Restaurant brand strategy

Establishing an ownable market position & passionate purpose

Excavating a brand's purpose to drive innovation & growth

Restaurant brands often start with a vision of where they want to be. Many even have a mission identified; something they execute against daily. Few restaurants have established a complete strategy that covers the entirety of their brand.

Inside of every restaurant brand is a truly unique, passion-driven purpose. For those who have been operating for decades, this purpose has most likely been muddied and watered down. For many startup restaurants tunnel vision on food, service, and getting open prevents seeing a bigger picture.

At Vigor, every project on which we embark starts with strategic discovery and development, because strategy drives successful restaurant branding. Working collaboratively, we help clients find their brand’s purpose, and the crucial brand pillars that support it. Once established, we help leaders onboard and proselytize that purpose throughout the organization and into the markets they serve.

Brand Strategy Golden Lasso

Visualizing a restaurant's brand strategy

The purpose of a restaurant brand strategy is to identify a group of people who are most primed to early adopt, frequently purchase, and become loyal, then craft the core components of the brand to lasso that group in.

Purpose

A brand’s reason for being beyond what it does and how it’s done. The “Why?” that connects with Patrons.

Personality

Unique characteristics of a brand that affect how they serve, sound, look, and act. 

Product

What the restaurant creates from food to beverage, service style to dayparts.

Presentation

The visual and aural representation of a brand’s strategic framework and offering.

Position

How and where the restaurant is uniquely positioned in the Patron’s perceptual landscape.

Patron

A nuanced profile of a core consumer group who are primed to love the brand.

Brand Strategy Process

Brand Discovery

We dig deep into the nuances of the existing brand or vision for the new brand, then couple it with detailed research from competing restaurants through profound consumer data. 

Unity-Building

During the Discovery process we uncover areas of misalignment within the stakeholder group. We clearly identify these areas then workshop with the client to clarify and solidify the areas creating full brand unity.

Brand Definition

With a fully united team, we craft the brand’s platforms to flesh out the “Golden Lasso” strategic framework taking care and consideration to effectively set the brand’s foundations.

Brand Onboarding

Once established, we collaborate with the core client team to onboard the organization ensuring that all stakeholders completely understand and buy-in to the brand’s strategy.

Brand Strategy Thinking & Insights

As thought leaders in the restaurant branding and strategy world, we often write articles to help our clients–past, present, and future–grow through learning about the intricacies of developing powerful brands. These are the latest and greatest brand strategy articles.

Frequently Asked Restaurant Brand Strategy Questions

This heavily depends on your future goals. At the very least, every restaurant should have a clear understanding of their Patron, Personality, and Product. Without these platforms clearly defined, one cannot effectively design identity or interiors.

If you’re not planning on growing the brand, and want to remain a simple, one-unit restaurant, then a robust strategy may not be the best move. Instead, a clearly defined Patron, Personality, and Product will suffice to create a great experience.

If you want to create a restaurant that will either grow into a multi-unit or a more complex multi-location brand, then a brand strategy is a must.

For existing restaurant brands, whether multi-unit or single, the process is a little more involved for the sole reason that the brand’s current state must be fully understood and considered. In this scenario the brand Discovery phase compounds to include an indepth review of the brand, then a detailed Definition phase with two goals:

  1. Establish the brand’s desired Future State, and
  2. Establish the gap between Current State and said desired Future State

With the Future State and Gap identified, we then develop a plan for bridging the divide to achieve the Future State’s goals. This full process comprises multiple moving parts including operations, human resources, and even executive leadership. The full scope of this work is what categorize as Restaurant Rebranding and it’s the key to brand evolution.

There are many factors that affect the amount of time required to establish a restaurant’s brand strategy. The shortest amount of time we have experienced is six (6) weeks. However, the larger the organization and the core stakeholder group, the longer the process takes. See also the “cooks in the kitchen” adage. It is our belief that the process should be allowed to take as long as necessary to successfully establish the strategy and unite the team. After all, this is the very foundations upon which a restaurant’s future will be built. Better to measure twice and cut once, than ruin the whole board.

Much like the question of time, the actual budget for developing a brand strategy fluctuates in accordance with the desired timeline, size of team, and intricacy of the restaurant brand and organization.

We’re happy to discuss your initiative in detail to provide a budget for time and financial investment. Get in touch with us to discuss your project’s detail