Think of ways in which you can connect and engage with your target audience. A good way to so this is aligning your brand with causes that appeal to your target audience. You should review your strategies from time to time and be open to change.
5. Reward Loyalty
If you have built a successful brand and accumulated loyal followers, it is time you start employing your customers as your brand ambassadors. Encourage your loyal customers to write about your brand or refer their friends. Customer referrals are a good way of building your brand identity. You could offer rewards to these brand advocates and feature them on your Facebook or Instagram page. You could even build a loyalty program to reward your loyal customers who act as brand advocates.