What to consider when branding your restaurant

So, you’re a chef, and you have this great idea to open up a roll your own sushi restaurant. You have a world class team and make amazing food, but there are still some more ducks you need to get in a row! Food is obviously the main draw to a restaurant, but well executed marketing and branding will push you ahead of the competition from the get go.

Do you want your new restaurant’s image to stand out, or are you looking to give your current brand a facelift? Read our 5 steps for successfully branding a restaurant.

1. Know your target customer

The customer is a key ingredient in defining your visual brand identity. Determining who your food is for and who you are selling to will make the branding process that much smoother from start to finish.

2. Keep it cohesive

Once you know who you are selling to, you will need to create a brand story. Think of your restaurant’s visual brand as a happy little family comprised of a logo, menu, printed collateral, signage, website all living in harmony within a cohesively branded interior space. Just imagine that emotional “we did it!” moment when you see your happy customers interacting with facets of your brand, from graphics on the windows to the large-scale menu on the interior wall.

3. Build an online presence

At first glance, your website should help users get a feel for what you offer and who you are as a brand. Make sure that your personality is evident throughout the pages of your responsive website and that your site is an extension of your restaurant. In addition to your kick-ass website, it’s great to keep your customers in the know with up-to-date social media content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

4. Utilize visual content

Professionally produced photography and video content results in the visual quality assets that your restaurant needs to properly market itself. Sharing and integrating this content within various online sources and print publications will further add to the lasting impression you make on your audience. Photographs can showcase your food, atmosphere, and staff, while a video can tell your story and convey your vision in an impactful way, without you having to personally deliver your message again and again.

5. Integrate public relations

Hiring a public relations agency to get the word out by means of a solid PR strategy will generate meaningful media placements with accurate brand specific messaging. A well crafted PR campaign is a key ingredient for success, creating interaction and buzz, not only within your target audience, but amongst a broader audience that typically might not be in your network.

Interested in learning more about M studio’s restaurant branding expertise? Check out some restaurants we’ve had the pleasure of working with below, or visit our branding services page here.

Cross and Orange:

Inspired by the restaurant’s completely from-scratch menu, M studio drew influence for their branding from the hands-on hustle and bustle of mid-19th century America. After establishing the restaurant’s name and brand identity, M studio consulted on interior design elements and call-outs, held a photo shoot to capture imagery for their fully responsive website, garnered press, managed social media accounts, and laid out their signage and printed collateral.

Cross & Orange menu and business card design by M studio

Talula’s:

Asbury Park pizza restaurant and bar Talula’s reached out to M studio to assist with developing their brand new image within the downtown community. Inspired by Talula’s use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients, M studio created a simple and clean logo and brand identity, print materials, and fully responsive website, reflecting Talula’s personality and character.

Talula's menu print collateral design by M studio

Greek Eats:

The concept for the fast casual restaurant, Greek Eats, was inspired by the owner’s Greek heritage and passion for quick, quality food on the go. In support of this concept, M studio was there to create a fully cohesive visual brand identity, including a logo, interior and exterior signage, and custom icon set utilized on menu and responsive one page website reflecting the restaurant’s on the go clientele and modern take on Greek cuisine.
Greek Eats Printed Collateral by M studio
Jenn
senior designer at M studio

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