OOOPS for some reason you may have gotten this blog twice. Technology has its ways of mysteriously making us wonder, “What just happened?”. Sorry! If you didn’t get this blog post last week, it’s a good one on ways to leverage small budgets and get big ideas. Read on.
Operating a start up or even small restaurant can be lonely. There’s so much to do. Identify the right location, find funding, decide on a concept, create a menu, hire the best people and design and plan for your brand.
And then you need to accomplish a lot of this, fast on one half of a shoestring. YIKES!
Not too worry. There are millions of talented people who are drinking coffee while wearing flurry slippers and PJs that are willing, ready and able to help you get your branding going. And the cool news, they are just a click away.
Publicity can be a low-cost, high-exposure home run for any brand.
Here are three simple ideas that scored a lot of ink and broadcast eyes. Remember staying top of mind is important for your brand and often can be the deciding element that gets a consumer to select your place for their next meal out.
Check out these examples, and then ask yourself and your team, how you can take advantage of this brand-building tactic with your restaurant in the very near future.
While the value of a restaurant brand may be measured in terms of what the public, your customers and the local community thinks, feels and expects from your place, there’s another group with whom your brand value must rate high. Successful operators invest more (and often even before they spend on any external branding) on the inside brand with employees.
Starbucks®, Zappos® and Whole Foods® are all examples of major brands that started small, today are international power brands that built their brands from the inside out. The leadership behind these companies believed that when your internal culture rocks, the rest things like attracting customers and delivering on brand promises comes easier and more efficiently.
So as a restaurant operator how does this thinking translate to your business, especially if you are small and have limited resources that need to go a long way?
Like we preach in almost every blog post on Restaurant branding, great branding starts and grows when operating from a clear brand essence (purpose, values, points of distinction, personality, positioning and promise). This is critical to start any type of internal branding initiative.
Whether you are on the giving or receiving end of a receipt, how much attention do you pay to it? If you’re printing it out and delivering it to a customer, it might take two seconds to print, tear and hand off.
You might spend 5 to 10 seconds if you are paying a check. You’ll glance at it to make sure it looks OK then pay. Your final copy probably ends up in the circular file, otherwise known as the garbage can.
This small piece of paper is an often overlooked touch point that you can use to build your brand and your relationship with your customers.
Most restaurants miss out on this opportunity to connect with their customers. This could be your last chance to make a great impression before customers leave.
Take advantage of this opportunity and do something unique or special on the receipt.
You asked, we answered.
We received a question from a reader who asked:
Our restaurant is located in a challenging area, there’s not much foot traffic and it’s a bit off the beaten path. Other restaurants have been in this building and haven’t succeeded, but we believe that we can make a go of it. We chose this location because is has a beautiful outdoor patio and we are able to use it for most months out of the year. Our food and service are really good, but we need some ideas to overcome the less than ideal location. Do you have any ideas for how to do this? Thanks. Sean
Great question, Sean.
Of course it is easier if you have the trifecta – great food, great service and great location, to put the odds of restaurant success in your favor, but there are things that you can do to help drive traffic and create loyal, repeat customers.
Just after McDonald’s reported a 5% drop in first-quarter net income, they announced an image update of their iconic brand mascot, Ronald McDonald.
I’m guessing this means the clothes are no longer Dry Clean Only.
Ronny’s been around since the early 1960’s when Willard Scott first sported the clown get up. Since then, his image has transformed throughout the years, along with his responsibilities that have expanded to include Chief Happiness Officer of the all-American restaurant.
The update took two years to complete and was the fine fashion work of famed costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, who won a Tony award for her costume design of the Disney play Beauty and the Beast.
I’m not knocking McDonald’s work. Keeping a brand relevant is critical. Although I might have suggested pushing the yellow and red envelope a bit more by having him sport a small burger tattoo and maybe wearing Spanx® instead of cargo pants.