Restaurant Branding in a Digital World

Today it feels like the whole world is online. The town square is not a place you can walk to but exist on our phones scattered across a plethora of social media channels. To stay unified in this new digital landscape you need a stronger brand than ever before to guide your online presence. It’s no longer just about curb appeal where a nice sign or a beautiful façade will get you noticed. Today it’s more about how you appear in someone’s feed or how people interact with your brand online.  

We’re living in the age of the influencers, and nothing drives attention like the content we share. Even as a brick-and-mortar business you’re still beholden to the whims of the online world where people discover and validate the brands they trust. Finding your place in the digital town square is not just about setting up shop on one platform it’s about crafting a multi-faceted identity that can be recognized across many different online spaces. While brands develop and evolve overtime you still need to start with a consistent plan. 

According to this study: “42 percent of U.S. diners say they have interacted with restaurants on at least one social media platform. Of that group, 66 percent said they are more likely to visit or order food from the restaurant.”

Having great food and immaculate service is no longer enough for most budding restaurants in this new digital marketplace. If you want to be discovered, you need to have a presence online and a strong identity to captivate your audience. It’s a whole new game getting this generation of diners through the door. 

Having an influential brand with the potential for virality means developing something that is not only memorable but is recognizable across different mediums. Whether it’s photos, videos, captions, or even a hashtag. Can people identify your restaurant from a wall, a plate, a wrapper, or just a colour? What personality does your restaurant have and how do you communicate with your customers? These are all aspects of your brand and should be consistent with the content you create online.

Social media and your online presence are just one aspect of the larger picture. The traditional tenets of restaurant development still apply. Crafting a unique look and experience for your guests is still ultimately what will keep them coming back and interacting with your brand online. All of this is of course prefaced on the fact that your food is top notch as well. No amount of internet hype can magically make a product good.

In this race to compete for attention online if you’re not the one than you’re a zero. People base their choices today on perceived experiences. How you communicate your value to your customers is the most important thing. Having a well thought out brand is crucial to maintaining consistency in your digital marketing strategy. It’s your north star and should guide you and your customers and be the driving force behind your content. 

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