By Megan Prevost
Designing your restaurant to promote your unique, identifiable brand means looking at more than just artwork and lighting to make your restaurant stand out. You’ll want to ensure that anything that mentions or promotes your restaurant also portrays that stand-out branding. This means everything from the design of your business cards to your Instagram page should be carefully considered.
When a prospective customer sees your logo on the back of a t-shirt or visits your website for the first time, they should be able to get a feel for the kind of experience your restaurant will provide — and you want to make sure it’s an experience they know they won’t find anywhere else! Check out these tips to help you design your logo, advertisements, and online persona in a way that makes your restaurant stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Make sure you’re using design to keep your brand identity consistent anywhere your restaurant is mentioned. This includes your social media posts, ads you put in the newspaper, and even your business cards. All marketing materials you put out into the world should use design elements to convey your restaurant brand.
One of the first elements of branding is your logo. Your logo is, by definition, the primary way in which your restaurant is identified. It will appear on your signage, business cards, advertisements, and more. You want it to be simultaneously eye-catching and tell what sort of restaurant you are. Of course, you can’t tell your entire story with one simple graphic, but when you carefully select colours, fonts, and designs, an effective logo should be a solid representation of your unique brand.
Whether you’re advertising on Facebook or with paper flyers, the design elements of your ads are important. Advertising online is wonderfully effective, but since we’re all scrolling so fast and so often, it’s important to have eye-catching ads. Rather than simply using words, take advantage of digitization and share enticing videos that will make people stop scrolling to watch. Use videos of food being made or people having a good time at your restaurant.
Regarding physical advertisements, like flyers, newspaper ads, or brochures, eye-catching design elements are also important. Since videos aren’t an option, well-placed photos and graphics could work to your advantage, as long as everything looks professional and well-made. Design the ad to reflect an experience at your restaurant, whether lively, vibrant, sophisticated, minimalistic, or relaxed and tranquil.
Your restaurant’s website should be designed almost as carefully as your physical restaurant, especially if takeout is an important selling point for your spot. Regardless of your brand, an easy-to-navigate website is a must. A cluttered, outdated, confusing, or unappealing website will deter customers.
Your website should reflect your brand, using your brand’s colour scheme, and be designed to mirror the experience you want to provide to consumers. Your homepage should immediately tell customers why your specific restaurant is unlike others, so consider featuring a full-screen image or video that shows them what to expect. This could be a close-up of a prepared gourmet dish, a bright video of a happy crowd in the restaurant, or a professional shot of the polished kitchen crew. Likewise, consider verbiage and include a welcoming pop-up phrase that makes users feel like they’re actually entering your restaurant and not just your website.
The image you present on social media is one that countless customers will interact with. This means that to stand out and remain distinguishable, you should have a distinct voice and style that is cohesive across all your accounts. Customers should be able to visit your page and instantly understand what your restaurant will provide.
Design your social media pages to be like a collage of elements that build your brand. If you want to stand out as the best spot for fun happy hour, share bright snaps of customers laughing and drinking at your place. Post photos of your dimly-lit interior and elegant dishes to tell users that your restaurant is ideal for romantic date nights. Likewise, carefully select the colour schemes, graphics, and fonts for posts that advertise upcoming specials or events.
Stand out online and in customers’ minds
If you’re lucky enough to show up on a prospective customer’s radar — be it in the newspaper, on social media, or with a flyer — you’d better hope you grab their attention! Designing your marketing materials to establish your restaurant’s stand-out identity is crucial if you want to be the kind of restaurant that offers a unique experience. Decide what it is that you want to provide to customers and choose design elements that help show online, in-person, and everywhere in between.
Check out part one and part two of this restaurant design series!
Megan Prevost is a contributing writer for RestoBiz and a Content Manager for MustHaveMenus. Her work has also appeared in App Institute, Bar Business, Modern Restaurant Management, Small Business Currents, PMQ, FSR, The Daily Fandom, and FanSided.