How to Brand a Restaurant 101
You’re taking a leap of faith into the world of HoReCa.
Whether it’s because your grandma’s recipe is the best in the world or you have a secret ingredient for making the city’s best puff pastry, you decided to venture into making a restaurant.
Part of starting a restaurant is building its brand. Without it, your customers won’t know what to expect from you or how to feel.
If you’re looking to learn how to brand a restaurant, then this article is for you.
Keep on reading to become an expert on how to brand a restaurant.
What Every Restaurant's Branding Needs
Before getting started, it's important to examine what every restaurant needs for its branding.
The most basic items a restaurant needs are its name and its logo. Once you have that, you can centralize your brand's assets in a database or folder and start creating content related to the brand.
In this article, we are covering how to name your restaurant, how to make a logo for it, and a case study on how to brand a restaurant on Instagram.
How to Name Your Restaurant
Naming your restaurant is a mission-critical action item. The name of any business, depending on circumstance, can be just as important as its location.
The name of your restaurant is the first association your customer is going to make.
When naming your restaurant, it's important to consider what type of restaurant you are.
Here are some to consider:
A casual, comfortable feel. Food might include pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. Delivery may be available. Family-friendly atmosphere including children's menus and toys for take-out orders. May have a salad bar or buffet option for large groups.
Your place is not known for its food as much as it is for its drinks. The focus is on the drinks, even if food is available.
A fine dining experience where you are being catered to by several waiters and the atmosphere is extremely professional. The food will be served as "course" style menus with specific details on ingredients and preparation.
There are too many categories to list, but you get the idea.
Once you've considered the type, the next thing to think about when naming your restaurant is words that represent you. A good way of doing this is by answering the "five W's" and how, and asking follow-ups of those basic questions when performing that exercise.
Who are you?
What is your restaurant?
What will it serve?
Where can customers imagine finding it?
When is a good time of the day, night, week, and year for going to your restaurant?
Why are you starting it up?
Why do you want it to exist?
How is it unique?
How will you serve your items?
How will the menu be presented (paper or QR code or both)?
By following up with more specific questions, you can dive deep into anything and everything related to your restaurant and its purpose.
The more information you have on what your imagined version of the restaurant is, the more words you'll have to choose from on your restaurant's name.
How to Make Your Restaurant Logo
Now that you have the name of your restaurant, the next important action item is to come up with a stellar logo.
It's worth noting that, while you can come up with a great logo on your own using consumer software like Canva, your logo - like your restaurant's name - is one of the first things your customer will see related to who you are. Therefore it's advisable to hire a professional for making your logo, whether it's a restaurant branding agency or an individual graphic designer.
Even by working with a restaurant branding agency, though, you are still able to get what you want with the logo.
Similar to how you would think of restaurant names, you can start the process of generating ideas for logos by writing a list of the most important elements of your logo. Once you do that, you can cross things out and be more specific.
Let's do an example together.
Say you're starting a modern mixology bar in Bucharest called Le Bois de Boire ("the woods of drinking in French"). You're having trouble figuring out what your logo is going to be, so you make a list of elements that go into your logo.
Letters and words
Physical item(s) related to the restaurant name (trees, forest, drinks, combination of both)
Colors and their hues
Definition of the shapes
After thinking about this list, your ideas have narrowed. You decided you don't want a logo that only has letters and words, but you want a logo that uses them somewhere near the physical items related to the name. You also want a warmer hue of the colors having to do with the physical items to have an open and inviting environment.
Now we can give a solid description of what your logo will contain.
A logo that contains the name of the restaurant (Le Bois de Boire), trees and drinks, and warm green and brown colors.
The beauty of working with a restaurant branding agency is that the best ones will work with you to experiment on different versions of the same concept. Maybe you want to see two different versions of the same logo, one that has more focus on the trees and one that has more focus on the drinks. Or maybe you want to see various combinations of various color schemes.
Either way, there are several combinations of the same concept that you can test out. It's worth doing all of this because choosing your logo is one of the most important decisions you'll make in your restaurant's branding.
Centralize Your Restaurant Brand's Qualities
You have a name and a logo for your restaurant. The next logical step, from a digital marketing perspective, would be to create photos and videos for social media and distribute them according to a plan. Right?
Before you even start your social media marketing strategy, it's important to centralize everything that has to do with your brand.
What are the hex codes that you used in your logo? What are the fonts that you used in it, too? Do you have original JPG among other photo files that you can use for your future digital marketing?
If you can't answer these questions, you should go ahead and work on this before you start posting on Facebook and Instagram.
The reason why centralizing the qualities of your brand is imperative is that, when marketing your restaurant's brand, everything needs to remain consistent. Consistency is important in branding because you want to ensure that your customers are continuously exposed to the same visual elements of your brand.
If you post too many photos on Instagram, but they don't have anything in common between them, why should anyone care about any of them?
You may be thinking that centralizing all these qualities is not worth your time but it really is.
Case Study on Sophisticated Restaurant Branding
You have your logo, your name, and your centralized branding assets. You're ready to get your social media marketing started, but don't know where to start if you never worked on it before.
A good way to start is by seeing what others have done successfully. Look no further than AMOOM, a staple of Bucharest's emerging HoReCa industry.
AMOOM is a place to dine on some of Romania's best oriental sweets, coffee, and drinks.
By clicking on their Instagram, you can see that AMOOM has a clear visual brand identity: the colors, fonts, and themes are all in sync.
Just by looking at their Instagram, you can see that there's plenty of uniformity. By following their Instagram, you'll have an idea of what to expect for new posts. The posts should follow the same theme of showcasing their desserts and more, and the color scheme should remain the same.
Not only does AMOOM capitalize on its visual brand identity, but it also knows how to use the platform it's being marketed on. AMOOM uses Instagram Stories to give customers an easier way for navigating their profile: click on this circle for our brunch, click on that circle for our coffee.
If you want your branding to be just as good as AMOOM's, our firm at Nos Praesenti actually manages their content creation and social media.
Starting a restaurant requires a lot more than just its brand. But it’s hard to start a restaurant without knowing how to brand it first.
If you want to brand your restaurant like a professional, reach out to us and we’ll get back to you shortly.