Restaurant Branding 101 - The marketing rule that most restaurant owners have clearly never heard of.

Don't we all wish that when going to a high-end Italian restaurant, the waiter knows more than you about Italian wines?

Don't we all wish that the Italian chef cooks pasta that tastes better than your mac and cheese?

After presenting a case on a restaurant called Olivea in Kingston, Ontario in the context of a course on Operation Management, we've noticed that a restaurant that could bring big bucks to the owner could also drive him to the ground if his branding wasn't done right.

What will branding do for you? It guarantees that when your client walks in your restaurant, his expectations about it will be met.
Why is that so important? Because if his expectations aren't met, he'll never come back, and he might tell 10 of his good buddies how bad it was. On the other hand, if it's what he expected then he'll be more likely to come back...with his buddies (this time).

Branding goes beyond having a logo that is representative of the place, restaurant branding means that these 5 components are aligned with each other at all times:

  1. Concept
  2. Positioning
  3. Service
  4. PR
  5. Menu
Making sure that these stay aligned will be extremely cost-efficient as PR efforts are kept to a minimum and word-of-mouth simply does the job for you.

Here are some examples of what NOT to do:


Concept vs Positioning

Concept vs. PR vs. Menu


The last one is far fetched but it arguably might be an example of good branding. What do you think?

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