What brings customers into your restaurant? It could be the sign you have over the door, the attractive décor inside, the menu listed on your website, online reviews, and recommendations, or even the delicious aroma wafting from your restaurant and down the street. And all of those things are part of restaurant branding… Well, except the delicious food aromas.
But restaurant branding doesn’t always help you. In fact, if your branding is out of date or inaccurate, then it could do more harm than good. In this post, we’ll look at when it’s time to rebrand a restaurant.
Let’s start with the most obvious issue. When was the last time you freshened up your restaurant branding? If the answer is a few years, then it’s definitely time to change things up. Even if you feel nostalgic for your old branding, your customers might disagree.
There are other reasons why your branding might be out-of-date, too. Think about any changes you’ve made to the restaurant recently. If you’ve updated your menu, redecorated, or added new services such as delivery, then a rebrand is a perfect way to re-introduce your restaurant to customers.
If you decide to rebrand your restaurant, make the most of the opportunity. Update your website to match your print materials. Check that it has an up-to-date menu, contact details, working links, and is fully accessible for all users.
Here’s a more subtle problem. Maybe you’re great at keeping your website up to date, have your interior decorator on speed dial, and love inventing new menus.
But… does your branding show who you are? Do you stand out from your competitors? Can someone glance at your logo, and guess what you’re serving up?
It’s worth investing in a graphic designer, marketing agency, or even a dedicated branding consultant to make sure that your rebrand shows who you are. Your restaurant has something unique to offer – so make sure customers know about it!
Maybe you’re not the one who’s changed. If you’re getting different customers than before, then you need to rebrand your restaurant to match.
For example, if there’s an influx of young professionals in your area, then you’ll want to update with branding that appeals to them. A rebrand is also a good idea if you change your pricing levels because different price ranges will attract different customers. Remember – it doesn’t matter how beautiful your branding is if it’s aimed at the wrong audience.
OK. Let’s take a minute to think about the worst-case scenario. Imagine that your sales are slowing down, your tables are empty at dinner time, and the bad reviews are stacking up on Yelp. How do you fix things?
There are obvious practical steps to take – reviewing your menu, reaching out to unhappy customers, and running ad campaigns. But it might also be time to rebrand your restaurant.
When you rebrand, you have an opportunity to leave negative reviews and memories behind. Start over with a fresh look for your restaurant and online presence. Give yourself a chance to succeed.
From worst case to best case scenario: sometimes, you need to rebrand your restaurant because the business is growing. If you’re planning to open franchises, or you’re attracting customers from a wider geographical area, then a restaurant rebrand can take you to the next level.
Take the example of The Pilot House – a run-down seafood restaurant in New Jersey. When it was taken over by new owners, they decided to rebrand and reach a bigger customer base.
They kept the restaurant name and started emphasizing its local values: fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and a long history as part of the local community. But at the same time, they totally revamped the Pilot House’s look and altered the space to accommodate more seasonal visitors.
The result? Queues around the block.
With the right rebrand, you can also bring more customers into your restaurant. Take a long hard look at what makes you different, and ask yourself whether your restaurant branding is sending the right message. Then get ready to welcome more customers than ever before.