The Most Overlooked Branding Items In Cafes


In recent times, the restaurant industry has dramatically evolved into a bare-knuckled, cutthroat business where only the smartest can survive. Indeed, the increasingly fast-paced, highly competitive sector today calls for exceptional innovation and injection of ingenious, fresh concepts to the ever dynamic business table.

Are you a restaurant or café owner? You certainly want to build your business into a brand that instantly springs to customer’s minds whenever these get momentarily swayed, wondering about the right place to feed their guests on an unusually cold evening. 

In pursuit of this, always keep in mind that a top-tier dining establishment does not merely mean providing an excellent menu or giving fantastic price cuts. No. Go out of your way to lure new customers with a promise and purpose. Moreover, you must deliver on these promises. What will give an instant solution to this? Effective branding.

The Most Overlooked Branding Items in Cafes
A person preparing foodstuffs in a cafe @merveilleusesimpressions_

What is café branding?

Restaurant branding is a way through which a café or restaurant communicates its unique personality and identity to customers. Such a brand generally expresses the mission and values of your business, going on to influence your ambiance and concept. Great branding will create an excellent emotional connection with the patrons and guests. The challenge, however, is effectively branding items in cafes while considering even the most overlooked ones.

A logo is one of the most important parts of a brand. Check out “10 Things to Think About When Designing a Cafe Logo” for our full guide to designing a logo.

Where do you begin? 

Your brand ought to be palpable as soon as guests stride into the restaurant. Moreover, it should remain cohesive with your marketing tactics, type of food, and service style. Superb restaurant branding not only increases loyalty, but it also attracts more guests to your business through aggressive marketing.

How do you know where to begin? Just take a look at a few favorite branded restaurants. You will quickly identify things that appeal to you. Carry out an analysis of how those businesses make you feel and note the specific qualities that contribute to that. In this way, you can piece together the aspects that you wish to incorporate into your ambitious restaurant branding plans.

Be sure to also check out “6 Marketing Hacks to Promote Your Cafe” for tips and tricks to marketing your coffee shop effectively.

The Most Overlooked Branding Items in Cafes
A well-lit cafe @cadadiaumcafediferente

Most overlooked branding items in cafes

1. Ambiance

The restaurant ambiance is among the most essential and dynamic ways through which a business can express its uniqueness. Your guests will surely remember precisely how they felt while visiting your café. For this reason, it is essential to create the most distinctive and pleasurable atmosphere.

You should make sure to fine-tune all the critical aspects of your ambiance. Ensure it adheres well to your brand. Create a comfortable and memorable experience for your guests. Consider some crucial components to enhance the ideal atmosphere that you want to reflect in your cafe branding experience. These should naturally include elements like the color scheme, music, lighting, server clothing, menu design, serving ware, server composure, and interior décor.

2. Concept

Often, cafes differ in various ways, ranging from price range, type of food, and formality level. A restaurant concept should commonly include its service style. For instance, are you dealing with a food truck, a sit-down restaurant, a pop-up bar, or counter service spot? Keep in mind that your restaurant concept represents your brand in action.

For these reasons, your concept is supposed to reflect the essential qualities of your brand. Some leading cafes, for example, cater to people living an active, ever mobile lifestyle by enabling them to eat healthy food as a regular part of their life. As such, they might offer a brand in action or a concept that features a fast, casual- line arrangement. In this set-up, their patrons can get a healthful dish very quickly and at a reasonable, affordable price.

Check out some unique concepts to coffee branding by checking out “8 Beautifully Branded Coffee Shops“.

3. Logo

Your business logo is an essential visual element that guests gradually recognize over time. Your logo may feature a symbol. It can also be simple, featuring just your initials or name, engraved in a uniquely expressive font. Your cafe’s logo should be reasonably consistent with the core values of your brand. How? 

You can decide to use the same color palette and feel. Keep in mind that symbols may be an essential component of logos but are not always necessary. Indeed, a well-chosen font can adequately sum up your business’ feelings on your website, menu, signage, and other advertising platforms.

4. Tagline

This is a brief, catchy statement. It is intended to sum up the main features of your brand and mission. We often hear taglines featured on radio ads or find them on business logos or restaurant websites.

5. Branded merchandise

There are many opportunities to produce a variety of brand-promoting items. These can range from well-branded t-shirts to beer glasses. Moreover, you can sell or give away things like tote bags, stationery, pens, and Christmas ornaments. Further, you can create contests featuring free giveaways. The more the customers enjoy sharing your logo, the more you gain, in terms of building wider brand recognition.

Check out “5 Tips on Selling Merchandise in a Coffee Shop” for more on things to sell inside your shop.

6. Digital marketing forums

Your loyal patrons and prospective guests will likely check your website to learn about your hours, menu, or to get some extra information about your cafe. Others may choose to follow your cafe on social media, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. 

As noted, it is essential to present a consistent brand on all these platforms. Your brand should be consistently expressed on your website, Instagram photos, and the dominant tone and language.

Often, your website or Instagram page is the forum that gives the first impression on your business to potential guests. Invest in a high-quality website. Keep a professional and active Instagram presence. The investment in these branding elements will eventually pay off.

7. Brand cohesion

Once you settle on the chosen components of your brand, it is essential to stick to them. Make sure they collectively make sense. You would not, for instance, attempt to play country music in a purely Italian restaurant or offer filet mignon served on a paper plate. You are, however, free to mix and match the styles if you want to develop a whole new concept. Regardless, any deviation from the brand norm should always come across as intentional. If not, your customers may be left feeling confused.

The Most Overlooked Branding Items in Cafes
Glasses with beverages on the table @touchthebeardagain

If you want to counteract the cutthroat competition in modern business, you need to brand the face of your café creatively. It is the initial step on the road to success. It is true that many restaurants in your town may be serving same-type meals, and offering a similar ambiance. Endeavor to be different.

Invest time and thought into the essential components of your business. The more you do this, the more you become recognized and highly appreciated by new and loyal customers. Do not overlook these essential elements of restaurant marketing. Yes, strong cafe branding is always guaranteed to create an enduring emotional connection with the customers. Ultimately, this will positively impact your business success.

Thank you for reading! Become a part of our exclusive Facebook Group, Food Service Brand Builders— a space dedicated for cafe, restaurant, and food service business owners to share helpful tips and experiences of owning a small business.

Brand My Cafe helps small & medium-sized businesses, cafes and foodservice brands grow their identity through custom coffee cupscoffee sleeves & more. Join us on Instagram and Facebook as well, we’ll see you there!

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