Deciding to rebrand a restaurant is not an easy choice. The reality though is that the food industry is constantly changing. New waves of trendy restaurants and the growing impact of social media means that restaurant operators must learn to adapt. Those who fail to embrace change may end up losing a competitive advantage to those who stay ahead of the curve.
If initial interest has waned or the core audience has changed, a complete rebrand may be exactly what your restaurant needs to spur growth. But rebranding involves more than slapping together a new logo. It’s about creating an entirely new experience and building a stronger message that resonates with your audience.
Here are some important considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful rebrand of your restaurant.
1. Keep What’s Already Working
A rebrand is a great opportunity to overhaul the menu. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to redo everything. If you remove a popular item it gives your customers less of an incentive to return.
Look through your restaurant’s order history over the last few years and take note of what’s driving a majority of your sales. Keep what’s already working or improve on it. For example, you could expand a popular menu selection or think of better presentation ideas to make it more social media friendly.
2. Get Feedback From Your Customers
Your existing customers are a valuable source of feedback. Most are more than happy to share their experiences about your restaurant – what they like, what they don’t, what improvements they would make, etc. This kind of feedback is an absolute goldmine and eliminates a ton of guesswork.
Prepare surveys in advance and consider offering an incentive like a discount to encourage customers to leave feedback. You could also check popular review sites like Yelp to see what others are saying about your restaurant. Use this feedback to better inform your rebranding strategy.
3. Overhaul Interior Spaces
There’s no doubt of the value that overhauling interior spaces has. A refreshed restaurant can feel like an entirely new place and attract more customers as a result. Even many successful restaurants will occasionally refresh their interiors to look more modern and fresh.
If you rebrand your restaurant, overhaul the interior spaces to match the new branding. Decide ahead of time what you want the general vibe to be like. Are you going for something more modern or casual? Think about other aspects such as furnishings and colour themes as well. All of this comes together to create the overall feel of your restaurant. Consider working with a professional interior designer to get the right look.
4. Host an Unveiling Event
You put in a lot of work redesigning the menu and rebranding your restaurant. Now it’s time to finally launch. It’s essential to get the word out so people are aware that the restaurant is completely different and not the same as before. Pick an evening to host an unveiling but be sure to check your community’s public calendar so the event doesn’t clash with any major events.
Create advertising materials and assemble press kits for the media to help get the word out. Any material for the press should be distributed several weeks in advance to allow plenty of time for editors to review and respond. Be sure to manage your advertising costs to keep expenses from spiralling out of control.
5. Actively Engage on Social Media
Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to discover new places in their areas. If you don’t already have active profiles on Facebook and Twitter, rebranding is the perfect opportunity to start. People love sharing what they eat with others online. Engaging on social media lets you capitalise on that trend and further your rebranding efforts.
After the launch, continue using social media to interact with your customers and even announce future events to continue spreading the word. Completely fill out your profile and include enticing images of your best dishes to attract people. Be sure to also respond to both positive and negative comments in a timely manner.