No matter how established a restaurant is, branding is one of the most important aspects to keep up. It creates a lasting impression for all customers and will keep them coming back.

Many restaurants aren’t up to their fullest potential because of a lack of branding. Your brand is what sets you apart from your competition. In this blog post, we’re going to help to create an identity for your restaurant.

Here are the top five practices that will help you choose the branding for your restaurant:

1. Establish your values and mission statement

You must begin your branding with a strong mission statement. This shows customers your true values and the things your restaurant cares about.

It is the reason your restaurant exists. The “why.” Start by identifying your core values. These should be present everywhere – with your employees, store structure, and down to the menu.

Think about who you are, what you are doing it, and why. This will help you see the goals you want for your restaurant and help you meet them.

After this, your brand mission statement will come naturally. It will show your values and your stance in one to two sentences. Here is the chance for you to showcase to your customers your values and goals. It tells them why they should care and why they should be a customer.

Our partner, The Local Cafe, is a prime example with a true mission statement. They embrace “Where Everyone is a Local!” The Local Cafe welcomes each guest as family, and it’s part of their brand. Their social media features images of local customers and their biggest accomplishments. You truly are treated like a local when you dine here.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Local Cafe TN (@thelocalcafetn) on

2. Find your positioning

Brand positioning is where you think your restaurant is in the industry. It is where you showcase why your brand is different from your competitors. It is also what your customers think about you. Positioning your restaurant in the market helps you communicate your values with customers.

Here is where the 4 P’s of marketing come into play. Consider the price, product, promotion, and place. Think about the pricing of the menu and the items on it. Decide how you will promote this to customers and what location you want. After doing this, you will have an idea of your ideal customer. You can always ask your employees and the neighborhood you are in for ideas.

3. Create your voice

Brand voice allows you to decide what you are going to communicate with your customers. This is what will make your brand unique and will show your personality.

It is how you interact with prospective customers, existing customers, and new ones. To start, think of three words to describe your brand as if they were a person. Think about each word and why it relates to your restaurant. From here on, you should have a good idea of how your brand looks to the rest of the world.

Knowing the voice and personality will help develop the physical aspects. If your brand is fun and bubbly, you may consider using bright colors in and out of the restaurant.

You can spice up the menu as well and match it to your voice, so there is consistency everywhere. Voice will also attract certain customers that relate to your restaurant.

To give you an example of a perfected voice, let’s take a look at our partner Common Grounds in Waco, Texas. In their Instagram bio, they share three words that describe their brand. Music, culture, and community. Common Grounds considers its actual staff’s family and their community as well. They have the perfect set up in their coffee shop that doubles as a stage for live music. Music is part of the culture that brings everyone together in Waco. They’ve created a brand voice that speaks for itself.

4. Invent your image & design

Design is very important because it is what the customers see and can allow them to remember you.

The brand image starts with picking a unique and fitting name. You want the name of the restaurant to show target customers what you are going to give them. It must be consistent with the menu and not be misleading. To pick the right name, start with your customers’ needs and wants, and appeal to them.

After picking the name, you must create a memorable logo that matches your restaurant. This is going to be the thing customers remember and will recognize about you. Then, match the logo colors with colors throughout the restaurant. Many people care about aesthetics more often than not.

For example, if your target customer is a young adult who uses social media, you may want to tailor more to them. These might be cute images in the bathroom, a place where people can take photos and post to Instagram.

Having strong visuals and logos in all places makes your identity strong. This will allow customers to recognize you even from something small like a sticker.

You can start this process by creating a mood board where you place things that align with your brand. You then decide what works more than others and come down to only a few images. Then stick with those and make them consistent throughout the restaurant.

Consistent colors with your logo, menu, social media, and website make you memorable. Remember to not mislead customers and look the same as you do online, and in real life.

5. Plan out your strategy

A strategy is an important piece as it’s how you put all the work you have done in place. Here, you must align your values with what you are putting in place.

Since you are in the service industry, you must also make sure your customers align with your values as well. You should have consistency when online ordering to on-site dining. You want to ensure that customers get the same experience each time. This means customers ordering online versus dining in should feel the same. You must always think about consistency and staying on brand.

It is important to remember that everything you do reflects who you are as a company, so don’t be misleading. Your strategy will allow you to stay consistent with your brand. You should put in place a plan and actionable items so that all employees are on the same page.

When creating your strategy, also come up with ideas of what you will do when customers get upset. Think about how you want your employees to react and tend to upset customers. Whatever is in place, they should stay consistent with the brand.

The strategy doesn’t have to be hard; it must stay on track, though. Think about how you are going to roll out new items on social media and how you are going to send messages to customers. The simplest of things are part of the strategy, that’s why it is a good idea to write them all down.

Motivated? Get planning!

Your restaurant branding is a blueprint for the rest of your success. Keep in mind that technology allows you to bring your branding to life. You need a POS system that supports your voice, positioning, and strategy.

CAKE offers custom solutions that will help you grow your business and back up your branding. Our solutions will streamline operations so you can focus on enhancing your brand.