Friday, December 2, 2011

Restaurant Files: Reassessing Your Branding And Marketing Strategies

Last week, we asked you a question. Are you marketing or are you branding your food establishment?

Today, we are giving you some helpful questions to ponder upon so you can reassess your marketing and branding strategies. If you have been in the restaurant business for quite some time now, you might think it unnecessary to reassess your branding strategies. Sure, you’ve got your custom cups, customized beverage napkins and other customized restaurant supplies. But what are you doing to make more lasting impact?

Here are 10 questions that should be on your restaurant branding and marketing checklist.

1. Who are your customers?
2. What are the things that they value?
3. Are they aware of your existence?
4. What is your unique selling point? What makes your brand compelling?
5. Are you visible? Are you located somewhere convenient for your target market?
6. Are your business hours convenient for your customers?
7. Do you have a concept?
8. Are you exceeding customer expectations?
9. Are you creating sensory experiences?
10. Are you focusing on your front liners?

After you have reflected upon these questions, you also have to look at the minor details your restaurant, all of which come together to create that unique identity for your business. If your restaurant is doing well right now (profitably speaking), then good for you. Don’t sit on your laurels and never, for one second, entertain the idea that your success is permanent. Even a great concept or good food can lose its novelty. Always reassess your restaurant’s attributes. Hold on to your key concept but don’t be afraid to introduce subtle changes or additions. Adapting to change is a key factor to branding success. Here are some attributes which you should always keep in check.

1. Menu
2. Food quantity and presentation (this includes flavors, textures and ingredients)
3. Ambience
4. Fixtures (“little things” like customized beverage napkins, customized plates, customized cups and other branded supplies help customers make that familiar association with your establishment)
5. Price
6. Customer service

Marketing and branding, in a way, are never-ending processes. No matter how successful you have become, you have to constantly reinforce the positive attributes that made you successful and adapt to the changing needs and wants of your diners.