How Ocean Drive Communications develops the branding strategy your restaurant needs.
One of the most challenging roles for us here at Ocean Drive Communications is developing restaurant branding strategies. This isn’t because we don’t know what we’re doing. Quite the opposite. Your restaurant branding strategy is the most bespoke services we offer. It requires us to be on exactly the same page as the client’s ownership and management.
Your restaurant’s brand is how you justify its existence in an increasingly competitive field. If your brand is weak, it will become apparent to your employees. Then, through them, it will be telegraphed to your actual customers…and potential customers. If your brand is good and strong, your restaurant will gain respect, fill up with happy customers and you will have your pick of the best employees in town.
Let’s look at the two reasons you want to talk to Ocean Drive Communications about restaurant branding strategies:
A) Building a restaurant branding strategy from scratch.
Are you an aspiring restaurant owner with a great business concept in your head…but you’re not sure exactly how to usher it into reality? Branding strategies for new restaurants is an area where we have plenty of recent experience. Everything from the logo to food and beverage menus to the choice of barstools speaks to the people who enter your establishment. We want to ensure that the message you’re trying to send is the one that people are going to recieve.
As nice as it would be for every entrepreneur starting a new restaurant to get everything right the first time, this has never ever happened. However, there have been a fair number of first-timers who were under the impression that their branding strategy was perfect. That’s because everyone they dealt with felt that they were supposed to agree with the boss. Everything went perfect…until the hard opening, when a bunch of surprises revealed themselves.
A) Pulling your restaurant’s brand out of a dive.
One way to tell if your restaurant has a strong brand is to suggest a range of ideas for new menu items or decorations to your employees. If you’re all on the same page as to what fits with your brand and what does not, then your restaurant’s branding strategy is strong. When there’s a lot of confusion, it is not.
There’s another, extremely imporant factor: Even if you’re branding is strong…if your revenue is weak then it’s not doing you any good. It could actually be working against you.
Let’s cut to the chase…experienced restaurateurs don’t go looking for help with their branding strategy from business consultants because they’ve run out of things to blow their endless surplus of cash on. Things have gotten bad and you’re not sure if you’re in a rough patch…or a death spiral. You do know it’s not where you want the business to be and you’ve recognized that that the magnitude of the problem is likely beyond your ability to fix in short order. The company’s brand either melted into slush…or became the wrong identity for the market.
Either way, this is a problem that’s not going to be fixed by a fresh coat of paint and a new cocktail menu. It’s going to require a reimagining of your business and a break from the past. Fortunately, we at Ocean Drive Communications have a lot of experience taking restaurants that are in a bad place and getting them to even keel.
Our role as Restaurant Consultants
The reason you hire a restaurant consultant isn’t to affirm your culinary divinity. You have plenty of friends and family for that. Ocean Drive Communication’s experience and expertise are here for you to pound your concepts against so together we can forge the best practices possible. This process will involve the occasional raised voice and butting heads, but it’s all part of our quest to avoid having to say “We told you so.” Our strength as consultants comes from having seen a multitude of mistakes (and having made a few of our own), requiring us to learn of an array of solutions.
We’re kind of like a future version of yourself coming back in time to tell yourself “DON’T DO THAT!!! You won’t believe the lessons that we’ve learned. It will be so much better if you did it this way instead…”
What do restaurant brand strategies consist of?
Restaurant brand strategies should include everything that makes an eatery unique. We’re talking everything, from the the name of the place to the font of the sign out front to the layout of the food menu to the price points of the featured beverages. People with experience in the restaurant industry can often separate and examine these elements in their minds, looking at how they’re assembled, but for the average customer, the feeling is more holistic. If it all clicks together, then they’ll likely be happy. If things are left disjointed, confusion will result in dissatisfaction. Many a closed restaurant’s epithet has been spoken as “They just didn’t know what they wanted to be.”
You have a vision for your restaurant. Ocean Drive Communications will turn it into an effective brand.
Every entrepreneur has a concept in their head of what they want their business to be. They also know what they want their business to be known for. Restaurants, of all the kinds of businesses, are much more than a balance sheet. They are places where people come to experience the best part of their lives.
This is why Ocean Drive Communications knows it’s so important to devote so much time, thought and effort to restaurant branding strategies. We want to make sure that the impact your location has on the world is just as great and sustainable as the one you see in your mind.