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Smart Restaurant Design and Branding

Smart Restaurant Design and Branding

Walk into certain restaurants and instantly these messages are conveyed:

“You made the right decision” and “We’re here for you.”

Brands such as Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill and Five Guys Burgers and Fries have mastered grabbing a customer’s positive attention before customer service or food quality is considered. These food service businesses use their own brand marketing to create a positive customer experience inside of their establishments.

Accomplish the same positive branding in your food service business by working with consumer psychology and using creative visual displays and packaging. When done correctly, these three components work together to create a rewarding experience for new and regular customers. 

Let’s take a closer look at each element to get a better understanding of how you can implement this in your restaurant.

Consumer Psychology 
Consumer psychology is the study of how people are influenced through feelings, beliefs and perspective when making a purchase decision. Market researchers use consumer psychology to brainstorm new marketing campaigns and new products. This research tactic is valuable to restaurant owners as it creates an outline of how to capture the attention of target audiences by catering to their behaviors and habits. 

Garbanzo and Five Guys know their customers are looking for something fresh and fast. When a customer walks into a Garbanzo restaurant, they are quickly offered a falafel sample to munch on while contemplating the menu choices. Five Guys meets customer’s hunger at the door with large boxes of complimentary peanuts. Both of these tactics bring guests back during busier times of the day as guests know their needs will be met with care and efficiency. 

Here are some suggestions to appeal to your customer’s emotional reasoning:
• Appease hunger immediately and offer samples in line or complimentary snacks to nibble while waiting for food to be prepared. 
• Welcome each guest with a smile and a hello from the moment they walk in the door. 

Visual Displays
Consumer psychology stretches into the décor of a restaurant. For example, the bare bones design of Five Guys restaurants provides an excellent backdrop for framed snippets of self-promotion. The clean walls are adorned with framed newspaper clippings that boast headlines such as "Best Burger of 2010!" This simple display of positive buzz advertises just how fantastic Five Guys burgers really are. It also gives customers waiting in line a sense of assurance and builds a sense of anticipation that something great is going to happen; customers think: “I made the right choice in coming here.” 

Garbanzo also demonstrates this same type of in-store messaging throughout their wall art and table top displays. Pictures of vegetables in playful scenes, suggest that vegetables are fun and modern. Tabletop displays highlight the benefits of maintaining a Mediterranean diet. With this sort of suggestive positive reinforcement, customers are assured that they made the healthy choice, the right choice, in their dining options and associate the restaurant with something that is a positive experience for their health. 

Incorporate these strategies in your restaurant’s décor with the following suggestions:
• Display awards, community involvement or rave reviews as decoration. Keep it clean and uncluttered for a streamlined presentation.
• Communicate the benefits of incorporating your menu into your customer’s lifestyle. Encourage your customers to make good decisions by visiting your store often.

Creative Packaging
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches created sandwich bags that guests customize when placing an order.

Here's how it works:
  • Each guest grabs a bag and fills in the circles next to the ingredients they would like included in their sandwich. 
  • The customer hands the bag over to an employee and then the sandwich is prepared. 
  • When the product is ready, it is placed in the bag and handed back to the customer. 
This process is creative, interactive and communicates order accuracy to each customer. 

The sandwich company also encourages community involvement with their brand. Which Wich Superior Sandwiches hosts a Flickr photo stream for guests to upload their creative drawings on their unique sandwich bags. This type of creative packaging praises customers for being creative while maintaining a “cool” message for dining with them, all while spreading brand awareness.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill incorporates creative packaging with the presentation of dine-in and take-out meals. The basket liners and paper napkins have fun statistics on how their ingredients are good for you. The customer’s health and well-being is validated with facts about how the garbanzo bean helps lower cholesterol and is an ideal food for diabetics or insulin-resistant individuals.

Consider adding the following to your dine-in or take-out packaging:

• Customize your packaging to include your restaurant’s brand on each bag or take-out box. Think about what your target audience is receptive to. 
• Create interaction with your brand. Print a variety of riddles, fun facts or some local trivia on your napkins or paper cups. 

Each of these creative marketing concepts work by capturing your customer’s attention once they are already dining with you. Remember to give each customer a reason to choose your restaurant as a preferred dining option. Engage customers with positive language about your restaurant’s brand or concept and captivate your audience of raving fans.