Why restaurant branding is a game changer in hospitality
Follow this simple TableCheck branding guide and transform your restaurant brand to drive more revenue and repeat guests
Running a restaurant is more than offering delicious food. From the customer service and the restaurant ambiance right down to the overall guest experience, there’s a range of things that hospitality owners can do to make them memorable to guests.
However, there is another essential ingredient that can tie it all together and ensure long-term success: the restaurant brand.
Branding is one of the most essential ingredients in creating a great business, be it for organizations or for restaurants. If a restaurant doesn’t have a unique identity, they lose the opportunity to not only connect with customers but also to engage with them on an emotional level. More than offering delicious food and good customer service, having a great branding strategy can go a long way and can help restaurants stay on top of mind with guests.
The importance of branding
Branding makes up for the overall personality of the restaurant. It’s what makes a memorable impression on potential customers and informs them what to expect from a business. More importantly, it is how a restaurant distinguishes itself from competitors on a noisy playing field.
As consumers struggle with countless options to choose from, branding clarifies what a restaurant can offer and why it is the “better choice”. It answers questions of what the restaurant stands for, how it wants to represent its business and ultimately how it wants to be perceived in the market.
Restaurant branding: guest-centric hospitality
Whether small or large, restaurants are unique as a business. It's all about the experience they can offer as opposed to selling themselves as a "single product". Guest experience is a journey in itself. A diner’s experience begins the moment they book, call or walk into the restaurant.
From the marketing and front-of-house staff, to the decor and menu, everything is a form of expression of the restaurant’s identity. This also determines what guests can expect when they dine in. That's why food, staff, and even decor–all need to work together to create a positive, unforgettable experience for guests.
Developing a restaurant brand
There are many things to consider when creating a brand for a restaurant. Some may even be highly specific to the experience that hospitality owners or chefs want to create. However, there are some tried and true elements that cannot be overlooked.
Restaurant name: Keep it simple, fresh, unique, and easy to remember
Restaurant logo: Stand out from the crowd
Restaurant slogan or tagline: In as few words as possible deliver your brand promise. For example, KFC uses "Finger-Lickin' Good" to both tell you about their food as well as their casual brand attitude
Restaurant colors: Colors can help reflect the personality of the restaurant
Pizza 4Ps puts sustainability at the heart of its brand. From sourcing sustainable ingredients, using sustainable packaging, and also designing their restaurants in earth colors that embody their commitment to sustainability, Pizza 4Ps creates a full dining experience for their guests through their brand while also delivering impeccable customer service.
Fogo Brazilian BBQ, a chain of family restaurants in Indonesia, has designed its venues with bright and happy colors to give it a friendly and inviting atmosphere and as a space for families to enjoy eating BBQ. The warm tones they used in the restaurant design also extend to all aspects of their branding from their logo, brochures, and website.
Storefront design: Be sure to consider the experience you want to deliver. If the restaurant is serving rustic french farm food then a modern, minimalist storefront may be the wrong way to go. Blend the whole experience.
Dress and attire: Remember, even no dress code is a brand decision.
Ways to build a brand
Agency: Professionals take over the brand management and work with you to position your brand
Internal team: Hire a permanent, brand-focused team from within or without your restaurant to manage the day-to-day tasks of running and maintaining a brand
Develop a Brand book: Put simply, a brand book is an instruction manual that will tell all members of your restaurant how to speak for your brand. Think of instructions for fonts, colors, and tone of voice that can be used across your marketing, social media, and even storefront signs.
“Remember that your brand should evolve and change with time. Branding is never finished.”
Creating a memorable brand to grow your business
Branding not only captures the identity of the restaurant but also helps the organization become clearer and more focused on its future strategy. Casual dining restaurants would have a totally different brand positioning than luxury fine-dining restaurants just in terms of ambiance, atmosphere, menu, pricing, and the type of clientele they'd like to attract. However, no matter what type of restaurants are being run, branding should be at the heart of every business strategy.
Building your brand helps you to position yourself in the market better, and in turn, provides the groundwork to grow your business and drive more guest loyalty.
About the Author
Richard McCracken is a senior designer at TableCheck and is constantly enthralled by the emotional connection that comes from successful branding. If you’re looking for someone to discuss the merits of different shades of purple, he is all ears.
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