Restaurant Branding

The Importance of Restaurant Branding

Before opening a new restaurant, you may want to invest in its branding. Let's look at the importance of restaurant branding. On Thursday evening, or Friday lunchtime, you walk around a new complex full of restaurants, some more familiar than others. Which one will you choose? The first consideration, no doubt, is "What do I want to eat right now?" This leads you to a specific area. The second consideration, which we will talk about is - "Is this restaurant attractive enough to me?" The answer to the question lies in the branding of the restaurant, and what it conveys to you, the potential customers.

Why Branding Is Extremely Important To Restaurant?

There are many culinary businesses such as restaurants, cafés, bars and food stalls, that prefer to invest their money in the product and employees, but neglect “for a moment” the matter of branding. True, in the end food and service are the factors that will get customers back, but something needs to pull them there in the first place. A simple, small logo is not quite enough to brand the restaurant as a whole, nor does it help it stand out from the thousands of competing restaurants. A restaurant, just like a start-up, is a business that is bound to close soon if it does not attract customers, who may eventually prefer the competitors’ product over it.

Restaurant branding is a great way to bring in many customers. When the business is well-branded and in a comprehensive manner – the logo attracts the customers, the graphics, colorfulness (or rather its absence, convey the atmosphere of the restaurant, the menu is designed in a readable and attractive way, customers will rush in. When you or any person for that matter, come across a well-designed restaurant, your first thought is that their food is probably great. If they have invested in it, there’s no way they have not invested in the cuisine and the quality of the products.

A branded restaurant adds more volume and value in the eye of the customer. It’s more memorable. Its logo, its colors – sometimes these factors are even more far-reaching than the food itself. As the restaurant evolves and grows into a chain of restaurants, branding plays a more important role. The logo, its identity and the experience it evokes should be reflected in all the chain branches. As you pass by the golden arches that form the letter M, you know you’ve arrived at McDonald’s. When you come across a sticker with Moses’ “cat” on a wall in the street or on a car, you know you can find Moses’ burger nearby.

What Does A Restaurant Branding Process Actually Involve?

Everything. Starting with the logo, that will be displayed on the entrance sign, alluding to the delicacies awaiting for the passers-by, and up to the smaller things like the takeaway packaging, napkins or business cards. In between, there is the restaurant itself: the decoration of the walls with illustrations, pictures or slogans, the interior design and furniture  – which all merge together and set the atmosphere of the place.

Another important element is the menu itself: it must be a well- designed, well-organized and concise menu – a menu that will be understandable to the customer at first glance, that will highlight the recommended dishes, and convey the brand and its values ​​in the most accentuated way to the customer through colors, fonts and words. Creativity plays an important role throughout branding.

 How Do You Characterize A Brand?

Before engaging in the branding of a restaurant, one should characterize it. Which target audience it addresses? What is the price range? Does it appeal to Tel Aviv hipsters in their 20s? Is it a fast food chain that would like to be nonetheless prestigious? is it a chain of restaurants that appeals to the whole family, or is it a serious and distinguished restaurant targeting more affluent people? All subsequent work process, visibility of the restaurant, and the entire branding language, will be done accordingly.

After the characterization, the research process begins. Visiting competing restaurants and draw inspiration, learn what they are doing right and wrong, what to enhance and what to stay away from. Observe the area, check which other restaurants are operating there and examine ways to stand out. If all restaurants are branded in the same manner, then another branding approach should be devised. It is most important to understand how to get the advantage of being a new player worth paying attention to, rather than disappearing between old restaurants.

What About Some Examples?

The Alto restaurant, which opened about a year ago in Haifa, we branded using a luxurious and dark atmosphere. The restaurant opened near Hermitage, the largest liquor store in the Middle East, and has the same owners. Alto in Italian means “high”, and this is the level and the message the owners were interested in conveying.

We completed their branding with a power wall in the restaurant, an iron wall that is all letter cuts with content depicting the culinary world, and behind it light fixtures that illuminate the letters. This gave the restaurant a unique and memorable look which dictated the tone for the character of the restaurant and the rest of the branding.

In addition, we used animal figures illustrations, embellished with gold jewelry, we designed a simple yet sophisticated menu and filled the restaurant space with additional murals that surround the customer.

Do you know Fleischman? We have known them for years. We assisted them in branding their first branch on Herzl Street in Tel Aviv, and we recently assisted them in opening the “Bucket” at Sharona Market. Fleischman specializes in making indulging, high-quality meat sandwiches, and they are even kosher. They drew inspiration from Deli in New York, but boast of the Jewish character of the place. Their hearts are in the East, and the flavors in the West. We worked on a branding that combines the old and the new, which would mostly attract young people, but not only. The branding work in the Sharona complex is particularly difficult, since they are surrounded with dozens of successful competitors. There, the importance of winning branding is accentuated.

Last but not least is the “Churosia” that have just opened in Tel Aviv. This is the first attempt to bring the taste of the fried and wonderful churros from Madrid and lend it a Tel Aviv character. The restaurant’s branding – its logo, packaging, walls decor – are all inspired by these flavors. We poured the variety of sweet flavors into a quite hipster colorfulness that matches the atmosphere in the area. A special and innovative place requires an innovative, special branding.

What Did We Learn?

In a competitive market such as the restaurant industry, it is important to emphasize the branding of the restaurant. It is important to convey its character and find a way to differentiate it and lure customers inside. The purpose of branding is to communicate and enrich the whole experience of dining in this particular place. All elements participate in this – the logo, the design of the menu, the design of the restaurant walls, even the cuisine dishes and the waiters’ services.

True, fine and indulgent dishes added to a successful experience will bring customers back for the second time, but without branding and visibility, they might not have even come for the first time.


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