As a restaurant entrepreneur, creating a brand is just as important as opening up the restaurant. In order for the restaurant to be successful, there needs to be hungry people walking in the door every day. Creating a brand involves marketing the restaurant, the employees, the bar or bakery’s mission. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or elaborate. Something simple that customers can remember. One Fat Frog has created its brand with its name, its logo, and its equally loopy (but loving) staff.
Promote the restaurant opening by giving out t-shirts with the company logo on it to the first 50 customers in the door. If it’s a bar, have some shot glasses made with the bar’s name on it, or a pun that customers will remember. Tijuana Flats sells their own sauces with the restaurant’s name on it. Be witty, be clever, make it fun and memorable. The Frog is known for its memes and frog puns, i.e. “One Fat Frog parking only. All others will be toad.” We’re here for your entertainment.
For most startup businesses, speaking at conferences and being active on Facebook and/or Twitter are quick ways to get a new name out there. Restaurant owners and entrepreneurs don’t have to go as far as speaking at a conference, but it would be a good idea to interact with other restaurants. Be friendly to neighbors, they might just have some tips of their own for you. And if they’re super nice, they’ll send you some new business. But the Frog isn’t so sure that they’ll be that nice.
Whether it’s a bakery, bar, pizzeria, or other food service concept, find out what the restaurant’s niche is and run with it. (The Frog’s niche is humor.) Mix it up, keep it fresh, just like the food should be.