You finally did it, you bought the restaurant of your dreams and it is performing very well. You’ve invested so much time, money, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into this restaurant. It will come as no surprise that you won’t want to consider rebranding your restaurant, this project is essentially your baby and you will do anything to protect it.
But what if rebranding is the only way to save your restaurant? The market is constantly changing along with the wants and needs of consumers. With new restaurants popping up every day, you need to be able to compete with them. Your customers will be as loyal as they can be, but everyone likes trying something new.
Rebranding is one of the best tested ways that you can save yourself and your restaurant, and the rebrand can help you gain new customers and keep your current ones.
Do I Need to Rebrand?
All restaurants go through changes as they become more popular, but those aren’t considered “rebrands”. A few signs that indicate it is time for your to rebrand your restaurant are; you are getting several complaints about the appearance of the restaurant, the food doesn’t taste as good as it used to, the competition is way ahead of you, and you aren’t getting high-quality applicants for your open positions.
It is extremely important to learn about and analyze your customers. By asking them questions, you can get their opinion on what they like about the restaurant, what they don’t like or dislike, how you can make changes that they will appreciate you involiving them. Your guests are way more likely to return to a restaurant that they know cares about then and listens to their ideas.
What Works Best for You?
While it is important to take advice and ideas from your guests, it is also important to make sure that you stick to what works best for you. If you have certain pots and pans that your chefs like you use, you may want to stick with those pots and so they continue to work well together using the things they are used to.
Another thing to consider is the performance of your restaurant before restaurant rebranding. If you have really high numbers for appetizers but really low numbers for alcohol, you should focus on your alcohol sales techniques during the rebrand.
One last thing to consider when thinking about restaurant rebranding is your food sales. Are they doing great, well, breaking even, or are you basically paying for your customers to eat? You need to look through your food sales and see what works and what doesn’t. This information can help you decide if you should change your menu completely, change just a few things, or keep it the same.
Rebranding Is Not a “Facelift” Approach to Saving your Restaurants
Sure, rebranding your restaurant can help you attract more customers and keep your current customers coming back. However, a rebrand probably won’t fix all of the problems you are facing in your restaurant. You should be prepared to also create a new logo which can cause some confusion for your customers.
A good way to start a rebrand is to make subtle changes such as switching some things around on the menu. You could take things off the menu or put things on, that’s completely up to you. You can also start with small changes like adding your name and logo onto your Styrofoam take-out boxes and cups, as well as your napkins and placemats.
You need to make sure you are extremely active on your social media accounts to update all of your followers on the process. If your customers are aware of the change before it happens, they will probably adapt more easily to the branding change.
Pretty much everyone is on social media today, and if you have loyal customers that follow you, this will be a great way to spread the word of the rebrand. You can grab the attention of your followers by spreading the word with colorful and entertaining pictures that explain what you are doing next. Your followers will also enjoy pictures of the actual rebranding while it is happening. Post these pictures on your social media and your customers, family, and friends will be there to show their love.
Host a Reveal event
When posting on social media as stated above, you should only post pictures of the work in progress and nothing about what the finished space will look like. This will bring customers in based on curiosity to see how it turned out. Hosting a reveal event will draw people in to see the reveal of the mystery that has been happening to your restaurant during the rebranding process.
A reveal event is also a good time to sample some new recipes that you have put on the list. You can take advice from the customers who try the food and they can tell you if it will be a hit or if you should take it off the menu. That will help save you time and money in the long run.
Rebranding your restaurant can seem like a really scary thing to do. The best way to get through a rebrand is to take it step-by-step. Start making small changes first, like just changing your Styrofoam take out boxes by adding your name and logo on it.
If you are unsure whether you are ready to rebrand or not, think about any complaints you have received lately about the restaurant, the wait staff, or the food. The complaints are all ideas from your customers that give you an opportunity to fix your mistakes that may have been neglected or completely forgotten about. When you take your customer’s thoughts into consideration, they will feel extremely respected and important in your restaurant, they will definitely continue to come back because they will feel valued.