6 steps for successfully re-branding your restaurant
So, you’re thinking of re-branding your restaurant… But why? Do you feel as if your entire offering could do with a re-think or is your space feeling a little worse for wear? Whatever your motivation, it’s important you get it right and make the right decisions along the way to ensure your budget is taken care of and spent in the right areas. From your menu to your restaurant furniture design and general interior. The following blog details the steps you should take if a re-brand is a priority for you this year.
1. Evaluate your current brand
How is your current restaurant performing and what is it that’s made you re-think your offering? There must be a motivation behind this and we would presume this is because you believe your venue could do better. How was your restaurant ‘born’ and what’s the story behind it? This is your most powerful asset and so it’s important to concentrate on this in order to build your brand moving
2. Evaluate the marketplace
What’s happening within your space in the marketplace? What are your key competitors doing and what do you aspire to? Ensure you research your competition fully from visiting their premises and conducting a ‘mystery shop’ to looking through their websites and social media pages. Gather as much information and ammunition as possible. What food and drinks do they offer? How do they serve their customers? How do they make themselves stand out from the competition? Hospitality venues will use a plethora of integrated channels to promote their offering to current customers and prospects. You don’t necessarily have to copy this, but it can provide you with food for thought and inspiration moving forward.
3. Take a look at your interior (and exterior) design
It goes without saying that your customers are going to expect a restaurant furniture design overhaul as part of this process. Many rejuvenate their venues with a lick of paint and new furniture, even when they’re not going through a re-brand. There’s a lot of wear and tear to these types of venues. So, it makes sense to ensure your walls, restaurant furniture design and accessories are in good nick because all of these areas combined
However, if you are going through a re-brand, make sure you do your homework. So many resources are available at your fingertips in this technological era, so use them. Research Instagram and Pinterest to gain ideas and create a mood board which reflects your desired brand. You may even wish to employ the help of a commercial interior designer to assist with this process. Some people have an eye for this type of project, whereas others just don’t know where to start and simply don’t have a vision, which is perfectly normal! And of course, it’s important not to forget your outdoor area as this is simply a continuation of your space. In fact, it’s imperative you
4. Create a project timeline
As with any other project, an entire rebrand will require a project schedule and budget allocation. Make sure you have a final budget figure in mind and break each area down into this. Projects of this ilk can become costly affairs and so you want to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. Keep a close eye on this as well as the timings of each of your project phases.
A simple spreadsheet will suffice – write down each element of your re-brand in order of priority and when each element needs to start and complete. This will enable you to book in the various trades at the right times in which you wish them to supply their services. For example, you don’t want your new restaurant furniture to arrive just as decorators are in. All it takes is some careful up-front preparation and your project should run smoothly.
5. Host an opening event
It’s a great idea to host an opening event to ensure your unveiling goes down with a bang. If your venue is already in existence, your regulars will be missing you and your ‘prospects’ will be intrigued, especially if you make some noise about your opening event.
Plan your event properly from your marketing and guest list to your menu and drinks plan. Ensure your chosen date doesn’t clash with any other big events in the area and ensure you give yourself enough time to complete your re-branding project as well as enough time to plan the event – You’ll be surprised how much time will need to go into both.
6. Choose your marketing channels wisely
You need to create some hype around your venue and your opening event and so it’s important to market both well. Think about your target audience and where they are looking and concentrate on these channels. It’s a no-brainer that you will need a good website and if you’ve gone through an entire re-brand, you may want to think about a website re-brand as well, because otherwise the two just won’t marry-up.
Which social channels are your targets utilising? Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, or all three? There are many platforms available now which can help you to manage and measure all of them, so it needn’t take too much of your time to join the conversation. Think of traditional marketing techniques as well because print and Point of Sale Items can work extremely well for this industry. As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to planning your restaurant re-brand. However, it needn’t cost the earth or take too much time if planned well.