Whether you’re opening or reopening your establishment, in a post-lockdown landscape, ensuring consumer confidence is vital. Not only do you need to be able to attract new customers, but you need repeat, loyal visitors. For your restaurant to be a customer-favorite, you need to stand out from the crowd and show your customers why exactly they should be dining with you. It can be as big as plastering your banners at every street corner or, as simple as creating transparent cubicles to make dining COVID-19 safe.
This is where restaurant branding comes into play. Read on to learn about the must-have branding tools for your restaurant’s marketing.
#1 Your Name
Choosing a relevant name for your restaurant is one of the most important parts of its branding. After all, this is the name your restaurant will be known for. Keeping this in mind, come up with such a name that gives your customers a glimpse of the kind of food and service they can expect from you. Your restaurant’s name needs to reflect your brand and your mission. It should exude the kind of feelings you want your target audience to have.
One great tool for this is the use of a business name generator for restaurants where you can just insert your niche or name and get some quite unique restaurant names to choose from.
For example, the restaurant ‘Chipotle Mexican Grill’ has revolutionized the American casual dining experience by serving and specializing in chipotle. The restaurant’s name gives its audience a glimpse of the kind of service and food served, hence checking the box for the perfect name! Chipotle now serves several places in the US, Canada, Germany, and France.
#2 Your Logo
The reason why whenever you see a yellow capital ‘M’, or a white mermaid with flowing hair and a tiara, you know that it’s McDonald’s or Starbucks respectively. This is because of effective branding by these companies through their logos.
A logo is a visual element that reflects a brand’s identity, its message, and its mission. It is this imagery that your target audience will recognize your brand for years to come. Therefore, creating a restaurant logo that effectively delivers your restaurant brand’s mission, vision, and message is crucial.
With a restaurant logo maker, you can get a lot of logo design templates, whether for brainstorming or design your own logo for download for your restaurant.
Be sure your restaurant logo highlights your brand colors, include various shapes, designs, or even have your restaurant’s name in a relevant typeface against a simple background to match your branding.
#3 Your Tagline
When Colonel Sanders said, ‘It’s finger lickin’ good” in 1956, the world remembered it.
A tagline that is short, catchy, and succinctly sums the brand’s mission and defining feature is a valuable asset. For effective branding, come up with a unique slogan for your restaurant that tells your audience your unique feature. This tagline can run on radio ads or shown on restaurant banners, website, and social media platforms, etc. so you need to be mindful of what you come up with.
And if you are already established then this is the best time to show you care through your tagline, customized for the COVID-19 situation. If you have made any additions or taken safety precautions that will benefit customers, then a tagline to the effect of “your safety first” will add value to your brand image.
#4 Your Digital Marketing Platforms
Before dining at a restaurant, 90% of people first search online for its reputation, reviews, and dining experience. This shows the importance of creating an online presence for restaurants to increase their sales and customer following.
In regard to digital media platforms, there are several tools and tricks that restaurant owners shouldn’t ignore. These are:
Since restaurant-goers love searching for restaurants online, you, as a restaurant owner need to be at the top of their search results for them to notice, know, and dine with you. This is possible through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can achieve local SEO by creating your blog and using keywords that include your location to help direct traffic to your website.
As far as post-COVID-19 is concerned, local SEO can be optimized to include your restaurant among the “safe to dine” list of restaurants by highlighting your restaurant features.
Social Media Platforms
The concept of marketing your business on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is not new. Several businesses use social media to voice their brand’s mission, engage with customers, and build a consumer following.
Make sure that you build a strong social media presence for your restaurant to build trust within your audience. You can achieve this through vibrant photos of your restaurant and food, ‘behind the scenes’ clips showing how you prepare food and interviews of your staff so that your audience can better engage with you.
If you want your restaurant to have a deeper impact during and post COVID-19, create dialogues on social media by building a community right now. This will not only create a great following but also helps in building your brand image in the long term. This brings us to the next point.
Using the Power of Influencers
Influencers are all the rage in today’s time! Collaborate with your local influencers to spread word-of-mouth about their experience at your restaurant and recommend you to your target audience. Remember, you don’t always need an influencer with the most following on social media, micro-influencers are just as influential to spread the word around about how your restaurant is following protocols, what measures you are taking to make it safe for dining or even takeaways during COVID-19 lockdown.
Email and Text Marketing
Despite what is perceived about them, text and email marketing are still effective tools for marketing. As you collect your customer’s contact information, use it to your benefit, and offer them regular discounts or promotions. This will help in creating a positive image in your customer’s minds.
#5 Your Personalized Services
These days, customers want to receive personalized services from the businesses they are interacting with. For example, a simple gesture of having your name on your Starbucks coffee cup—however wrongly spelled—can definitely make someone’s day.
Figure out how you can provide personalized services for your customers as they dine at your restaurant. Separate tables for a minimum of two diners, shorter queues, mandatory mask-wearing, hand sanitizers, and covered food items are some of the ways that you can personalize for during COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 lockdown dining experiences. By incorporating personalization, you will appeal to your audience’s emotions and provide them the ultimate dining experience.
A Final Word
Marketing is an essential component of business without which no business can move forward. Businesses can use several branding tools to market their restaurants, but remember that in marketing there isn’t one-size-fits-all. That means you need to figure out what works best for you and your patrons. At the end of the day, your aim is to attract your target audience and provide them the kind of service your brand promises, and live up to their expectations so as to build a loyal customer following.