5 Ideas for Post-COVID Restaurant Rebranding
Even as we emerge from lockdown, the COVID-19 pandemic continually affects the restaurant and hospitality industries. Statistics show that social distancing and prohibition of large gatherings have led to a steady year-over-year decline of daily seated restaurant diners in numerous countries. During the height of lockdown, these changes dramatically decreased walk-in traffic by 100% worldwide, from February to April 2020.
What can restaurant operators do in this uncertain period? Many eateries are facing permanent closure because of this widespread temporary shutdown. Others are sourcing innovative ways to survive this crisis and become stronger on the other side. Here are five restaurant rebranding ideas you can implement to spruce up your operation post-lockdown, so you’re ready to pick up business as restrictions lift.
Tweak Your Logo
Perhaps your logo’s been around since your restaurant’s opening. After many years, maybe now you’re in search of something a little different. While your logo still needs to be easily recognizable, play with it a little in terms of color and design. It needs to stand out among your industry rivals but still speak to your target market.
If you don’t have the resources to contract a graphic designer, you can try to get one from an online logo maker resource like this one. Restaurant rebranding doesn’t mean a total reinvention, but a fresh new logo sends a direct message of freshness to your customers.
Adjust Your Takeout Menu
If you’re lucky enough to be operating as a takeout delivery service during the lockdown, customers are frequenting your online takeout menu. Now’s a good time to take a closer look at what you’re offering to see how you can change or enhance your selection. In other words: menu engineering.
Perhaps your takeout menu lacks creativity because you didn’t use it much in the past. Why not add some new meals as options to your takeout customer base? Consider starters, mains, sides, desserts, drinks, coffees, smoothies — the works! If quarantine has taught us anything, everything, from alcohol to dessert, has a delivery market!
Those in lockdown have either coached themselves to MasterChef status or have exhausted themselves in the pursuit. You can benefit from this new focus on food. There are many new items you can add to your takeout menu that’ll appeal to your hungry locals. They’ll not only enjoy them now but will want them as a sit-down option after lockdown.
Redesign Your Packaging
Another focus during this lockdown period is how humans affect nature. To reduce your environmental footprint, brainstorm how your restaurant can be greener going forward. If you aren’t already doing so, consider replacing your existing packing with eco-friendly alternatives. It’s highly possible that sustainable packaging may soon be a legal requirement, so get ahead and think of how you can give your packaging a new coat of paint.
There are so many options—from raw and recycled to renewable materials. Natural packaging not only results in little or no waste but is also a healthier, smarter option for your restaurant and customers. There’s often the added benefit of lower costs compared to that of traditional packaging. It’s a sensible solution that can also offer sturdier protection for your transported food.
One example of suitable food packaging to investigate is corn starch. It’s biodegradable, organic, and makes an excellent alternative to petroleum-based packaging or traditional plastics.
Also, consider how you can use brown paper takeout bags, eco-friendly coffee cups, and straws. When printing your updated logo on your newly-designed takeout packaging, use eco-friendly ink made from milk proteins like soy or food as an alternative. These materials also make your packaging easier to decompose or recycle.
Revitalize Your Website
People are spending much more time browsing the internet on their phones while they can’t leave their homes or go back to work. The post-lockdown timeframe presents a brilliant restaurant rebranding opportunity to examine your online presence. Perhaps you’ve had a website for a while, but it’s lost its freshness. Give your restaurant website a new look and feel. Consult your team and brainstorm how you can make it more interactive and user-friendly.
Adding a restaurant or food blog could help attract more visitors and subscribers to your restaurant. Posting content regularly, like nutrition facts, recipes, or cooking tips, can inspire your customers to live healthier. Being an authoritative voice in the food industry gives you credibility and respect, so blog about your restaurant and perhaps some community food projects with which you’re involved.
By incorporating videos with your restaurant’s logo on your website, you’re engaging your online audience with your brand. They can leave comments or share these posts with their friends. You can be smart in the ways you explicitly target your niche audience. Your future customers will know the food you offer, remember your brand, and keep you in mind the next time they’d like a night off from kitchen duty.
Consider how graphics and illustrations add spark to your website and offer entertainment to your online customers. Building a connection with your prospective patrons is critical online and in the store.
Use Social Media and Other Channels Strategically
With over 3.8 billion active users worldwide, social media is a game-changer for businesses at every level. If your restaurant doesn’t already have a Facebook page or Instagram account, sign up for them! You’ll instantly have access to a new world of customers which is crucial for restaurant rebranding. You can link your social media accounts to your restaurant’s website. Along with your blog, online users can easily comment, follow, “like,” share and view your online posts. A potent form of marketing, social media provides “social proof,” i.e., validation that a user’s friends and trusted acquittances support your restaurant. Social proof can often speak louder to a potential guest than anything you could ever put on a website.
Don’t forget email marketing to promote your restaurant brand! Perhaps you already have a loyal customer base. You can send them monthly newsletter updates or offer this subscription to your online visitors too.
Through these channels, you can keep your audience informed about relevant topics while boosting your public image. Think about things like community food fundraisers, competitions, daily specials, and menu changes, as well as your new packaging, tweaked logo, and updated website.
Restaurant Rebranding and Beyond
There’s so much that you can do to keep your restaurant’s brand going. Remembering these five branding ideas as inspiration, you’ll be ready to re-launch your revamped restaurant after lockdown and create the momentum you need.
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Author
When not working on website projects, Cynthia Adam loves to write about web design, web development, and how to market them. Her writing aims to ease the process of web design and web development for other website owners.