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Bettie Bomb / Branding & Design  / 5 Steps To Branding Your Restaurant

5 Steps To Branding Your Restaurant

Branding your restaurant is so much more than a logo. But it’s also such a broad term that a lot of people are confused as to what it actually means. Below is a Simple Guide To Branding Your Restaurant and why it’s important. Branding falls underneath the marketing umbrella, helping your restaurant from it’s infancy or to reinvent itself.  You can use branding anytime during a restaurant’s lifespan, but one thing remains the same. It’s about capturing an audience with a certain perception, maintaining it and developing a long-lasting brand identity, loyalty and awareness.

The Branding Process For Restaurants is fun, exciting and inventive. Restaurant PR Agencies work hard to understand a restaurant from its inception and watch it grow or reinvent itself. Restaurant Branding is about creating the face of your restaurant or altering it a bit so it takes time. The process involves determining what you want your restaurant to exude to the public eye through name discovery, logo design, website development, content creation and giving it a voice, tone and recognizable personality.

All of these elements (and more!) are discussed below. As stated above, it’s a process and as often mentioned in PR, it’s a marathon, not a race. Discovering who your restaurant is doesn’t just happen overnight and you need to take many elements into consideration when deciding on how you want your restaurant to look like or how you want a person to feel when they walk through the door. What colors? What scents? What sounds? It’s very calculated and well-thought out, but an exciting process!

Understanding Public Relations For Restaurants

Restaurant Public Relations involves storytelling, building awareness and shaping a brand’s image through different forms of communication. Basically, an overall method of strategizing the spread of information to the public through traditional & social media, partnerships, events and more. Publicists That Work With Restaurants connect with the ultimate gatekeepers, the media, to target audiences across the globe and craft newsworthy story angles to convey messages in the best possible light. 

Simply put, it’s communicating your message to an audience. It’s how you tell your story, where you tell it and to whom. Storytelling can be done in a variety of different ways and on multiple platforms, but using a strategy to determine which methods work for your target audience is key. Leveraging media channels such as TV, radio and print to promote and create a “word-of-mouth referral” is paramount – it cultivates a positive public image and gives instant brand recognition and credibility. It’s also the hardest to obtain – Restaurant PR Agencies use their relationships with the media to tell your story and secure coverage for free, known as “earned media.” There are also two additional forms of media, but we’ll get to that in a second. 

To secure earned media, PR agencies help journalists by giving them the tools they need to create relevant stories that pertain to their readers, viewers and listeners. It’s their job to maintain a client’s exposure by creating new, different and interesting ways to tell their story. How do you want the public to see your brand or business? What are you doing to support your community? Are you an expert in your field? These are all questions a publicist will ask when creating a narrative that positions you as a leader to the media. 

Now more than ever, Branding is pertinent when it comes to launching a restaurant and timing is everything! 

How Branding Agencies Help Restaurants

Branding is vital for restaurants as it creates the face of your brand! Whether you’re starting from scratch or building upon an existing logo and idea, branding is your restaurant in its infancy and agencies help it grow. The Best Branding Agencies Help Restaurants to create, develop, launch, improve and maintain their brand. They specialize in the following areas (and more!), using these elements together to create one unique, memorable brand for all the senses. It’s about finding your brand identity.

Branding Agencies Help Restaurants by giving them direction. They start with a brainstorming session that gets the creative juices flowing and breds organic ideas based on goals, objectives, dreams and beyond. Both new and existing restaurants are seeking someone to work with them to help visualize what’s in their heads or make them realize something they haven’t yet. It really streamlines all of the thoughts and ideas into one plan and from there, clients along with their agencies can decide which direction they want. From there it’s the next phase of utilizing the brand tools in your arsenal (aka brand assets) and how. Here are a few Ways Branding Agencies Help Restaurants.

  • Create a unified message for all platforms
  • Align messages for different tactics: PR, advertising, social media, etc
  • Determine types of creative content and marketing collateral

Name Discovery

Finding a name that exudes exactly what you’re trying to convey is not an easy task. Restaurant Branding Agencies start from the beginning with brainstorming and discovery. They work to determine what you want your restaurant to exude to the public eye and through an open thought exchange, begin to find how to describe your restaurant in one word or phrase.

Logo Design

Identifying your brand with a symbol, “home base” and putting together all of your pieces like a puzzle. Ever think of the Nike swoosh? That’s a branding masterpiece…completely recognizable on its own. Top Restaurant Branding Agencies work with restaurants to establish a consistent tone, speaking your brand voice across all elements and ultimately defining who you are as a company. Restaurants discover their voice and how to visually communicate their brand.

Website Development

A Good Restaurant Branding Agency will take your name & logo theme and explode them onto a virtual platform. Your website should feel like what your restaurant feels like when you walk in as it’s the best representation without being there. Websites need to grab the consumers attention quickly and give them a harmonious visual experience.

Content Creation

Have you ever heard the phrase “fresh content?“ This is key to reaching a restaurant’s target audience through the side door. PR Agencies create, publish and distribute different forms of content that engages your audience without “selling your brand.” Social media copy, blogs, e-newsletters, plus video, audio, case studies, infographics and more. Restaurants need to think about how-to’s, tips and industry news that provides information to educate their audience. Knowledge is power and positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, thought leader and/or change agent is key!

Marketing Collateral

Brochures, catalogs and postcards to letterhead templates, business cards and more. PR Agencies work to establish a consistent tone, speaking your brand voice across all elements and ultimately defining who you are as a company.

Branding is critical to a restaurant because of the overall impact it makes on them. It can change how consumers perceive your restaurant, drive new business and increase brand awareness. But, the most important reason why it is so important is because it is how a restaurant gets recognition and becomes known…period. Speaking of importance, a restaurant’s logo is the most important because it is the first element consumers see and is the face of the business. For that reason, a logo should be powerful and memorable. Restaurants should use their logo across all promotional materials and products of course, which then gives consumers the can to see it repeatedly. Your targeted audience will create brand recognition by subconsciously planting this image in their minds.

By having strong branding put in place, restaurants can create a positive impression. Consumers want to dine at a restaurant where they feel comfortable and trust, so this is crucial. In the beginning stages, when you are trying to launch and create visibility of your restaurant, PR is a great way to establish trust and credibility. Once a restaurant has been well-established, word of mouth will be the best and most effective advertising technique. Word of mouth is by far the most powerful and the most organic, so put in the hard work early to brand and position, it will pay off later when you hit word of mouth status.

Overall, Restaurant Branding Agencies are your advocates and will help to elevate your restaurant to the next level. They will support you by developing an understanding of your restaurant, clarifying your goals, determining your objectives and correctly communicating all of this to an audience that’s right for you. From this information, they develop a strategic plan to grow your restaurant and provide you with the right toolkit to do so. Branding increases value, generates new customers, creates trust in the marketplace and receives recognition. Be that restaurant brand.

Introduction to Bettie Bomb

Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Chicago-Based Restaurant Branding Agency offering a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.

We are a female-owned, Boutique Chicago Restaurant Branding Agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell. 

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