You asked, we answered. This week’s blog post is an answer to a question submitted by one of our Restaurant Branding Roadmap readers.
“I opened my restaurant five years ago and since then we’ve added two locations. I’m frustrated because the branding is not consistent across locations. The employees make menu changes, the service is not consistent and the overall environment is different from the original restaurant. I created the brand at the first location and I was there every day to make sure that the brand grew and was maintained. I try to do what I can at the newer locations, but I can’t be in three places at once. What can I do to keep the branding the same across the locations? Thanks. Kathy”
Great question, Kathy. First off, congratulations on your restaurant’s expansion. You are not alone with this restaurant marketing and branding challenge. This is an issue that many growing businesses struggle with. Many times, the founder of a business is the cornerstone of the branding and the one who nurtures it as it grows. They put in long hours everyday. They make sure that everything from the menu items, to services, to the customer experiences and all brand touch points are consistently on brand.
Last week we shared how a restaurant in Costa Rica tapped into history as a platform for their brand.
This past weekend we journeyed to another historic gem in St. Petersburg, Florida, The Birchwood Inn (a boutique hotel). The Birch and Vine (an adjoining restaurant) and The Canopy (a rooftop lounge) all a part of a beautifully branded downtown destination.
It was well worth the visit and they delivered a wonderful dining and hospitality experience and kudos for a thoughtful brand that reflects the tradition and charm of the property, a contemporary hipness and a family–honored and inspired name.
While on the road last week in Costa Rica, we had many opportunities to visit interesting restaurants. Everywhere we went the food was delicious and made from very simple recipes. Ingredients were incredibly fresh items like fish right from the ocean and just-picked vegetables.
The views of the beach, Pacific Ocean, mountains and rainforest also heightened the dining experience.
There was one restaurant that stood out from the others and we had to write about it.
Interested in the latest trends, concepts and consumer insight around America’s favorite food, Pizza? I’ll be part of the expert team presenting at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas on March 24-27th. For more info visit PizzaExpo Website. Around the globe, pizza is a universal food favorite and is one of the most competitive food categories there is. And while this provides a great opportunity for business owners, it can be a double-edged sword too. There is no shortage of aggressive, smart people and savvy companies vying for that precious pizza currency, appetites and consumer spending. So how do you get your slice? A strong pizza brand can make the difference. Distinct restaurant and pizzeria brands make the buying choice easy for hungry consumers. Most consumers tend to keep score cards in their head, giving points to a range of elements from social proof, (like when they read restaurant [...]
You asked, we answered…
We received a letter from a reader who asked:
I have owned and managed my restaurant for over ten years. We are located in a suburb that is a college town. Most of the staff members are “kids” and I find it challenging to constantly train of the “kids” – the staff – to be present at all times. They are distracted, messing around with their cell phones or counting down the minutes until their shift ends. I that know for most of them, this is just a way to earn extra cash, but how do I teach them to care about the customers and be present? – Jennifer
Great question, Jennifer. It is important to care about employee-customer engagement since the largest component of any restaurant’s brand is the experience. And, the staff creates the biggest piece of the experience. This is an issue for many restaurant and business owners in general.
The pessimistic answer would be that you can’t teach people to care. But, we’re not pessimists here so we will give you 7 tips to help you work with your staff on being more present and engaged.
Wait, the Super Bowl has not even happened yet! You are right. Super Bowl XLVIII takes place February 3rd in East Rutherford, New Jersey. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from the deep-pocketed, big brands or the companies with good credit that can pay $134,000 per second for airtime because some of them have given a sneak preview of their Super Bowl ads. As you can imagine, they are all hoping to score big with consumers.
This week, I got a sneak preview of many of the 2014 Super Bowl spots as I was a guest on FOX News to discuss the trends, who’s in and who’s out and whether all of this pre-game buzz really helps.
Watch the full segment here.