Updated: Jun 8
Before the year 2,000, the restaurant industry relied primarily on word-of-mouth and print media like newspapers, business cards, magazines or TV marketing strategy to draw more customers. They could prepare excellently cooked foods and offer a great dining experience, with the hope that customers would share their experience with friends, family, and neighbors. That worked pretty well then.
However, with the launch of Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006, the marketing game changed forever. With most people in the Middle East owning smartphones, restaurant owners are now engaging with customers digitally. You wouldn’t want to ignore this paradigm shift and stick to the marketing tactics of another era. You must embrace modern restaurant branding ideas for your business to remain competitive.
That’s the essence of digital restaurant branding. It comprises the marketing efforts you make in the online space to identify and differentiate your restaurant from others. It’s very crucial to look into this because of the increased use of the internet and digital devices among customers.
How Do You Make a Restaurant Unique
Undoubtedly, the range of foods you offer at your restaurant in Saudi Arabia make your restaurant unique. But on top of that, non-food elements also help a lot in creating a positive and pleasant impression on customers.
The non-food items in question include:
● The atmosphere and ambiance in your restaurant
● Excellent service
● The feeling of belonging
● Adding extra features that customers don’t expect at zero to little extra cost
● Hiring live bands that resonate with your restaurant’s theme
Other than these, you must also be unique with your restaurant branding strategy in the digital space. If you’re already running social media pages for your restaurant, here are some unique post ideas you can try out:
● Upload a video demo showing the preparation that goes into a popular dish
● Share behind-the-scene videos
● Introduce the team you work with
● Share user generated content, perhaps snaps taken at your restaurant
● Advertise seasonal menu items
● Flaunt your finest customer reviews
● Post a few light-hearted memes
● Interact with current and potential customers through polls and surveys
● Share your brand’ history
● Livestream a restaurant tour
● Share relevant tips and tricks related to foods
The Brand Discovery Process for Your Restaurant
The brand discovery process involves carrying out research on customer needs, competitors, and the marketplace in general, to come up with a unique value proposition for your business. It helps define your personality and identify your core strengths. Below are four key elements that will help you in the restaurant branding and marketing process:
Instead of creating an exact replica of your competitor’s online sites, a more positive approach, like creativity, will make you shine and people will remember you among many. Uniqueness is what you’re looking for.
Remember, customers come across hundreds of marketing messages daily. For them to take notice of you, you must create something intriguing, memorable, and engaging. Standing out this way goes a long way to building genuine relationships with your customers. So, make a point of coming up with original ideas for your online posts, logos, name, and colors.
Brand consistency involves delivering messages in a consistent tone that’s in line with your values. This way, customers are more likely to remember the information you passed across. And this goes a long way to increasing brand loyalty, evoking positive emotions, and differentiating your restaurant from competitors.
This refers to a set of human characteristics that you can use to influence the public’s perception of your restaurant. You can tune your brand to portray personalities like:
Designing Your Brand Elements
Finally, it’s time to design the various brand elements. It’s pretty easy to do this once you go through the brand discovery process. Below are the four main elements for successful restaurant branding and some handy tips on designing them.
Use good-looking ingredients to boost appearance
Take photos in natural lighting instead of artificial
Wear a white T-shirt if you’ll appear in the photo to help illuminate the food
Use neutral backgrounds to make the vivid colors on your plate stand out
Hire an experienced food photographer for best results
Design it around popular cuisine
Use natural food colors like yellow, brown, and muted red
Use legible font
Don’t clutter it with unnecessary decorative elements
Use only one or two colors
Show your human side by telling your story
Avoid cluttering it with unnecessary videos and photos
Have engaging calls to action
Ensure it follows modern design principles
Optimize your website content for search engines
Match the website theme to your restaurant’s theme
Upload the perfect mouth-watering photos
Support different payment options
Avoid PDF menus that must be downloaded for viewing
Never upload your menu as an image
Avoid separating the menu into different tabs, as it’s frustrating
Use related photos in your menu
Rollout the Branding to the Whole Restaurant
You wouldn’t want to be perfect in digital branding and ignore your physical space. Customers need a seamless transition from the online space to your land-based restaurant. Therefore, once you design all the brand elements for use on your online sites, make a point of sprucing up your restaurant accordingly.
For instance, you could have your restaurant branding items, such as interior décor and bearing your primary brand colors. Customers like such fine details. Just do it to perfection and you’ll create a lasting emotional connection with them, meaning more sales all year round.