Running a dining establishment involves so much more than food (although making great food is the most important part!). You’ve mastered the art of making delicious dishes and creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience, but the next major challenge is making sure diners remember your restaurant and come back for more. That’s where a successful brand strategy comes in.
What is a brand, exactly?
A brand is more than just a logo and a set of fonts; it’s a whole array of often intangible associations created in the interplay between customers and a business. Aesthetics are a major part of what makes a brand unique, but perspective, voice, tone, and community are all major factors in making a brand truly memorable.
How can a restaurant build its brand strategy?
A restaurant can use both in-person and digital branding efforts in tandem to create a memorable experience for diners that stays fresh in their minds. Here are a few brand strategy tips you can use to start creating a brand that brings in new diners and keeps regulars excited.
Focus on the Dining Experience
Put yourself in the perspective of your patrons. What is the first thing you notice when you take a seat at your table? Which menu items are you most interested in trying? Learning what your diners respond to is the first step towards building an unforgettable brand. If you need some feedback from customers about what works for them, consider offering a coupon for visitors who fill out a questionnaire online or in person.
Choose a Signature Color Palette
The colors you use in your décor, on your website, and in printed materials convey a lot of information to viewers and create a backdrop for the dining experience. A fun, casual restaurant might pair best with vibrant colors, while a few muted tones are more suited to a rustic coffee shop. Make sure you use color consistently to create a memorable picture in the minds of your diners.
Integrate Your Website
Your website is the place where many diners first encounter your restaurant, so think of it as an extension of your brick-and-mortar locations(s). It should create the same experience as walking through the doors and being handed a menu. Using consistent design elements across menus and webpages, as well as plenty of photos of your restaurant, should help cement your brand in visitors’ minds and make them curious about what you have to offer.
Be Consistent with Your Voice and Tone
Consistency is the main factor that leads to brand recognition, which is essential to maintaining customer loyalty. Patrons are more likely to keep coming back if they know what they’re getting—and that applies to social media and website copy in addition to the menu. If your restaurant’s “voice” is a little bit snarky and humorous, Twitter and other social channels are great places to showcase that. If minimalism is more your style, let images of your food and restaurant speak for themselves on Instagram.