Restaurateur’s Guide to Developing a Brand for Your Eatery
Now that you have successfully set up your new restaurant, all that’s left is getting it out there! Perhaps you do not have your own marketing team yet, and that’s fine. We will give you some tips on how to approach branding, marketing and growing your restaurant.
Determine your general message
Even though your restaurant is already in existence, you can update your branding at any time. Of course, the earlier the better.
- Settle on a concept. Is your restaurant a fancy sit-down place? A place to line up for a quick, healthy snack? Somewhere to relax and enjoy artisan bakes? Each restaurant will be slightly different, but it is important to take one concept and stick with it. This will help you realize which messages you need to convey during your marketing efforts.
- Give serious consideration to your menu. As well as the food you serve, you need to make sure that colors, tone of voice and the names of your dishes match up with your concept. For example, use of the color green is a safe choice for a health-based restaurant. You may want to avoid informal language if your restaurant is to be an upscale hotspot.
- Ambiance. Again, you want this to match the concept of your restaurant. Avoid loud music in a place that is meant to be a relaxing place to eat and chat with friends.
One great idea is to consolidate all of your branding decisions in a brand book. This is where you will write down all of the factors that are important to keeping your restaurant in line with its desired image.
Some things you might include in your brand book include:
- Fonts used in adverts and on menus
- Colors to use and colors to avoid
- Acceptable and unacceptable photos to use when promoting the brand
- To what degree you should get involved with the local community – are you to be recognized as a restaurant that offers to host important events?
Sink your teeth into social media
As referenced in our article about turning your restaurant into an Instagram hit, it is important to stand out on social media. These days, apps like Instagram and Snapchat are amazing marketing tools, and an attractive post can spread very fast among users.
If you are unaware of how Instagram works – your restaurant will have a profile, and it will be up to you to post interesting photos that capture the unique atmosphere of your place. Whether it be your unconventional decor, beautiful food or something else, Instagram users will be quick to share an interesting restaurant with their friends.
You need your restaurant to have its own identity for this to work effectively. Photos that could be taken in any other restaurant are unlikely to become highly shared on social media.
Encouraging interaction from Instagram users is key. Creating a hashtag (#YourRestaurantName) for others to use will make all posts about your restaurant easily searchable. Offer prizes and other kinds of recognition for users who share attractive photos of your restaurant on Instagram.
Going back to branding, some restaurants are taking the power of Instagram and running with it. During the design phase, they aim primarily for being ‘Instagrammable’. This means vibrant decor, clean shapes and of course, photogenic dishes.
When it comes to making sure your food is worthy of being shared on social media, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure the food looks fresh. Food quickly loses its attractiveness after being cooked. Think about a fresh pizza, and compare it to the same pizza after being left uneaten for several hours. One certainly looks better than the other. Snap a photo of melting cheese and sizzling meat before it settles down!
- Hit the sweet spot with lighting. Too much natural light can cause glare, but too much overhead can look artificial. You can even use light reflectors to create the perfect balance for your photos.
- Reinforce your branding. Perhaps you can decorate your food with your brand’s logo? That would be a fantastic way to keep your brand front of mind when people are sharing images of your restaurant.