Marketing, Restaurants

5 strategies for rebranding your restaurant

Thinking of rebranding your restaurant? Here’s everything you need to know about the right time to rebrand, and how to go about it.

So you’re thinking of rebranding your restaurant. Although this is no small task, rebranding can turn your restaurant around. If done right, it can take your establishment from old and decaying, to modern and trendy.

Not only that, it also immediately sets you apart from the competition. You’ll have more eyes on your business, and as a result, more customers. You’ll also be setting new and improved expectations for your customers.

Rebranding is like being reborn. It’s a new lease on life for your restaurant, and it can take your eatery to new heights.

But of course, there’s a couple of things you need to know about when to think about rebranding, and how to go about it. This guide outlines all the information you’ll need. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?

When should you rebrand?

You’re not going to wake up one morning and decide to completely overhaul your current brand. There are certain conditions that need to be met before you decide to take the plunge.

If these sound familiar to you, you might just be ready for a rebrand. 

1. You can’t increase prices

Regular customers may associate a particular price range with your restaurant. We all categorize restaurants according to price. Once your pricing is iron clad, changing it might be bad for business. 

If you feel that is the case, it might be time to change your restaurant’s look so that the associations people have made with your restaurant are completely uprooted. 

2. You need a fresh look

Sometimes, years or even decades of running a business can make it look stale and in need of an upgrade. In this case, it is always best to change your branding so you can stay relevant with the times.

In today’s fast paced social climate, an outdated brand will quickly fade into the background. KFC’s rebranding earlier this year was emblematic of exactly this – a need to upgrade their brand to make it more modern and iconic. 

3. You’re not attracting talented employees

If you want to see whether or not you’re due for a rebrand, check the pile of CV’s on your desk. What kind of potential employees are you attracting to your restaurant?

Believe it or not, this is an important consideration to keep in mind. Restaurants typically attract a lot of younger candidates who want to be associated with winning brands themselves. If you’re seeing a dip in talent, that may be because people don’t view your restaurant as a feasible place to work. 

And if this is the case, it may be time to change the way they think about your restaurant. 

4. You just went through a PR nightmare

Now this isn’t a completely necessary condition for a rebrand. But if a PR nightmare does happen, it just might be the most important one to consider. 

In 2015, Chipotle had an E. Coli outbreak that massively hurt their sales and reputation. As far as restaurant-related PR nightmares are concerned, it doesn’t get much worse than this. 

However, Chipotle took this incident and turned it around through a quick rebrand. They launched the “For Real” campaign that highlighted their ingredients as fresh, safe, and delicious. The brand underwent a massive overhaul in which reminding customers about their fresh and safe ingredients became their top priority.

Bad press can ruin any business. It eats away at you over time until you’re forced to shut down. Fortunately, you can avoid this by rebranding after your PR nightmare occurs.

If you play your cards right, you can come out on top and build a brand new empire in the process. 

5. Your sales are falling

This is probably the most obvious sign that you need a rebrand. Fewer customers mean that your business is in decline. And the only way to fix it is to rebrand.

Change the way people see your restaurant by coming up with a new and exciting rebrand. Hopefully, this will not only energize your existing customers, but it will also bring in a whole horde of new customers.

When Subway was going through a sales decline, they saw rebranding as their saving grace. They came up with a whole new look, and marketed themselves as a fresh and healthy option amongst a sea of unhealthy choices. And it worked. 

Strategies for rebranding your restaurant

Now that you know exactly when a rebrand for your restaurant is due, it’s time to figure out how exactly you’re going to go about it. 

1. Do a comparison with competitors

Your rebranding strategies should be backed by actual research, and not guesswork. You need to figure out where you’re lacking and what needs to be changed. You should also be aware of what’s working for you and try to build on that through your rebrand.

We recommend that you conduct a SWOT analysis to do your comparisons. A SWOT analysis allows you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses as a business. It also shows you any new opportunities you could grab. It will even outline the major threats your restaurant faces so that you can try and avoid those through your rebrand. 

Compare your results with other restaurants in the area and make a note of all key issues and opportunities that you come across. 

2. Revamp your menu

Use your rebrand as an opportunity to give your customers some mouth watering new dishes. Often, a rebrand becomes necessary when people are no longer excited about the menu options you have. Get them talking again by switching up your menus completely.

Make sure to keep some signature items that have been popular with customers on the menu though. A positive change is great, but some regular customers do need an anchor to remind them that this is still the same restaurant.

Sit down with your top chefs and brainstorm ideas for new dishes. Conduct extensive research on what would work for your brand. Once you have an idea, conduct a focus group with locals or regular customers. This way you’ll get a rough idea of how your new dishes are likely to go down with the general public.

After you finalize your dishes, you need to make a new menu to show to your customers. As a small business, your budget might be limited. Thankfully, you have options. PosterMyWall has a wonderful menu maker that allows you to create the menu you want. Here, you’ll find tons of menu templates that you can customize according to your brand’s needs. 

3. Consider people’s feedback

Rebranding is all about switching things up to meet customer demands. This is why you can’t do a rebrand without customers. 

Look at constructive feedback that you get on your website, your social media, and your comment cards. Find out if there are any recurring complaints that you should pay special attention to. 

Also, involve your staff in the process. Your waiters will normally spend the most time catering to customers’ needs. So they’re the most reliable people to talk to about what people really want. The more people you bring in, the greater the chances of you honing in on any serious issues that you need to tackle with your rebrand.

When Domino’s did a worldwide rebrand for its business, it did exactly this. And it worked. The pizza chain went from an obscure and irrelevant fast food place to now becoming one of the most recognizable brands in the world. 

The CEO specifically mentioned the role customers played in making it all happen. ”Your comments helped us create a brand new Domino’s pizza – new sauce, new cheese,” he said in a press conference. 

Another great way of making sure you get feedback is by integrating with the community, like Lil Bites Food Truck did. In their case, they offered ease for customers by allowing people who ordered via takeaway to get an update via text as soon as their food gets ready. These small measures can stick in your customers’ minds if they work.

All successful restaurant rebrands have one thing in common – a brand new, modern logo. A new restaurant logo is the most visually obvious way to let customers know that you’ve rebranded. The right logo will give your restaurant a new and exciting look. 

Most restaurants try to go for a more modern looking logo that’s easy to plaster everywhere, and more likely to appeal to a younger audience. 

Consider McDonald’s. When it first decided to start catering to a bigger audience, its first step was to do a major logo overhaul. In fact, McDonald’s first logo looks nothing like what the brand stands for today.

5. Promote your rebrand

Once you’ve implemented the right strategies and done all your research, it’s time to let people know that you’re back and better than ever. Create a marketing plan that outlines what you’re going to do online and offline to promote your restaurant. 

Social media is central to getting a bigger reach so create a detailed social media campaign. A lot of companies tend to build up mystery and hype surrounding their rebrand by putting out teaser posts a few weeks prior to the launch. Posts that hint that “something big is coming” build intrigue and excitement around your brand. Use restaurant ad templates to consistently create various ads to sell your rebrand to a various audiences.

Another important avenue to consider is video. Videos make up 85% of traffic on the internet. Short video teasers for your social media are perfect for building hype. Use free online tools like Doratoon to create short and snappy videos in minutes. 

Make sure to time your videos and posts strategically so that they get the greatest engagement. Here are the best times to post on major social sites:

  • Facebook – Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 am to 12 pm
  • Instagram – Wednesdays, 11 am
  • Twitter – Mondays and Thursdays, 8 am

You should also promote your rebrand within your locale. Location-based marketing is crucial, especially if you’re a small business that relies on local customers. Hand out flyers and put up posters around your neighborhood. You should also put up kiosks or stalls at local festivals and events. Become a part of your community and invite people to try out your new and updated menu.

Moreover, create a new website, or update your existing one. This site will be a one-stop solution for customers looking to browse your menu, order online, or find out more about your restaurant. A good website will bring more customers in and create brand awareness. If you’re unsure about how to get started with a website, try making one with Wix. It’s free and incredibly easy!

Finally, partner up with other brands and businesses to introduce people to your new look. For instance, sponsor a small-scale, local event. You can also throw a launch party in coordination with local partners. 

Final thoughts

Rebranding is an ambitious undertaking. If you feel like it’s time to go through with it, then do it strategically. Use the tips in this guide to help you step by step along the way.

Remember that rebranding is all about presenting a new front for existing and new customers. It’s the perfect way to introduce yourself to different markets. Keep this end goal in mind, regardless of the strategies you end up implementing.

For additional tips to promote your restaurant head over to Gradient.

New to PosterMyWall? Use our incredible design tools to create new logos, menus, and run your rebranding campaign. Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered.