How to Tell When Your Restaurant Needs to Be Rebranded
Like any other business out there, your once-thriving restaurant may start losing customers as they discover better alternatives. Does that mean you should close your establishment and call it a day? No, you just need to think out of the box and rebrand.
We understand that this is easier said than done if you are adamant about your existing brand. Just because an idea worked before doesn’t mean it will work indefinitely. Changing trends and preferences can derail restaurant owners who are stuck in their ways. If you are one of them, rebranding your restaurant can help you regain the motivation that made you open one in the first place.
The first thing you need to realize is how and why is it failing. Here are some signs you may be overlooking:
Pricing has Become a Struggle
Your existing brand may be preventing you from increasing or reducing the prices on your menu. This can happen if customers get used to an existing pricing structure and come to associate it with your restaurant.
However, with rising food costs and a reduction in profit margins, you may have to re-think how much you charge for each dish. By rebranding, you can change the way your customers view your restaurant as well as the prices. They may be willing to pay a few pounds more for a steak if they sense the restaurant is giving them a new experience.
Your Menu has Changed Drastically
While a menu makeover is a great way to rebrand a restaurant, frequent changes can confuse diners and put undue pressure on your kitchen staff. Rapid changes can point to an owner who has no idea what the theme of his establishment is or cares about it. A restaurant owner who has his eye on profit margins rather than customer satisfaction cannot go far in this industry.
At this point, more profound changes are needed but to implement them, your brand strategy should be consistent. For instance, if you are known for providing vegan options, rebranding your restaurant to highlight their benefits will work wonders.
The Demographics have Changed
Whether your restaurant started as a hangout for teenagers or a pub back in the day, the times have changed and so have your customers. If you have noticed a change in clientele (which keeps dwindling), rebranding your restaurant can help you retain them.
It will also give you the chance to focus on a niche market such as corporate diners, Millennials, working women etc. As your customers start to age, you must either do the same or target a different clientele if you want your business to survive and thrive.
You are Inundated with Bad PR
Contrary to popular belief, in the restaurant business, all PR is not good PR. A single negative review can make its reputation tank faster than you can save it. That’s because those reviews cause a ripple effect and raise doubt about the brand itself – if the food is this bad, what else is the restaurant hiding? This can cause a snowball effect which can derail your brand completely.
Rather than focus on dwindling restaurant sales, refocus on your branding instead. This is critical when it comes to winning back your diners’ trust and loyalty. Rather than denying there is anything wrong with the food, be transparent, honest and do better the next time around.
Top Ways to Rebrand Your Restaurant from the Ground Up
If your restaurant needs a complete brand overhaul, these tips can help you get a good start:
Research Your Brand Again
Discard the research you did before you opened your restaurant and start anew. The first thing you need to do is figure out your new clientele and what they like/dislike. This feedback will help you rebrand faster. Ask them to fill out comment cards or a simple online poll after each meal.
Plus, scope out the competition and determine what they are doing right that you are getting completely wrong. How have they positioned themselves in the market? Who are their customers and what can you do to attract them? What can you do with your restaurant marketing efforts to differentiate yourself from them?
Re-think your Vision
Your vision for your restaurant may have worked in the beginning, but it may be bringing down your business today. Here are some questions that can help you narrow your focus further:
- How can you give your restaurant a new personality?
- How does it fit the lifestyle of your new demographic?
- Is your current brand identity aligning with your new values or not?
- Who are your customers and what matters most to them?
- Write down a new vision based on the answers you get and use it to rebrand your restaurant. The summary document will help you determine specific objectives and keep you on track at the same time.
Get The Staff’s Input
Your restaurant staff is the backbone of your establishment. Since they are on the frontlines of service, they can give you a firsthand perspective on what they think are its strengths and weaknesses.
You can fact check the summary document you made with them to determine where you are going wrong. Plus, if you involve them in your rebranding efforts, you can increase motivation levels and retain most or perhaps even all of them once you start to implement changes.
Check this article from trycake.
Rebranding a restaurant may seem like a monumental task, but it can do wonders for your business. Take the first step and you will not be disappointed with the results, provided you follow through with your plan.
Do you want to know more? Browse through our blogs to receive more trade secrets. You can also hire our restaurant consultants for professional assistance.