The addition of a new restaurant is an exciting step, but it also comes with challenges. Getting a single restaurant up and running while establishing its identity and brand is difficult enough, so it goes without saying the introduction of another restaurant compounds that difficulty.
Owners of multi-location restaurants, whether that be two locations or two hundred, are always looking for ways to maintain brand consistency among their restaurants. To help with this, we have compiled 10 ways for you to keep the bar high and make sure each restaurant is meeting the standards of your brand.
The first way to maintain brand consistency is to centralize your marketing goals and campaigns. By using marketing software, you can establish the “voice” of your brand. This is how you present yourself to the target market for the restaurant, how you make them excited to engage with your brand.
Without centralizing this voice, each restaurant would be left on their own, leading to many different voices. This can cause brand confusion and eventually reduced engagement.
Although we stressed the importance of a unified restaurant brand voice above, this does not mean owners should not allow room and resources for local marketing campaigns.
Local community engagement is essential in the restaurant industry, so local restaurant advertising should always consider the audience. An emphasis on community engagement should be a main focus of the centralized marketing strategy. Customers should be able to view the restaurant marketing and know that the restaurant understands the local people and culture.
Owners know restaurant ambiance is vital to customer engagement and retention. Food is an experience, and the interior design of dine in restaurants makes up a large percentage of that experience. If multi-location restaurants are each differently designed, then they are giving different experiences, and the restaurant branding consistency is lost.
When interior design concepts are uniform between restaurants, the customer can feel the comfortable familiarity regardless of which location they choose to patronize. However, as with the marketing strategy for restaurants, it would be good practice to also allow room for a local element that compliments the baseline uniform interior design—many restaurants feature local sports teams, local natural beauty, etc.
Along with marketing materials and interior décor, standardizing all visual brand materials greatly benefits brand consistency. This term can encompass any kind of information depicted in the store or on the restaurant website.
Menus, for example, are important to standardize because they are essential to the brand’s voice, but also because they help promote the user experience when customers are familiar with the layout of the menu. For materials like these, owners should provide detailed templates that keep all visuals on brand. Small details like size, font, and color can go a long way in brand recognition and customer retention.
The employees of a restaurant ultimately control the quality of food being served, but they also dictate the restaurant’s customer service and the restaurant’s atmosphere. Needless to say, the way in which multi-location restaurants choose to train their employees makes a difference in the consistency of the brand experience.
By optimizing and standardizing all training materials, there is a greater likelihood that employees will perform their professional duties in alignment with the goals of the brand. Haphazard or inconsistent job training leads to haphazard and inconsistent job performance.
The operating procedures of multilevel restaurants depend on several factors, such as number of restaurants, distance between restaurants, etc. However, the fundamental operation of purchasing ingredients should be standardized as much as possible.
Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry knows the importance of ingredients, and it is exceptionally difficult, perhaps impossible to produce the same consistent taste with differently sourced ingredients. If at all possible, obtaining ingredients from the same source will help provide a uniform food experience among your restaurants.
Just as with ingredients, replicating a similar food experience relies on standardized recipes. This includes not only standardized lists of ingredients, but also a uniform description of the methodology. When you make the prep procedures clear for the employees, it reduces any confusion or any necessity to “wing it,” which can lead to discrepancies in the food experience. The employees should be effectively trained to be able to comprehend and follow the standardized recipes.
The rise of “foodie influencers” has been swift. It is undeniable that influencers on social media have become a proven method of marketing for food that generates more engagement with your restaurants. In order to use this valuable source of restaurant advertising to maintain brand consistency, you can get in touch with local influencers, and ideally have them try two of your restaurants.
Positive feedback from them can help solidify your brand as high-quality and consistent. Also, contacting and receiving feedback from multiple influencers can promote the brand’s consistency and can appeal to multiple audiences.
Receiving feedback from customers is just as important. The tried-and-true method of customer feedback has always been an integral part of the restaurant industry. By talking with customers, owners have adjusted menu items, hours of operations, and more. For multi-location restaurants, the methods of customer feedback need to be uniform. If the methods vary between restaurants, the customer will be understandably confused, and the line of communication will be disrupted.
Our list begins and ends with essential technologies that can streamline and unify a brand. We began with marketing software to manage marketing campaigns, and we are ending with point of sale (POS) systems to keep the business running smoothly.
One commonly overlooked aspect of a brand is how efficiently they run. Although a customer may not see into the back kitchen or be privy to managerial conversations, they absolutely do recognize when a restaurant is efficient and running smoothly, both in terms of food preparation and in payment.
A cloud-based POS system, like Revel Systems, offers all the features a business needs to effectively manage multiple locations, including inventory management, employee management, accounting and payments, and more. Explore our site to see how our platform can meet your business needs.