Restaurant Branding and the Embarrassment of Choice
If a burger is grilled in the woods and no one sees it or hears it, does it really exist?
One of the biggest parts of branding in the restaurant industry comes near the end – getting the word out! In Serbia, there were approximately 20,000 restaurants and bars according to one survey. Given that vast amount of choice, how can we possibly evaluate for ourselves the best place for lunch or dinner?
Eeny meeny miny moe?
Even the well-established brands have to contend with the ever-growing tide of competition for our attention. Aside from creating a brand with its own unique and attractive personality, a restaurant must communicate a clear and simple message: “Here’s why you should come to us tonight.”
1. Create regular appointments
You can usually count on people to remember what day of the week it is. So why not give them a good reason to remember? If it’s Monday, you get 20% off at Credo. But if you missed Monday, on Wednesday it’s Ladies night.
By making this kind of consistent appointment with the consumer, it helps them make up their mind. We are all creatures of habit after all!
2. Make a Big Deal of the Big Deals
Holidays are a particularly hard time for restaurant goers. We never really know which places are open and which are closed. We don’t always know if there is something special going on. Communicating that you are there for them is important.
3. Toot your own horn
If there is one thing you do well, make sure everyone knows it. If it’s pasta, then show us the spaghetti. One question that people very often ask themselves is “where can we get the best burger?” Or pasta. Or T-bone steak. Or desserts?
In the case of Credo, above, the speciality is in personalization. By telling us that on Fridays we can design our own pasta – and allow a world-clas chef to cook it for us – it’s something we can latch onto. In this way, not only will we know the best place to go on Friday, but we can start looking forward to it on Tuesday already!
Simple is not easy
Sadly many restaurants fail in this department, and as a result restaurant-going can feel a little random. Many places depend on advertisement that shows an image without telling us what we are seeing. A restaurant, remember, is more of a service business than a product one. The food must be good (of course!) but if no one knows about the good food, it can spoil quickly.
Keep it simple. Tell us what you do and why we should love you. Chances are we will listen!