To avoid failures that happen quite often, you need to think through everything in advance. Today you can find many recommendations on how to start a restaurant business and what typical mistakes can and should be avoided. However, the topic of restaurant branding is practically not covered. But a strong restaurant brand is one of the main components of success.
It so happened historically that branding in Armenia turned into decoration and embellishment. They drew a logo, designed a sign, printed business cards, decorated the menu design with monograms - and that’s it, "the brand is ready." Everything that has a name and logo, for some unknown reason, is called a brand.
But the brand is a much broader concept, consisting not only of its visual and verbal attributes. In fact, this is an image, a representation, an impression that a visitor develops after visiting a restaurant. Integrity, uniqueness, recognition, impression - these are the main components of a strong brand. The brand image is formed not only due to the name, sign and interior - these are only details, although, of course, they are far from secondary. The history of the institution, its location, traditions, features of the menu, the quality of dishes, the behavior of visitors, the features of serving, the culture of service - you can list the elements that form the brand for a very long time. The main task of branding is to do everything possible so that the image laid down by the owner of the restaurant, as a result, coincides with what visitors think about his place.
Turning random visitors into loyal and regular customers is the goal of any restaurateur, the cornerstone of success in the restaurant business. Moreover, loyalty in this case is not just satisfaction with the price, quality of dishes or the speed of service, but loyalty associated with the attitude to a particular place. In other words, the steady preference of your brand to everyone else.
Now it remains to understand what steps need to be taken to create a strong restaurant brand.
• Brand development: a step before the start
The development of a restaurant brand concept even before its opening is the most effective. But in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, it is necessary to consider the technology and the basic principles of branding in the whole complex of the restaurant business.
• The audience is everything
The formation of a portrait of the audience is a process that does not endure rush and unfounded assumptions. The key tools in this matter are qualitative and quantitative research.
• Create an interesting restaurant
After choosing the target audience on the basis of quantitative research, a more interesting stage of its study begins - a qualitative analysis.
• Choosing a place for a restaurant
The purpose of this search is to identify areas of the city in which the interests and hobbies of the audience could best be combined with the need for relaxation, food or a place where you can sit and chat with friends.
• Branding: a conceptual look
To make the concept easier to work with, it must be somehow formalized so that it can be easily explained to both employees and customers.
• Restaurant decoration
Thanks to the well-thought-out concept of the brand, the superficial subjective approach disappears (“I like it, I don’t like it”) and a weighed search for specific solutions begins - how an item (even an ashtray and a toothpick on the table) supplements the story and enhances the brand's value.
• Branding and restaurant cuisine
The issue of branding in food is rather in the plane of meeting the concept of the restaurant. Very often there are restaurants with claims to this or that national cuisine, in which, however, the restaurateur’s desire to save on ingredients is clearly noticeable.
Aromabranding is still a poorly developed area, but the abundance and availability of all kinds of flavors can qualitatively complement the restaurant brand.