How To Rebrand Your Restaurant In A Way That Actually Impacts Revenue
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Building a restaurant from scratch and watching it turn into a brand is an emotional journey for any restaurateur. After investing so much time, money and effort into building an identity and a customer base for your restaurant, having the internal urge to refrain from change is the most natural feeling.
However, with the changing market, technology and mindset of people when it comes to dining out today, rebranding is often the most obvious answer to growth. In fact, in many cases – survival, amidst the rising tide of new restaurants and home delivery services. With the amplification of social media, discovery platforms and food bloggers as a constant influencing source, staying upbeat with the agile evolution is no longer a choice but a necessity.
If you’re a restaurant owner looking to acquire more customers or retain your existing ones by keeping up with the changing times, rebranding is one of the tested ways by which you save yourself from playing catch up in the market when it’s too late. Having said that, only so if you do it right!
On that note, here are some key considerations you must keep in mind when rebranding your restaurant.
Do Your Homework Well
In order to actually impact your revenues from the investment into any kind of rebranding exercise, you must begin by doing your homework thoroughly. By homework here, understanding and analyzing the current positioning of your restaurant in front of your target group, and mapping it with where you want it to reach. In other words, not simply redo your brand on the basis of your personalized whims and fancies.
Whether you’re considering bringing in some changes in your branding elements, introducing a new menu, or going for a complete interior change, you need to decide on a strategy after having your facts in place, and only then proceed any further.
You may interact with your customers to understand how you can make their experience better. Direct communication with your visitors, or getting some feedback forms or surveys filled out is usually helpful to gather rich insights. In addition to collecting primary information, you can also thoroughly analyze what your competitors. You could look out for what they are doing better than you, or are great at so that you know where you need to compete to grab more customers. Finally, post researching and before making any major decisions, you must discuss your considerations with your restaurant staff. That’s because they interact with your customers more closely on a day-to-day basis than you do, and may have some extra insight that you may have missed.
Don’t Do Away With What Already Works For You
They say that it is always easier and cheaper to upsell to an existing customer than to acquire a completely new one. The case with a restaurant is no different, which means that if you’re going for rebranding, you must care to retain what already works for you and create additional possibilities that can turn in your favour.
For instance, if the major sales in your restaurant come from alcohol, your rebranding plan should ideally focus on increasing the sales from the appetizers, main course or desserts, without poaching on your liquor sales in any way. This means that you shouldn’t do away with the vibe that encourages people to drink. Instead, you could plan to build your renewed brand as one that has more exciting food options. You could think of better presentation ideas for the food, or design a more interesting menu that makes people want to explore what you’re serving. If you’re redoing your interiors, your new design could be a fresh twist but should be one that is still equally conducive to drinking.
Avoid Treating Rebranding Only As A Cheap Facelift
Many a time, restaurateurs feel inspired by the rebranded logos of iconic chains such as KFC, Mc Donald’s and Subway, and feel that they will be successful with building a renewed brand identity by going for a mere logo change. What they fail to realize is, that even when these chains rebranded themselves, they built their new logo and branding elements to reflect a broader renewed stance. Rebranding as a part of their success story was never about just a cheap facelift with a new logo design. Their redesigned symbol was simply a means to their end.
Moreover, as much as having your restaurant’s symbolic representation as per modern standards is important to nurture a relatable image, in today’s day, it’s not the only marketing collateral you need to concentrate on if you’re striving to be noticed.
Customers today are more demanding than ever, and highly value personalization and detailing - which means that you need to value it too. If you carefully recall, the best restaurants in present-day concentrate minutely on branding the smallest of elements such as their menu design and description, tissues, tablemats, takeaway boxes to the wallpapers to go with their décor or theme. It’s ultimately the collective detailing that builds up a unique overall experience for the customers and makes them connect with the brand. Realistically, even if you go on to calculate the cost for custom designing these elements, it doesn’t ever add up to a bomb. Instead, this small investment as compared to the cost of a complete interior redesign, adds up to a great overall renewed feel.
Engage Aggressively On Social Media
Now, no matter how remarkable your restaurant rebranding exercise may be, unless your potential customers take notice of the change that you’re making, or remember you when they are deciding to dine out next, little can your rebranding effort do towards growing your sales figures.
With the obsession people have with social media, you must capitalize on the trend, and stay in front of customer’s eyes with regular sharing of posts. You can share live videos from peak hours, frequent posts describing any offers you’re running or simply hand out reasons to visit you more often with custom branded graphics.
Also, once you’re ready with implementing your rebranding plan, you must unveil your renewed stance strategically in front of your customers with a well thought out social media plan. In fact, this is a good time and opportunity to set up space on social media if you weren’t there already. Post rebranding, you can engage with customers and potential customers on social media by running contests, having influencers share your posts, or hosting some fun events that you publicize aggressively on compatible platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, you need to remember that all of these above attempts must have one underlying thing, running through them in common – an authentic and relatable brand story that you’re trying to tell and build an emotional connection with. After all, as per cognitive psychology, people are more likely to remember a story as compared to a bunch of disconnected details. Make sure you take advantage of your unique story well with every attempt in your rebranding arsenal, and you’re sure to hit goal!