RESTAURANT BRANDING: 4 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
If you read our post about interior design and brand experience you know how powerful a tool is environmental branding for the success of your business.
From the moment they walk through the door to when they leave your premises, your clients need to live a consistent brand experience. By this, we mean that every item you decide to add to the space needs to convey the same message.
IS YOUR RESTAURANT SENDING THE RIGHT MESSAGE TO YOUR CUSTOMER?
Your interior space should communicate what your brand stands for. Every item is an opportunity to connect and engage with your audience. That’s the purpose of branding.
Let’s say you have a steakhouse and you want to stand out in the market by positioning your brand as an exclusive dining option in the region. Every element of the design needs to transmit this exclusivity. The finishing of the walls, furniture, flooring, decor, plants, lighting, colour palette, art pieces, signage, menu, EVERYTHING. The overall experience is also shaped by complementing environmental cues such as how the staff is dressed, how they welcome the clients, the way they speak to them, how the food is brought to the table, how food and drinks are presented, how the dishes are collected, the list is infinite.
GOD IS IN THE DETAILS
Opening a restaurant requires a high investment, so why would you compromise the result by dismissing the details when you can enhance the customer experience through it?
The right tableware sets the mood for the dining experience ahead. The shapes, colours and materials need to be carefully curated to highlight the quality of the F&B you’re serving and the experience you want to provide to your customer.
When buying the dinnerware of your restaurant, you shouldn’t take this decision by chance or personal taste, but rather follow the main concept of the project to create a cohesive experience.
To show you the importance of this, let’s think about the food posts on Instagram. Every day thousands of food photos are shared on social media, so this can be the first point of contact your future client has with your brand.
Every part of the experience matters. You still have a chance to impress your client after the meal is served. And we don’t mean that you need something fancy for it, but for instance, you could wrap up the experience with something memorable.
If you think the music you have playing in your restaurant doesn’t send a message to your customers, think again. The soundtrack of your establishment is another important tool you have to complement the customer experience. And like every other element we mentioned, it needs to be strategically planned. You should even take care of the volume. A loud playlist can make it hard for people to talk and leave your customers stressed.
The right playlist and volume can make waiting for a table or order less stressful, add privacy to a conversation and make the client stay for longer or less time. On the other hand, the wrong playlist can completely ruin the experience of your customer.
A smart environmental branding project strives to stimulate all the senses of the customer. That said, the sense of smell can’t be underestimated. The scent of a place can attract customers to your place, influence buying behaviour, enhance the taste of the food, neutralize bad odours and create long-lasting memories.
However, when creating your strategy, the fragrance shouldn't be just pleasant. The smell should complement the cuisine that’s being served. A fresh and relaxing chamomile scent won’t open the appetite of clients waiting for a burger.
You don’t even need to create a personalized fragrance to explore the sense of smell in your restaurant. The smell of your food can be the complementing point of the experience. Some restaurants can vent the aroma of the kitchen into the dining area or entrance, decide on an open kitchen space to trigger different sensations and bake certain foods at specific times of the day... The options are limitless but all of them should convey the same message.
It’s also important to consider the restrooms. The customer experience just ends when your customer leaves your premises.
The restaurant industry is extremely competitive and an aesthetic pleasant space is just not enough to differentiate your brand in the market.
Clients are looking for new and different experiences.
Your physical space is a great tool to communicate who your brand is and create a remarkable experience. Any item should be dismissed. Each one of them is an opportunity to reinforce your brand for the customer.
Your brand will be remembered for how you made your clients feel. An experience well planned is a powerful marketing tool to attract new clients and loyalize them.