Define your brand using as few words as possible, and drive your definition to your customers. You should be able to tell potential customers exactly what to expect from your restaurant operation by stringing together a few key words like “homemade,” “comfort,” “stylish,” “elegant,” “fresh” or “fun.” Just by reading key words, customers should be able to tell the type of establishment you run.
3. Ensure brand consistency
Everything in your restaurant must convey what your brand wants to say, including the interior design and décor, menu, prices, food, drinks, uniforms, marketing, advertising, website and customer service. Your brand has to be cohesive throughout your entire operation, and must reflect its desired image and vision.
Developing a powerful brand image involves the entire restaurant design from lighting and flooring, to compelling graphic images and menu boards. Ensure everything is consistent in look, feel and colour. The different elements should have a recognizable style that is not only apparent inside your establishment, but also outside, online and in print.
4. Deliver your brand promise
The most important element of branding is delivering what your brand promises. For example, if you say lunch is served in under 30 minutes or it’s free, make sure you serve lunch in less than 30 minutes! You need to gain the trust and loyalty of customers by standing by your brand name and what it offers.
5. Don’t forget the power of POS materials
Signage and point-of-sales materials are critical to developing more instant recognition to your brand. Use POS materials to highlight upcoming specials and promotions, but make sure your brand logo and slogan are featured prominently. It is important to create visually stimulating materials so customers remember the images from your POS materials even after they leave your restaurant.
6. Sell branded retail merchandise items
Once your brand is established, you can build on it by offering retail merchandise that features your brand name and slogan – especially if you have a particularly witty slogan with double meanings that can help you launch a successful T-shirt sales operation.
Other items to consider include cookies, glassware, candies, aprons or magnets. The possibilities are endless. Not only can you stand to make a tidy profit from sales of your merchandise, but it also acts as free advertising for your restaurant.
© 2009 Chiasson Consultants Inc. All rights reserved.
About Diane Chiasson
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, President of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.