By Sydney Ahmadian
You’re excited to earn 23 per cent more income with a great branding campaign. You’ve pinned down your brand story and identity. Now, it’s time to apply your shiny new brand to the four major customer touchpoints: your menus, website, marketing materials, and ordering app profiles.
1. Your menus
Menus are prime real estate for your new branding because customers love to spend time pouring over them.
Use all the space on your menus to share your story, values, and services. Choose colours, fonts, and imagery from your style guide and use your menu as a keystone of your brand. If you’re strapped for time or design experience, menu template services make it easy to create professional-quality menus in no time. You can browse thousands of designs and customize them to fit your restaurant.
2. Your website
In today’s increasingly digital age, your website often serves as the first point of contact for customers. Focus a large part of your energy on the first five seconds of your customer’s interaction with your website. Add a beautiful landing page to highlight new menu items. Then update your site with your five new brand colours, fonts, and imagery.
Once your site is matching your menus and brand identity, check your website load time on desktop and mobile. Potential customers won’t appreciate your beautiful new website if they can’t load it quickly or find what they’re looking for.
3. Your marketing materials
Marketing materials are any materials you use to boost awareness of your business. These usually include outdoor signage, posters, ads, sandwich boards, and business cards.
These materials can send a powerful message, both literally and figuratively, to potential customers about your restaurant and the food you serve. Your marketing materials will have an even greater impact if they stick to the same brand guidelines.
When branding your restaurant’s appearance, start with the outside. Add a branded outdoor menu or sandwich board to attract customers and build anticipation. Upon entry, what greets your customers in the first five seconds? The environment will inundate their senses with sights, sounds, and smells. Use it all to fit your new, strengthened brand.
If your restaurant has a waiting area, build a gallery wall or another “wow-factor” decoration item that makes sense for your brand. The more unique and interesting, the better.
Update your walls, seating, decor, and lighting to reflect your brand. If your restaurant is family-friendly, don’t forget branded kids’ menus.
Tip: Create a marketing promotion to help smooth the launch of your new brand.
Limited-time promotions can increase awareness and boost sales. Some ideas for promotions include:
- Give your customers a reason to share their experience online with a Yelp Check-In Offer.
- Name a special after someone who influenced the direction of your restaurant and offer a deal as part of its launch.
- Create a tabletop insert with QR code that directs customers to your social media pages. Offer a discount if they post a picture taken within the restaurant to their feed.
Now that you’ve updated your marketing materials, menus, and website to reflect your new brand, it’s time to move on to the last major touchpoint: ordering app profiles.
4. Your ordering app profiles
Ordering apps create distance between your brand and your customers.
You can bridge the gap by making changes to all the aspects you control in DoorDash, UberEats, and SkipTheDishes by branding your pictures, graphics, names of dishes, and more. Explore how your competitors brand their online ordering profiles. Some more ideas for how you can brand your own profiles include:
- Update pictures. Help customers get excited for your food by having professional pictures taken. Make sure the lighting and presentation aligns with your brand. Include dynamic backgrounds like patterns or textures to help your food stand out and tell your brand story.
- Change names and descriptions of dishes. Consider renaming your dishes to match your brand guidelines. Use wordplay or catchy phrases to help your dishes stand out. Don’t forget to include a meaningful description of the dish and important keywords that users may be searching for.
- Refresh your packaging. Most restaurants don’t put a lot of thought into their takeout packaging and opt for the traditional styrofoam packaging route. This is a huge missed opportunity to build your brand identity! By paying a little extra for custom boxes, non-plastic utensils, or small souvenirs, you’ll make a lasting impression on your customers.
- Write custom “thank-you” cards. Including a custom note that has the customer’s name on it is a great way to build excitement for your new brand. Thank them for their order and share your contact info, a link to your reviews, or a coupon for next time.
Branding what you can within the online ordering experience will cut out a clear place for your restaurant in a highly saturated market. Have fun with it! You’ve got this.
Wrapping it up
Congratulations! You now understand what a brand is and how to build one that best reflects your restaurant’s identity. You’ve familiarized yourself with the major customer touchpoints that all restaurants need to brand consistently to build trust.
Now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work setting your new brand in motion.
Good luck, and happy marketing!
Sydney Ahmadian is a self-described digital marketing nerd and writer on the MustHaveMenus editorial team. Before you ask, yes, writing for a restaurant tech company will make you incredibly hungry all day long. When she isn’t drooling over MHM’s 16,000+ restaurant-specific templates you can find her cooking in the kitchen of her Bay Area treehouse.