Intro to Branding: Helping Your Restaurant Stand Out
Have you ever visited a website, and before reading a single word felt like it was a quality product or service? Many of you probably have! But I know we have all landed on a website and felt like it wasn't the right product or service simply because of the outdated nature or visual messiness of the website.
This is the power of branding. It is the process of communicating what your company stands for and the unique selling points you have. Examples of branding include logos, taglines, color palettes and more. Branding is not only establishing these elements, but being consistent in their representation. So we know what branding is, but what does it look like for your restaurant businesses?
Why is it important for Restaurants
As more consumers are shifting online, you need to build a “digital storefront” that stands out. Creating that storefront is the first step, but you want it to tell a brand story that helps you win over customers that are browsing for a restaurant that seems like a memorable place to eat.
Consumers respond to visuals and copy that tell a story and feel cohesive. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to build a brand, but it is a worthwhile and even necessary investment to stay competitive in the online marketplace. So where is the best place to start?
The Branding Materials You Need
Here at Fisherman, we break branding down into three main categories. This breakdown is to help you see what brand items you need for a healthy online storefront and which items you can build out over time.
Must Have Branding Materials:
- A logo that represents your business: Logos can be text-based or icon-based, as long as the name of your restaurant is visible when a user lands on any page. You can check out websites like Fiverr or search “restaurant logo design” for help and inspiration.
- Consistent photos: Your website needs bright and clear photos of your food and restaurant interior. Consistency is key and should be prioritized over quality. Smartphone photos are fine as long as they are used consistently.
- Defined fonts and colors: Choosing a color palette and font style is critical when editing web pages, adding new pages, and posting to social media. If a user lands on your website and then checks out your social media you want them to feel like they are looking at the same brand.
Should Have Branding Material
- Professional photography: While consistency is like having a cake, quality is eating it too. Professional photos of your food will make customers mouth water. It is a worthwhile investment when your budget allows.
- Copywriting style that matches your brand: Your website needs content that is descriptive of what you offer, but you can take it to the next level by creating a brand voice and tone that brings more life and energy into your offerings.
- Embedded Menu: This isn’t necessarily a branding item, but it is critical to user experience. Menu items should be descriptive of the dish so that users feel confident that it will meet their expectations or dietary needs.
Nice to Have Branding Material:
- Custom styling and website designs: Some websites have that extra dash of flavor like custom website designs, custom photo filters, fancy drop down menus, and more. While these aren’t necessary they do help your digital storefront standout.
- Animations: Think gifs, custom illustrations, more complex hover states, and anything else that is more technical. This is never necessary but can be fun for users to engage with and keep them on your website longer.
The branding materials you need can start to feel overwhelming, and some agencies or freelancers will make you feel like you need it all. That’s why it’s important to understand what isn’t necessary for your brand.
Sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to go. It can help keep website navigation easy for users to locate your services, make a call, or place an order. Branding is meant to help guide customers to what action you want them to take, not distract them!
How to start building your brand
Now that we’ve defined what branding materials are necessary, it’s time to start cooking.
A great way to start the branding process is by considering what your business stands for, who are the types of people you want to target, and the message you want to deliver.
Write this down and revisit it a few times, this will become your field guide to all the other brand decisions you will be making. After you create your core brand values its time to define your fonts, color pallet, and basic styling:
- Websites like Google Fonts are a great way to see what is available and free. Test out what different words look like in the font to make sure they can be easily read.
- When picking a color palette, it’s a good idea to pick one or two pops of complementary colors and then use neutral colors to balance them out. Websites such as Colormind help you generate complementary color palettes in seconds.
- Styling is how you want your website to visually flow. This includes how content is presented to a user, what images are used, and how many pages are on your website.
- Content is the last essential piece to your branded website. You want to make sure you are telling users about the food or services your website has to offer and then giving them an action to take. Such as “Place an Order” or “Call Now”.
The biggest brand takeaway that every restaurant owner should focus on is consistency! The elements that are incorporated on your website should match what you are promoting in your physical restaurant and on other social media platforms.
How does Fisherman help with branding?
Here at Fisherman we desire to be a resource for restaurant owners. We work with customers to build their digital presence, implement necessary branding material, and present it in the best way possible.
We’ve built thousands of websites for restaurants and have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. So even if you aren’t design-savvy or feel lost as to where to start, we are here to step in and take care of it for you.
Getting started takes no time or energy! Simply sign up and get a new website preview for free. A beautifully branded website is a few clicks away. All you have to do is submit some basic information and we’ll take care of the rest. Interested in learning more? Request a preview website now: