Running a restaurant is certainly not easy. Growing a restaurant into a success is even more challenging. There are, however, a number of elements that many of the most successful restaurants have. One is a strong brand presence. This could be hyping up the brand name among well-known people, or simply building a powerful community presence that equals loyal restaurant customers. Whatever the type of restaurant you are planning to open, brand building needs to play a major role. Therefore, you need to build an effective restaurant marketing plan to achieve your goals as a marketing professional.
To help get your restaurant branding moving in the right direction, we compiled a list of the most important brand building tips specific to restaurants. Before you open your doors, cook up a few of the following buzzworthy brand tips. Let’s dig in!
Build A Branding Strategy
Brand building begins with a mission, a character statement, and a number of brand attributes to help drive the rest of your brand communication and marketing efforts. This is important. Once you have a clearly defined brand identity core, you can begin creating a strategy.
Within this branding strategy, you should brand everything in your restaurant. For some businesses this could be considered overkill, but not in the restaurant industry. Have you ever been to Morton’s? Everything is branded, down to a box of matches. You can even be creative with your branding. For example, customize your brand on pints. You can even give them away to customers to keep your brand imprinted in their minds.
Raise Brand Awareness Online
In today’s digital age, business owners need to have two storefronts. One storefront is physical, and the other is online. Having your business online is a great way to raise brand awareness for your restaurant with the ability to highlight your menu, staff, special events, and most importantly — Reviews and ratings! By conducting business both digitally and in person, you can increase your restaurant business exposure and profits.
What do you usually do when searching for a new restaurant? You probably Google “restaurants near me” and begin your research. To get your restaurant on the radar, you need to set up Google My Business and than post on it as if it were a social media network.
Next, you need to net more reviews of your restaurant via Google reviews to entice people to want to visit your restaurant. And then there is social media, your website, and many more online brand awareness channels to leverage. Make your restaurant’s online presence powerful.
Be Responsive To Reviews
Most people wouldn’t associate brand building with replying to reviews and ratings of their business. However, this is a very important step to building your restaurant brand, because it builds customer loyalty. It also builds confidence to visit your restaurant for new diners. Why? In today’s digital age, online users want a more personalized experience from brands. This goes for top global brands, as well as small restaurant owners.
Schedule a time once a week to go over every review your restaurant gets and respond to that review thoughtfully. Don’t skip the negative reviews and ratings either. In fact, those are the most important reviews and ratings to respond to. Going through your restaurant reviews also gives you valuable insight into what your restaurant could do better and what may be something to implement for more customers down the road. Invest in restaurant online ordering software to improve your online ratings. Then, you will gain both new customers and higher profits.
Have A Quality Portfolio
Consumers are more visual than ever before. And since the restaurant business is a combination of presentation, deliciousness, and service, having a strong portfolio of professional images and videos of your food and restaurant are a must-do.
It will definitely pay off to be fully transparent when it comes to your restaurant. What does this mean exactly? Have a large selection of HD images of every plate your serve. Make videos of your kitchen staff hard at work and having fun. And even have videos of the atmosphere on your busiest days. This transparency will go a long way with building brand trust with hungry customers.
The above four restaurant branding tips are only the appetizer. There are certainly a lot more ways to ensure your business has strong restaurant branding. The above are, however, a few of the most important, and some of the easiest to implement.