It’s not “just food“.
And no, great cooking will not keep your customers for life. There are good cooks everywhere – bad food is rarely the issue when it comes to failing restaurants.
Besides the obvious reasons, restaurants need a great brand identity because they face unique challenges. Since we’re so used to huge fast food franchises, it’s probably more common to see what happens when a good brand succeeds. It looks a lot like peaceful inertia, but trust me, it isn’t. Without a strong identity, sales plummet, employees run and a good restaurateur with big dreams is left wondering why their business just won’t get where they need it to go.
Here are 7 reasons why a solid brand is a non-negotiable need for you if you own a food business.
Your customers need something to remember.People who dine at your place might be open to coming back, but a hungry person is likely to remember what’s most familiar. “That little shop in kiosk 32 on the 2nd floor in the mall” doesn’t cut it – and a garbage can full of unlabeled paraphernalia from your store is unlikely to help. Make your brand something memorable, and you won’t have to suffer up to five times the effort to replace customer you just lost, because they forgot who you are.
Good branding makes your food taste better.Believe it or not, the colour of your logo and interior influence how hungry your diners can feel. But it goes further than this – the strength and perception of your brand can actually induce an almost halo-like effect, making customers believe your brand tastes better than others. As the mind perceives, reality shifts – studies have found that this does actually make the food taste better if labelled with a beloved brand!
Branding sets the expectations you’re prepared to meet.From the taste of the food to the type of the customer service a customer can expect – the way you present yourself is going to matter. If you don’t clearly indicate what type of place you’re running, and what level of service you’re going to give, customers will be less likely to take a chance on you. Not only is this a problem, but unclear expectations can cause inconsistent service by your very own employees.
You have to capture moving targets.This one is easy. Walk-in traffic from commuters makes up a large chunk of new customer acquisitions for the restaurant business. Your brand has to be good enough to catch the attention of cars moving over 80km/h. But if your business doesn’t stand out among a sea of signage, your bolder competitors are going to win the eyes, hearts, and wallets of the hungry public.
A good brand walks the walk.Standing for something is a good step towards building a small following. Walking and doing something instead – now that’s the ticket to an army of loyal customers and employees. If you want people to hang on to every word you say and anticipate your next move, and eat your food while they do that, make sure your restaurant and all its trappings agree with the claims you seem to make. Take contaminant free, 1% beef joint BurgerFi, for example. They’ve taken it a step further. Every piece of furniture in their restaurants echo their credo of environmental stewardship.
It’s how you turn customers into a community.Getting customers to be curious about your food is easy, but keeping them for a lifetime needs a bit more thought. Keeping customers coming back is a testament to more than just good food. So, your brand, as a result, extends beyond a pretty logo and delicious food too. Qualities like empathy, expertise, refined taste and responsiveness all contribute to how people understand your brand. Make sure your employees are polished in these areas and it’ll be hard to fail.
Employees are happier, more productive, and turn over less.Continuing that topic of employees – being clear about what your business stands for makes a difference. A clear message attracts employees with a clear mission. And research proves that a sense of belonging and shared values is one of the main motivators in keeping employees happy, loyal and productive. In short, this means less loss, and faster, more dramatic growth for your company.
Liked this post? Think we give good advice? There’s lots more where that came from. Call us for a chat, if your food place needs an overhaul. We’re happy and ready to help.
Crystal @ Webgold