Restaurant Branding - What Is It, Exactly?
Restaurant Branding - What Is It, Exactly?
Posted By
May 2, 2022

The restaurant industry is an increasingly competitive space. As of 2020, there are over one million restaurants in the US. Plus, with delivery apps drawing more and more customers away from restaurant dining, enticing customers to make a reservation has never been trickier.

In this day and age, digital marketing has become a must. We’re all constantly on our phones; the restaurant industry has to follow suit and find their customers where they already are—online.

Digital marketing can be a complicated beast, but before you get overwhelmed by the prospect of creating online ads, establishing a social media presence, or engaging with customers via the internet, let’s start with one of the most simple (and important) concepts: restaurant branding.

Today, we’ll be giving you a beginners’ guide for restaurant operators on what restaurant branding entails, how to create branded marketing materials, why it matters, and how you can create a brand that makes a real impact.

The concept of branding

Restaurant branding is anything and everything that contributes to how your customers remember you. If you think of your restaurant as a living, breathing thing with its own personality, values, and style, using your restaurant branding on your marketing materials will help to convey the essence of this personality to your potential customers.

Everything inside your restaurant—your logo, your menu, and your customer service—and everything online—your social media channels, your digital ads, and even your reviews—will contribute to establishing a consistent, recognizable brand.

Why restaurant branding matters

“Does having a restaurant brand really matter? Why does my business need a personality?” you may be wondering. “Can’t it just have good food and good customer service?”

Think about your favorite businesses. It’s likely they all have firmly established brands. Why? Because otherwise, they’d be indistinct and forgettable. You wouldn’t know what they stand for. You’d be unsure of what to expect from them. You wouldn’t know whether their products suit you.

Take Wendy's, for example—their iconic logo is the perfect branding for their friendly, family vibe.

By establishing a specific brand image as a restaurant, you’ll convey crucial messages about what your customers can expect from you. And with a clear-cut brand, you’ll also become more memorable. Instead of being “that Italian restaurant with good pasta,” you’ll become “that ‘50s-inspired Italian restaurant with a laid-back, friendly vibe that’s perfect for a Wednesday night family pasta party.” Over time, customers will feel that they know your business and they’ll want to come back again and again, in the same way they’d want to catch up with an old friend.

The pillars of restaurant branding

Building a brand can take months or even years, but it’s never too early to get started. Here are the touchstones that every restaurant brand needs to focus on to succeed in today’s climate. Here are some restaurant branding strategies to get you started.

Research your competitors

A restaurant brand won’t only make you memorable—it will also make you stand out as a distinct brand within a sea of competitors. So, before you begin making any decisions about what type of brand you want to create, start with some research.

Explore other similar restaurants in your area. What kind of personality do they convey online and in person in their marketing materials? Do they have a distinct style? What channels are they using to connect with customers? The more you know about your competitors, the easier it will be to carve out your own unique space.

Establish your brand’s personality

Think about your business as though it were a person. How would it speak? What would its personality be like? Once you’ve decided on the characteristics of your brand, these key adjectives should appear in everything you do and in all of your marketing materials. This includes social media posts, menu copy, design style, customer service approach—even the style of the food.

Use the right channels

Choose the digital channels you’ll use to communicate with customers and spread the word about your restaurant. For brands that appeal to younger generations, Instagram and TikTok may prove to be the best options. Or, for restaurants targeting an older crowd, try platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. You will also need to ensure you have a presence on Google Maps. Google Maps showcases established businesses and is often the first port of call for customers in the area.

Do not underestimate the power of reviews

A staggering 90% of customers research a new restaurant online before they visit, so having an established, vibrant brand online really can make or break your business. Many customers use Google Maps to find restaurants and check reviews first.

In addition to creating social media channels where your brand can grow and thrive, you’ll also need to collect, organize, and monitor online reviews. By taking charge of your reviews online, you’ll also be taking control of your business’s credibility and online reputation—after all, first impressions now happen online with reviews, so they matter.

Build a brand people trust with Localyser

Building a restaurant brand from scratch may feel like a daunting task. That’s why working with an expert can take the burden of your marketing efforts off your shoulders, enabling you to get back to what you love doing most as a restaurant operator: creating the restaurant you’ve been dreaming of.

At Localyser, we specialize in helping multi-location restaurant brands run successful marketing campaigns that revolve around your online reputation through positive reviews and Google Maps. We offer Restaurant Reputation Management that can help you collect online reviews from multiple sources including Google Maps, respond to negative and positive reviews, track review sentiment, and even help you encourage more reviews from your satisfied customers.

Getting on top of your online reputation can take you a long way toward building successful restaurant branding strategies. Get started with a free demo today to see how Restaurant Reputation Management can transform your business.

You might also enjoy
Digital Listing ManagementHow To Better Manage Your Online Listing Presence In The Middle East

In the hectic retail and food and beverage markets of the Middle East, the ability to get discovered in search results is necessary to both build and maintain a successful business or restaurant.

Review GenerationHow to encourage customers to leave a review and the SEO benefit to your business

Before the digital era, we relied on friends, family and acquaintances for testimonials; that’s old news now-a-days especially that we’re surrounded by online review sites such as Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, Zomato and what have you. 

Online Reputation Management4 Benefits of Online Reputation Management

Advice on how beneficial online reputation management can be for your restaurant business. Four benefits outlined in this article to help your business. 

Our all-in-one solution will organize and optimize your online reputation for every location.

Let us show you how.