Why You Need To Promote Your Restaurant Brand Values
What do people look for when they’re choosing a restaurant to visit or order from? The obvious answers are great food and value for money. But there’s more to it than just that.
With so much choice available to diners, people look for other ways to make their decisions – they often turn to social media platforms for recommendations, advice and reviews. Your restaurant brand values play an important role in their decision making process – how restaurant brands are perceived online make a huge difference between a casual interest and an actual customer.
Branded restaurants generally appear to be the more popular choice among UK consumers. Visits to independents showed a decline between 2008 and 2016 while brands have seen an increase in visitors. – Statista
Your restaurant isn’t an actual person, but as you engage with your customers in house and online, it will develop its own personality – and you need to make sure that when you’re building confidence in a restaurant brand, that you’re accurately portraying it.
What you do online needs to reflect what you do in your restaurant. This will change over time, but it should be a natural evolution as your business grows – not just hoping from trend, to fad, to trend, and back again.
“We see a brand as being like a person; it should change and grow with time.
If a brand stays still it dies.”
– Andy Laurillar, Giggling Squid Restaurants
What Sort of Venue Do People See You As?
Whether you have an established restaurant brand name, or are building a reputation for yourself, the way that you express your core values, the content you share online and the way you conduct yourself creates a distinctive impression of your restaurant and what a customer can expect when they engage with you. You need to make sure that you’re sending out the right message.
For example – if you portray yourself as a high end, luxury establishment with expensive ingredients and Michelin star dishes, but actually serve cheap and cheerful fast food – the customers who’ve arrived expecting high quality are going to be bitterly disappointed, lose their trust in you – and will most likely inform their friends and social networks that their experience was bad.
However, if you’ve made it clear that you serve lovingly prepared, budget-friendly dishes – and have engaged with an audience who are looking for the cuisine you serve, they will arrive knowing what to expect, and are much more likely to leave with a positive impression and a willingness to recommend your restaurant.
Your audience need to trust in what you’re doing and saying, and your brand values play an important role in determining this. Successful restaurant branding clearly reflects your vision for the restaurant and what you stand for – if you are passionate about using only ethically sourced ingredients, or providing a superior range of dishes for different dietary requirements, then your restaurant menu and your social media marketing should reflect this.
Why Are Your Brand Values So Important to Your Customer?
Customers don’t like being misled or lied to. Your values show to your audience who you are, what you believe in. Restaurants that define their core values and stick to them are proving to their guests that they can be trusted, and can be relied upon to provide a consistent experience.
“Once you invest the time, money and effort into your brand and you nail it down, customers will keep coming back for more business because they come to trust and feel confident in your brand.”
– Christopher Conner, Modern Restaurant Management
When you prove to your audience that you are trustworthy and are showing them a realistic portrayal of your brand, you will start to build an emotional connection with them. This connection needs to be nurtured and grown, because it will result in greater consumer confidence, increased brand recognition, and happy customers not only referring your restaurant to their friends and social peers – but returning to you again and again.
How Can You Get Your Message Across Clearly?
Before you can begin marketing and attracting customers, you need to look at how to define your restaurant brand. What are your business values? Do you have a vision statement – something that defines what you want your restaurant to grow and evolve into?
Once you know what your values are, there are a number of different methods you can use to convey them to your audience.
Your Social Media presence offers one of the largest restaurant brand touchpoints – there are so many unique visitors every day, and once you know who your core audience are – you can engage with them, build a community and establish yourself as a restaurant that people want to come and visit. It’s important that you don’t just advertise on your social media channels – brands that just post content trying to sell their dishes will soon fall out of favour with consumers, and lose engagement, whilst it’s important to show what you’ve got – and give customers accurate information on when, where and how they can get it – there needs to be more to your strategy, you need visitors to want to visit your pages, and want to learn more about you.
You could do this by posting ‘behind the scenes’ content about your chefs, showcasing high quality photos of the venue, sharing any interesting trivia, etc.
Look at your values and create content that upholds them, to show your guests the true nature of your restaurant – and why they need to come visit.
Another method of getting your brand seen is through Influencer Marketing. By working with an Influencer that shares your values, and is appropriate for your needs – you can appeal to their social network and contacts through them. It is important however that you take the time to make sure you’re working with an Influencer who is genuine, who actually does share your values – and is reputable.
Getting your Brand Values across to your restaurant customers will help your business grow, and provide you with unique and interesting content to appeal to interested guests.