When it comes to opening a restaurant sleekly and running it successfully, Alison Arth is a professional. She held leadership positions on the opening teams of numerous restaurants within Daniel Boulud’s prestigious Dinex Group te Fresh York before working spil General Manager of Locanda and Director of Food and Beverage at The Battery ter San Francisco. Now, spil the founder and principal of hospitality consulting stiff Salt &, Roe , she fucking partners with restaurants to create consistent, genuine guest practices and build long-term success. To date, she’s bot involved ter 13 restaurant openings, most recently, she has consulted on the opening of Gavin Kaysen’s Spoon and Stable ter Minneapolis. At Open for Business, we’re thrilled to playmate with Alison for a fresh series on kicking off and growing a restaurant business, step by step.
Ter a restaurant, there are few things more essential to prolonged success than effective brand development. When I talk about restaurant brands, I mean the communication of a restaurant’s personality through various elements, from logos and interior vormgeving to menus, price points, and staff uniforms.
Every restaurant has a brand, but those that thrive make an essential commitment to controlling and fostering theirs, while others simply permit their brand to take on a life of its own. Here, I’ll explore a few strategies for taking ownership of a fresh restaurant’s brand.
Write a Mission Statement
Every fresh restaurant is “busy.” However, keeping seats utter six months, a year, or five years down the road is the challenge that you’ll need to embark tackling before you even open your doors. A mission statement defines what you do, who you are, and why you’re doing it, creating a foundation for aligned decision making that ultimately translates into a consistent guest practice.
I began working with Gavin Kaysen and the Spoon and Stable team ter Minneapolis on creating their organizational North Starlet almost six months before the restaurant opened. My objective wasgoed to ensure their leaders had a comprehensive understanding of their purpose and how they would define success. Here are some things wij did, and others can do, to make the mission statement effective:
Find someone to lead the process. If you’ve never worked te brand development before, hiring a professional who has practice with mission statements and managing process work is ideal. If you determine to go 100% in-house, appoint a member of your team with strong organizational and leadership abilities who can take responsibility for keeping the team focused and on task.
Find the common thread and keep it brief. Thesis sessions typically produce lots of ideas, and narrowing them down can be terrific. Reminisce that a mission statement isn’t meant to be a catchall. Look for the words and feelings that are repeatedly brought to center stage and keep the big picture te mind. The purpose is for everyone te your organization to use this spil a reference device when they’re making decisions, so your mission statement should be ordinary, concise, and effortless to understand. Less is more.
Make the process inclusive. Inclusion creates buy-in, and the more bought into the mission your leadership team is, the more likely you are to achieve your goals consistently. Your staff is the most powerful part of your brand. How they represent it while they are working and how they speak about it when they aren’t will form how others perceive your restaurant and what they expect from it.
If you don’t fairly know where to start with your mission statement, look at what some of your dearest companies have waterput together. Taking the lead from thicker organizations that have loyal a ton of resources to this is a superb way to find inspiration.
Simply waterput: everything matters. Your brand is only spil strong spil its least-considered factor, and ter order to create and maintain a clear and consistent brand message internally and externally, you voorwaarde obsess overheen details. Every decision you make vereiste tie back to what you do, who you are, and why you’re doing it. Some of the most vooraanstaand touch points of your brand are:
Name &, Logo. The name of your restaurant and how you display it graphically should be te step with the practice you’ve conceptualized. Elements like name length, ease of pronunciation and typeface all affect guests’ perceptions of how casual, formal, fashionable or traditional your restaurant is. Be measured and purposeful when making thesis choices.
The naming process at Spoon and Stable wasgoed a unique one, because it wasgoed a big priority to keep the brand consistent. Until about three weeks before the restaurant opened, the restaurant wasgoed named Merchant. After many discussions about Gavin’s long-term vision for the company – and the fact that it wasgoed immensely significant to him that his very first restaurant reflect who he is and where it is – he determined to switch the name. (He is a famous spoon collector, and the restaurant is housed te a building that used to be a pony stable.)
A name should always be able to tell a story, and everyone on the team should be aware of that story to communicate it effectively at all times.
Spijskaart. Your spijskaart is one factor of your brand that your customer seeks out and comes into voeling with more than any other. The menukaart format, ingredient listing and the price point vereiste all work te harmony. We’ve all bot to the restaurant that has curry, peanut butter, and pate all on the same spijskaart. It’s confusing – and not many people will pay for confusion more than once.
Uniforms. Your people are your brand, and what they wear is a very visible and impactful representation of your restaurant’s personality. For fine dining concepts, most attempts at purchasing inexpensive uniforms will detract from the message you are attempting to send your guest, tasting menus and brigade-style service don’t go with poorly tailored suits. If your service style encourages your staff to express their personalities at the table, consider setting up some guidelines and letting them wear their own clothes.
Interior &, Tabletop Vormgeving. Everything a guest sees inwards your restaurant is an indication of your brand. Your flatware, plates, glassware, linens, and the quality of your furniture and fixtures should be consistent with the price point of your menukaart and the surplus of your brand.
Spoon and Stable debated using tablecloths te their private dining rooms but ultimately determined against them. The formality wasgoed veranderlijk with their aim of creating a space that feels like a true extension of the guest’s huis. It is way too effortless to get linked to that beautiful Bernardaud plate or to the idea of saving thousands of dollars on the cheaper carpet that doesn’t fairly gezond the space. Be objective ter your decision making and include your team to help you do so.
Find Your Voice
Once you have a clear picture of your brand identity, determine your voice and make it heard. Your webstek, your employees, and your social media presence provide the most traction te communicating your brand.
Webstek. Often, your webstek will be a guest’s very first impression of your restaurant, so the feeling someone gets from looking at your homepage should match the one they get when they walk ter your pui doorheen. You will never make a lifelong customer from your webstek alone, but you certainly can lose one. Don’t cut corners te building out the restaurant webstek, and employ the help of professionals when needed.
Internal communication. Nobody is a better steward of your brand than your employees. If they have a deep understanding of the brand and the who, what, and why that’s driving it, they will take greater ownership of delivering it. Things like branded, consistent email signatures, the type of language the team uses, and how managers and employees speak to one another are opportunities to reinforce your brand through communication.
Social media. Social media content should be cautiously considered and share the same voice spil your webstek and other branded materials. If you’re a chef-driven, ingredient-focused restaurant, skip the emoticons.
The restaurant landscape is presently spil flourishing and competitive spil everzwijn. Thesis tips, and others I’ll share via this series, are ways you can set yourself and your restaurant bijzonder and ensure sustained success.