5 Tips For Branding A Better Restaurant or Bar
Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to work on some very interesting brand development projects within the restaurant and food industry, being able to provide new businesses within the UK and internationally, with an effective strategy in terms of branding in order for those businesses to provide the best possible customer experience.
In the restaurant industry, customer is king. Therefore, the customer experience must be of the up most importance to make sure that when that customer leaves, they have enjoyed the experience enough to guarantee that they will come back time and time again.
In order to make sure that the customer has had the best possible experience from any restaurant or bar, there are many different design, marketing and administration processes that can be put in place in order to heighten the brand experience for them.
Here, we’ve provided 5 shorts examples of how a restaurant or bar brand can improve their overall service to the customer:
1. What are people saying about your brand..?
Without doing any research into your customers, or getting feedback on what they think about your service or food, how can any restaurant improve upon what they do? By doing the research i.e asking existing customers what they think of the food, the customer service and the decor of the restaurant, then you can then begin to find out exactly what kind of experience your customers are having – good or bad! One simple way of achieving this would be to create a customer comment card which can be filled in once a customer has finished dining, or by carrying out a survey amongst the general public, asking them about their own perceptions of the brand.
2. Make sure that your internal design sets the right tone…
The internal design and decor of a restaurant or bar is integral to setting the tone for the whole customer experience, shaping the atmosphere and reflecting the quality of its service. In general terms, a restaurant or bar should provide customers with a fun, comfortable environment to access quality food and drink. Venues need to stand out in their marketplace and strong, unique and focused design can often be a good way to do this. If this is done well then it can often be the venue’s main talking point and the key factor in customer generation.
3. Keep everything within your brand consistent…
Creating an impactful brand identity that conveys your restaurant or bar’s unique selling point and brand values. Consistently present this throughout your communications and marketing materials such as website, signage and menus. Your brand is also reflected by your staff and the way you interact with people. Make sure your staff are polite, friendly and informative and are dressed smartly in branded uniforms. From the moment a customer enquires for a booking over the phone or online, until the moment they depart the venue, the overall tone and quality of service and interaction must be consistent in order to provide the very best customer experience.
4. Get your customers involved in the processes…
You might want to think about getting your customers involved in your plans and processes. Aligned with your branding, produce signs in your establishment with food facts about the products you are serving. Maybe you are serving local ingredients that were picked up at a farmers market that morning, or meat from a local butchers. Share these facts with your customers, and make them feel good about supporting local producers.
5. Use social media to engage and respond…
Social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter are very valuable tools for responding to customer feedback and promoting new offers or changes in menu. For many small businesses, social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs offer a relatively inexpensive way to build brand loyalty and reach potential customers.
If used correctly, social media can also be very good way of responding to any negative feedback and spinning it into a positive. Acknowledge mistakes and offering the customers in question free meals or vouchers can work in a restaurant’s favour. While the customer in question may never come back, plenty of others are watching how the company responds to a negative post. If the response is positive, other people see that this is not something you’re trying to hide from or that is a common occurrence.
…and 3 simple actions to take now to ensure your restaurant brand is delivering the best quality experience…
1. If your restaurant phones use answering machines during closed hours or busy period, make sure that your answer message provides a clear call to action (contact via email, leave a telephone number, conntact through social media) to make sure that you dont lose potential custom.
2. Use well designed, well presented menus. Ive been to many restaurant that have presented their menus on chewed up card, ripped menus that have been sellotaped together and menus which have been designed using the fateful microsoft word/comic sans combo! Just think – first impressions count, and the menu is often the first experience a customer will usually have with your food.
3. Keep your customers engaged! If your restaurant is family orientated, then make sure that you offer something fun and entertaining for young children to keep them occupied. This could be something simple such as a colouring competition or comic style food menus that will keep the children engaging with your brand. If you keep the children happy, then the parents usually are too!
If you own or run a restaurant or bar business, and would like some more advice on how to brand most effectively in order to provide the customer with the best possible experience, then please get in touch either by calling 0845 900 58 28 or emailing [email protected]
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