In business, branding should be a top priority for your design and marketing strategies. Restaurants, like any business, create a strong brand identity to elevate their business recognition and increase clientele.
Not sure where to start? Use this guide to help you determine your brand identity and develop a stunning style guide to create the perfect menu for your restaurant.
Brand identity uses visual aspects such as design, color, and logo to emphasize your brand image. Businesses use brand identity to create a cohesive image in their marketing and build recognition among their desired clientele.
Brand identity goes beyond just menu making in your restaurant. It can include posters, flyers, your website, your interior design, and even how you train your employees to speak to customers.
Your brand image is the kind of restaurant you want to be, whereas brand identity makes up the elements you use to form that image. Business owners often begin the process of building a brand by establishing their brand image or brand story.
Once you create a brand image, determine the most cohesive style for their marketing tools to work with that image.
Creating your Brand
Your brand image represents your restaurant's impact on its customers. Creating a brand can seem intimidating to those just starting, but it’s about client outreach. A strong, cohesive brand allows businesses to reach their ideal clients directly and streamline their marketing to generate the most profit.
Follow this process to create your brand.
Create Business Goals: Start by determining what kind of restaurant you want to create. Is your restaurant casual, fun, and witty? Or is your restaurant more of an upscale and elegant place? Perhaps you want a comfortable, family atmosphere. Understanding your goals as a restaurant is the first step to building a brand image.
Build your Buyer Persona: Once you’ve found your restaurant goals, determine your ideal customer. An upscale restaurant may have a primary clientele of wealthy business people, a small family restaurant may focus on a clientele of middle-class families with young children. Targeting the customers who are the most likely to attend your restaurant can save you time and money on your marketing.
Putting it all Together: You can use this buyer persona and business personality to determine what visuals work best with your brand image. Consider what would attract your ideal clientele and what visual cues would create a desirable atmosphere.
The most straightforward place to begin a style guide is to create a logo that feels connected to the image you have built.
Use the image you choose for your logo and pair it with a color palette that aligns with the tone of your restaurant. An upscale place may choose simple, elegant colors such as neutrals and metallics. On the other hand, a food truck may choose bold colors like orange or purple to stand out from the crowd.
This restaurant personality can also apply to your use of fonts and patterns. Many style guides choose one or two fonts on all their marketing materials to stay consistent. Be sure to pick a font that matches your brand image. Elegant calligraphy may not work well with your casual, family-oriented burger joint.
Another less-considered element of your brand guide is your language. The language used on your menu, marketing materials, and by your employees should reflect your brand image. A fun and rowdy sports bar would not want to use overly precious or stuffy language to describe its menu items or market its restaurant.
MustHaveMenus makes it super easy to build out an entire line of menus that share similar style, meaning it’s simple to follow your brand style guide without spending too much time fussing with fonts and colors.
When creating your menu, your brand style guide should be at the forefront of your decision process. Graphics can play a role in your style and brand as well. Does your brand lean more toward loud and colorful patterns to highlight an upbeat and youthful atmosphere, or does your brand stay away from patterns entirely with a focus on simple line graphics?
Creating marketing materials and a menu for your restaurant can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A little brainstorming to build your brand can save you a lot of headaches in the long run when growing your business and can be the key to your success.
MustHaveMenus offers thousands of menu templates to get you started. Simply choose the menu template whose graphics align best with your brand identity. Once you’ve selected a menu with the ideal graphics, it’s time to apply your style guide. Customize the menu with your chosen colors, fonts, and logos to make the menu your own.
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