RESTAURANT BRANDING: THAT ONE SPECIAL THING
WHAT BRANDING DOES FOR A RESTAURANT
It helps create the experience.
When people go out to dine in the evening, they want more than just good food; they want an experience. They choose a restaurant for its aesthetic appeal and the vibe it gives off as much as the menu options.
This is especially true for new restaurants.
If the restaurant is new, the first impression people have is from driving past and seeing the sign, or from searching for it online. In both cases your branding and logo are going to be the first thing they see and your first chance to create the impression you want.
You only have a few seconds to impress or at least plant something in their minds that they will remember in a few days when they actually intend to go out for the evening. You want your brand to have that one special thing that sticks.
WHAT IS THAT ONE SPECIAL THING?
It’s the icon, or symbol that is either part of the logo or at least a part of the brand identity.
It should be able to stand on its own and represent the restaurant all by itself.
There are a couple things a special symbol does for your brand:
It inspires curiosity. The symbol should have some sort of meaning to it so when people see it for the first time they should immediately be given a clue to what the restaurant is about.
It's a visual reminder. It gives people something to remember your restaurant by. They may have only seen your sign once while driving by or briefly scrolled past it on their phone, and they might not even remember the name, but they will remember the symbol if it’s unique and has meaning.
WHERE CAN A SYMBOL BE APPLIED BY ITSELF?
The great thing about a standalone brand element is that you can apply it to a lot of things without it appearing overdone. It’s different than having the logo appearing everywhere. It’s a much more subtle way of displaying the brand.
Some areas and objects you can display a brand symbol on are:
Storefront windows. And not big & bold either. A small graphic in the center of each window always looks clean.
Wall graphics. This is an opportunity to make use of patterns that include the symbol. A great way to create a feature wall.
Branded items. Etched into wine glasses and tumblers, stamped on napkin holders, coasters, stationary, and more.
A special symbol is an elegant way of gluing the brand together.
The very definition of elegant is to solve a problem in a simple & ingenious way, or something that is pleasingly stylish and graceful in appearance. A well thought out symbol in a brand identity often fulfills both of those definitions.