The restaurant industry is always a challenging arena for entrepreneurs, but genuine creativity can be handsomely rewarded. Even though customers are flooded with different options, you can position your business to carve out your own space. So what does it take to be original and stand out amongst your competitors?

Do Impeccable Branding

As a current or aspiring franchisor, you know that brand awareness is an essential component towards driving sales. The way people recognize your brand actually happens within seconds for both existing customers and new ones. Think about it: you can identify a Nike shoe in one second just by the iconic check mark logo. As you travel almost anywhere in the world, you can spot the golden arches up high for a McDonald’s stop.

Your branding has to be impeccable for your franchise. A couple of simple yet overlooked tips for branding include:

Cleanliness: If you’re in the food industry and your place falls short of being clean, it’s a huge deal breaker. You can build a large part of a brand identity off of always being the cleanest restaurant or café around. It will reflect positively on the priorities and character of your entire operation, from management to employees.
Storefront: What makes people walk by and immediately recognize your franchise? Put something original and eye-catching out in front. It could be near the entrance or in the windows. For the people who don’t know much about your business, a unique storefront is a great way to attract their attention.
Branding Team Uniforms

Use Your Unique Selling Point

Your unique selling point is about highlighting unique factors that you offer which make you different from your competition. It shouldn’t simply be a coupon, discount, or special offer. These may be effective, but they’re not unique to you. It’s about showing why your product is special for customers that deeply care.
For example, Starbucks ran a campaign in 2014 called “Our Barista Promise”. They based their unique selling point around the fact that they will always make your beverage correctly. The coffee business is now filled with more passionate people than ever before, so Starbucks capitalizes on this passion by making a guarantee that you’ll love your beverage. It’s an emotional connection where Starbucks shows their customers that they care. That’s what makes the franchise and their products unique.

Introduce Innovation

Franchises at the highest level look at the big picture and break through with innovation. There will be experiments that take off while others pass by, but if you never try something new you won’t see different results. Here are a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Invest in Your Website
In the digital age today, you need to be on top of your website. With people spending so much time on their phones, it’s likely the first impression that people get of your brand. Be transparent with your vision and mission statement. For instance, you could hire a writer to produce blogs that visitors can connect with. Anytime you put on events, do charity work or run promotions that let customers know what’s going on right from your site.
Branding Team Uniforms
Offer Subscriptions
Another key trend of today’s market is the availability of subscriptions. Amazon and Dollar Shave Club are already known for popular subscription-based models. During the pandemic, lots of restaurants offered subscriptions as they looked for quick cash. Try offering customers a deal in return for a monthly payment so your most loyal customers can support you.

Develop a Solid Online Presence

There really are unlimited ideas out there for a concept, so you should brainstorm on what ideas appeal to you. What kind of concepts get you really excited to put in the necessary work? Imagine reading your restaurant reviews and seeing people raving about how good your food was while also being amazed by your stunning art gallery. Word will spread fast if your brand concept means something special to you!
Social Media
Make sure you have a clear social media strategy in place. Use as many platforms as you’d like, but really capitalize on a couple of them. This means you should have a calendar with organized and scheduled posts. Research your hashtags or brand your own with each post. Pay attention to the trends using analytics and capture what gets you the highest engagement.
Branding Team Uniforms
Paid Ads
Paid ads get your brand everywhere on the internet. Why are they so powerful? 46% of people can’t identify paid ads in search results and they could increase brand awareness by another 80%. There are various types of paid ads out there and each one has a different set of strong benefits for your franchise. For example, search ads can get you to the top of searches in your area or industry. Retargeting ads could finalize a conversion from a visitor who didn’t convert the first time.
Here’s a list of paid ad options you can choose from:
  • Search Ads
  • Retargeting Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Social Media Ads

Give Back to Your Community

Standing out happens more than you think when you give back to your community. Not to mention there are plenty of benefits, including:
  • Boosted Reputation
  • Stronger Sense of Loyalty from Customers
  • Attractive to Potential Employees
  • Increased Engagement with New and Existing Customers
It’s also fairly simple to give back to your community. Make sure your cause fits along with your business. For some business tips, this is what we suggest to help out.
There are plenty of methods you can use to stand out amongst your competitors. You can focus on your brand identity, customer service, strengthen your online presence, or just innovate. Hopefully these business tips give you a great place to start as you separate from the pack. The restaurant industry is competitive, but standing out from your competition makes the brand that much more special.

Drew Thomas

Drew Thomas is a graduate of Georgia College & State University, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. He is an expert in brand marketing and has experience in freelance writing on topics ranging from sports to music reviews. He has also spent time as an editor, having revised website copy and press releases for local businesses. In his free time, Drew enjoys performing music, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends.