Innovating and implementing a wise restaurant branding strategy can be the factor that will make you stand out from the whopping number of competitors.
Think about it: In the US alone, 749,404 quick-service and full-service restaurants are operating as of 2023.
And most of these food and beverage establishments come from California, New York, and Texas—three states with the best business environment for restaurateurs like you.
That’s a lot of establishments to compete with.
Consider creating an engaging identity for your restaurant to entice customers and retain your regulars.
You might revamp your decors and interiors, switch your menu offerings, think of seasonal gimmicks, or even upgrade your operations with tech-savvy tools like an interactive restaurant menu software.
Get to know the best expert branding strategies for your restaurant in this comprehensive article.
What is branding in a restaurant?
Considering the growing number of restaurants, steering clear of becoming part of restaurant failure rate statistics is quite a challenge.
Now, this is where branding comes into view.
When you strategically brand a restaurant business, it’s a lot easier for you to establish a reputation and an identity in the food and beverage industry, so it’s empirical to have it ready right from the get-go.
Branding restaurant businesses encompass visual identity, social media presence, market and competitor knowledge, menu offerings, and the marketing of your business.
With potent branding from the onset of your restaurant business—whether a fine dining or fast casual restaurant—you can help your customers remember your name, logo, food, the overall dining experience, and even your social media presence.
This will compel them to keep coming back while advertising your restaurants to their family and friends.
How do you brand a restaurant: 7 best strategies
No, we’re not talking about getting a branding iron for restaurant logos. We are talking about how you can promote your name in this industry—marketing-wise.
Here’s a list of branding strategies to take note of that will boost your food and beverage establishment:
1. Establish a clear goal
The basics of branding in business is to have a set of core values and a clear mission statement.
Through this, you’ll be able to answer the “hows” and the “whys” surrounding your industry—in this case, restaurants.
So, before even starting your business operations, you must first know why and how you will offer this type of food and service to your customers.
Knowing the answer to these questions gives you a significant idea of how your restaurant will operate, serve, and sustain the business.
Let’s take Burger King as an example. Yep, the famous Home of the Whopper.
The second largest fast food hamburger chain’s mission is “to offer reasonably priced food, served quickly in attractive, clean surroundings”. It’s pretty easy to digest, direct to the point, and never vague.
It’s as simple as that. Your goal in creating a mission statement is to identify the purpose of your restaurant, tell your employees and customers why you exist, and communicate what makes you unique from your competitors.
2. Get to know the market
If you want a sustainable restaurant business, it’s crucial to establish a strong restaurant branding and know who you’re making it for and selling it to—your target market.
Determining your customers will help you target those willing to pay for your food and service so your efforts won’t go to waste.
You can analyze the demographics in your target location, their dining and purchasing behaviors, and even use your competitor analysis to your advantage.
The data gathered from this market research assists you in providing the best food items and restaurant services.
Would it be better to set up a self serve ordering system? Would your customers prefer cash or e-payments? Would it help to offer free Wi-Fi as well?
With accurate and informative market research, you can answer all the questions that will allow you to provide quality service.
3. Know your competitors
It’s great that you know every detail about your food establishment. But when branding a restaurant, you should also know who your competitors are.
Scout your competition. Know what they offer and check out their branding strategies. Find any weaknesses or pain points and take advantage of those.
For instance, you can determine things not on their menu and offer those in your restaurant. This will establish a stronger and better customer base.
4. Customize menu design and offerings
You now have identified your target market, done your competitor analysis, and established a profitable visual identity. You’re off to the fun part: Designing your menu layout.
Curating your restaurant menu needs more than just graphic design. You also need to add a few marketing tactics to make it profitable.
In one of their academic articles, experts from Johnson & Wales University (JWU) stated that menu creation focuses on introducing your foods with enticing names, descriptions, prices, categories, typography, and design.
One more thing to highlight is to include high-quality images of your food and drink offerings.
Because here’s the truth: Menus without images are unappealing. Your customers might not want to dine in your establishment, thinking you don’t serve good food.
Add mouth-watering photos to lure them into your restaurant. Take them on a visual feast to help them picture their orders and stimulate their taste buds.
And here’s more: Try using a digitalized QR code menu for that tech-savvy edge against your competitors. It’s convenient, easy to use, and appeals to many customer demographics.
5. Develop visual identity
Branding is more than just design. You also have to note that your overall visual appeal says a lot about your business.
When developing your restaurant’s visual identity, you must observe it across all your design elements for uniformity.
These include your logo, interior and exterior designs, color scheme, menu design, employee uniforms, website, and social media layouts.
Doing so helps your current and potential customers recognize your restaurant with ease.
One good example would be McDonald’s choice of minimalistic visual identity and iconic golden arches symbolizing a large M.
Notice how the brand uses red and yellow in all their campaigns, physical or digital menus, interior and exterior accents and decors, and even on their staff uniforms.
This solid visual identity is so consistent in all their stores worldwide that the two-color scheme is almost automatically associated with the brand.
6. Optimize restaurant branding on your website
A good website boosts brand recognition and showcases your restaurant’s food and services to existing and potential customers.
This is because 81% of customers check out restaurant websites before deciding where to dine or place their order.
Now, you’d want to publicize a website that will immediately hook visitors at first glance and make them want to book a reservation.
Consequently, you also need to make your website as user-friendly as possible to guarantee a smooth experience for your users.
Make the buttons and tabs functional, offer easy-to-use booking or ordering systems, and integrate various payment methods.
7. Branding restaurants with social media
Establishing a strong social media presence helps reach a wider audience, increase your business network, and upgrade your digital marketing efforts.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok will make it easier for you to showcase your menu offerings and latest promos.
You can post delectable photos of your food items, behind-the-scenes videos of your kitchen preparations, and more.
What’s great about this is that you have successfully extended your restaurant brand and established a robust social media marketing strategy for your business.
Branding a restaurant the MENU TIGER way
If you don’t know where to start with the branding, we’re here to help.
You see, MENU TIGER is an intuitive software that not only creates a QR code menu but also sets up your website and integrates with your POS system and payment options, to name a few.
Here’s how to brand a restaurant with MENU TIGER:
1. Log in to or sign up for MENU TIGER
All you need is an active email and a phone number to subscribe.
Once you’ve signed up, you will immediately access the features offered by MENU TIGER, depending on the plan you chose and paid for. You can also opt for the FREE plan.
This will also allow you to create a website for your restaurant; no coding or web hosting is required. You can customize, access, and manage it directly from the MENU TIGER software.
This innovative digital tool also lets you integrate your POS system, e-payment options, taxations, survey or feedback forms, and a waiter call button system for requests and orders.
2. Create your restaurant menu
This is where you will add your menu offerings. You can import your menu, start from scratch in the software, or make one using the templates provided to really get a customized restaurant branding out of your menus.
Once you’ve added your food items’ names, descriptions, photos, and categories, the MENU TIGER system will automatically generate a menu QR code.
You can then customize the generated QR code in alignment with your restaurant’s target visual identity.
3. Perform a test scan
Scan the QR code using your phone to check if it redirects you to the accurate digital menu page.
4. Print the generated menu QR code and display
Finalize your menu QR codes and print them out. You can display them on table tents, tabletops, or anywhere you want to place them. The key is to put them in spots where people will see or notice them immediately.
Why use an interactive restaurant menu software for your branding?
Branding sure is a challenging task, but it ultimately gives you fruitful outcomes. Here are just a handful of benefits you’ll get from your branding strategies:
People will recognize you easily
The main goal of setting up powerful branding is to put your restaurant business name out there and get recognition.
So, you’ll need a unique element to boost your brand. An excellent place to start is with a digital menu software.
You see, the online menu system is still not that popular despite its functionality. It will make sense if your competitors are not using this technology in their entire restaurant operation.
This will make it a lot easier for you to establish an edge against your competitors.
Great restaurant branding equals great reputation
According to Forbes, branding creates a strong relationship between your business and your target audience.
With a compelling branding strategy, you can either build your customer’s trust and make them return or boost your advertising through word of mouth, pushing your business to the top.
And when your customers love you for what you consistently offer, this immediately creates a good reputation for your business.
A QR code menu streamlines your overall operations
It’s a time-saver for you as an owner or manager, your employees, and especially your customers.
With this digital wonder, your patrons will no longer need to wait in a long queue to order and pay. Even their requests will be a lot easier to keep a tab on.
Workflow and customer assistance will also be smooth since your staff will get notifications about it on the software.
Most importantly, all of the data needed, like purchases, payments, and other restaurant information, are readily accessible to you.
Customer retention and acquisition made easy
Getting a high satisfaction rate and great customer feedback will never be a challenging task with this type of digital software, making it much easier to retain and acquire more customers.
You see, customer satisfaction is the main objective of setting up a user-friendly and customer-centric digital menu system.
Just imagine having access to features like a swift payment system, printer integration for receipt production, waiter call button system for fast-paced assistance and more.
All these will be why your customers keep returning: Great customer service and fast assistance.
Catapults employee satisfaction to the peak
A wise restaurant owner or manager knows how important employee morale and well-being are to boost productivity and work dedication.
With a digital menu system, you’ll make it easier for them to work even on peak hours, where the scene can get messier and busier every minute.
Imagine being able to operate the restaurant using only a single software.
For instance, you can add multiple users to your digital menu software with a paid plan and enable your staff to access features that make their work lighter and smoother.
These include payment integrations, a waiter calling system, multi-store management, and even access to statistics of your customers’ purchases.
Now, this will make restaurant management a lot easier to handle. Just one software, and they’ll be able to streamline all of their work for the day.
Kickstart your restaurant branding with MENU TIGER today
We know you only have one main goal for your restaurant business—to thrive in this ever-developing industry, and great branding can help you achieve that.
You must put planning and research into action through expert strategies, and you’ll need a software that will make restaurant handling and marketing hassle-free.
Invest in MENU TIGER interactive restaurant menu software to break through the industry. It’s more than just a digital menu: It has everything you’ll need to run your restaurant efficiently.
Sign up for a freemium plan and learn how this will boost your restaurant brand to the top.