6 Tips to Establish a Strong Restaurant Brand Identity:

Carnsmedia develops original logos, websites and social media campaigns for many top restaurant brand and bars in NYC. So when we heard about a major player in New York’s restaurant scene sending a letter to a new steak house (just days before the opening) suggesting that the newbei’s logo and name are too similar to the established restaurant’s brand, we saw an opportunity to share what we’ve learned about restaurant branding and marketing over the years to help prevent this from happening to the next restaurant owner.

1. Galipsni 

Pick a restaurant name that does not appear on a Google search.  An original name will help secure the identity of your brand and help send your restaurant to the top of a Google search.

2. Create an icon (or mark) to represent your brand. 

A font is not a logo. An icon will help your restaurant stand apart from the others. Fonts go in and out of style. Visual marks (Think: Apple’s Logo) typically capture the original vision more accurately over the years than a typographic logo. What a font conveys today may not tell the same story in 15 years. Remember how modern the Seinfeld logo looked back in the 90s? Apple’s iconic logo launched in 1984 and It looks just as modern today. Seinfeld’s (typographic logo) looks as dated as a puffy button-down shirt.

3. Avoid shapes that a toddler can recognize. 

Your logo represents your food. When I see a lazy logo (or website), I wonder if the restaurant cut corners in other places. Hire a media company that specializes in branding and other creative services to help secure an original brand identity for your restaurant.

4. Choose an uncommon font that represents the energy of your brand. 

If you must have a typographic logo, avoid fonts that come preinstalled on a Mac or PC. Did you ask the designer where he purchased the font? You should. Do you ask the food provider where the meat comes from? It’s the same thing. We buy many fonts from www.Adobe.com.

5. Establish a consistent Brand Identity 

Your brand identity is like your chef’s signature dish. It should come out the same way every time. If it changes from night to night, your reputation will be compromised. Your brand identity includes your logo, font, color, photography, copy, style, tone, and more. It should appear on everything that represents the brand.  We create, define and establish Brand Identity Guidelines that we often upload to restaurant websites in addition to current logos and photography so media and external designers have the tools to accurately represent the brand outside of the restaurant.

6. The Writing is on the Wall

Your favorite restaurant in Campo de Fiori has the chef’s name scribbled in stone next to the door as you enter. The server announces the menu because it’s not printed. It changes daily. Yes, I love this place too! It’s actually my favorite place in the world. But when a new restaurant opens up in Trastevere with a similar name scribbled in a similar way, does the chef send a letter across The Timber or does he go back in the kitchen?  He cooks.

If you want to make a business out of your cooking skills, a strong brand identity is an essential step in this exciting journey.