Not just your logo. Not just your name. Your brand is the reflection of everything your restaurant represents. And it starts from the top down.
What does that mean? It’s starting with a high level vision of what you stand for, then drilling down to every detail of the experience your customer receives.
When you’re looking to build that deeper sense of your brand, it’s important to begin with five key ingredients:
- A vision statement
- Your unique mission statement
- Overarching values
- Your business goals
- Specific objectives
All five are dependent on each other and need to work together in order to build a great restaurant brand.
And, by having a better understanding of your restaurant’s brand, you can clearly communicate it through everyday actions and words. Whether through your staff’s service or your website, you want to achieve brand loyalty, where customers become fans and keep coming back for more, ultimately driving word of mouth referrals.
Knowing where you have been and where you’re going in the future can help you run your restaurant better today. Here’s how to do just that, beginning with your Vision Statement.
Looking into Your Crystal Ball
No one can truly predict the future, but most of us have some sense of where we want to be down the road. The same goes for your restaurant. You’ve built this great restaurant concept, but what is your long term vision for it?
A vision statement expresses what you hope your restaurant will contribute to the greater good, which can be the impact on your customers, your community, or both. It defines the future state of your restaurant and what you ultimately aspire to be.
Your vision statement also answers the question “Why do you run your business the way you do?” It influences all decisions, large to small, from concept to overall management to menu selection.
The tone and wording of your vision statement should inspire your staff to do their best every day, be easy to understand, and illustrate the type of company culture you’re creating. Inspiring your staff to think big can only result in providing better service, quality food and drink, and a great atmosphere. In this sense, a brand is your restaurant’s personality. Having your overall aspirations outlined clearly sets up success for every action taken today — and into the future.
For example, PepsiCo’s Vision statement encompasses this forward thinking aspect of their business: “To deliver top-tier financial performance over the long term by integrating sustainability into our business strategy, leaving a positive imprint on society and the environment.”
On the flip side, Sysco’s Mission Statement also speaks of the future desired state of their company, but leans towards less words and to the point: “To be our customers’ most valued and trusted business partner.”
Once you’ve got your Vision statement locked down, it’s time to take a look at the next critical piece of your brand: The Mission Statement.
A mission statement works in parallel to your company’s vision statement. Unlike the Vision Statement which expresses your restaurant in a future state, the Mission Statement speaks more simply to what your business does every day and why it exists.
This statement includes some of the basic facts of your business and describes exactly what you do — and why. This can include the type of food you serve, the customer you serve it to, why you do so, and perhaps even your general market price or restaurant type.
One example from a Rewards Network client, Rosati’s Pizza, is simple, straightforward, and clearly explains the what, why, and how of their business:
“Our mission is to provide customers with high-quality signature Chicago pizzas, pasta, and sandwiches from authentic Italian family recipes.”
If your brand is the personality of your restaurant, think of it like a person. If you were to describe that person to a stranger, what would be their defining traits? What are the values that make up their unique characteristics?
The Values of a Great Brand
Your business’ core values are the traits or qualities that should be transmitted in every element of your brand, from big to small. These values reflect and support your Vision and Mission statements.
On a more granular level, they should exist in the day-to-day details of your restaurant. In simple marketing terms, that’s your 5 P’s: product, place, promotion, price, and people, encompassing customer service, management policies, food selections, atmosphere, and marketing communications like advertising, websites, emails, and more.
Values can also reflect personality traits as well. They are a guideline of the company culture you want to have, and that includes how you want your employees to conduct themselves. The number of core values you develop and implement are up to you, but, try starting with five keywords (with a little explanation). This is a manageable amount to be remembered and understood by your entire staff.
Here’s an example of Rosati’s core values:
- Consistency. “Rosati’s Pizza takes pride in providing the same recipes and products throughout the entire United States. What makes Rosati’s different is that no matter where you are in the United States, you will find the same original family recipes.”
- Quality. “Rosati’s Pizza commits to high-quality ingredients for all recipes. Rosati’s has branded products you will not find at any other pizzeria. It’s the pizza you’ll fall in love with!”
- Customer Service. “Rosati’s Pizza strives for the greatest consumer experience not only at the store level, but also at the corporate level. Only the best possible staff who embody Rosati’s Mission, Vision and Values joins the Rosati’s family!”
Goals and Objectives
Once you’ve established a high level vision, mission, and values, it’s time to establish workable goals and objectives that help you achieve and maintain that vision, mission, and values.
When establishing goals and objectives, many businesses use the SMART methodology, creating objectives that are:
How do goals and objectives differ? Goals tend to be broader in nature and describe what you want to achieve. For a restaurant, this might be something like “increasing restaurant sales.”
An objective is the answer to “how” you’re going to achieve the goal. These are essentially your metrics for success, either qualitative or quantitative, that provide a target for knowing you’ve achieved your goal. If your goal is to increase restaurant sales, then an objective might be to develop a responsive website that geo-targets local customers.
While goals should be few in number, there can be multiple objectives set to accomplish each individual goal.
Don’t Be a Dust Collector
It might take a little time to develop your Vision, Mission, Values, Goals, and Objectives. But they in turn lay out a roadmap that can be used for the duration of your business and change as you need to. Having that map for where you’re going helps to efficiently and effectively manage all aspects of your restaurant.
At the same time, you need to make sure that these items don’t collect dust and remain unused! Be a proponent of consistently and frequently communicating all five core elements of your brand where applicable.
For your staff, communicate these pieces of your brand when you hire and onboard/train, or even have a quick recap at the beginning of regular shift meetings for reinforcement. Post your vision statement, mission, and values in break areas so they are visible at all times and can inspire you and your team on a daily basis.
Looking to create or refresh your actual brand identity? Read on to learn more!