Opening, and running a restaurant is no small task, just ask the other 9,000 restaurant owners in America who had their dream fail in 2012 (see post about this). There are plenty of strategies to help a restaurant stay in business and one of the key ways to ensure a restaurant’s success is through intelligent branding.
WHAT IS BRANDING ALL ABOUT?
Branding is valuable because it shows consumers what to expect when they visit your business or restaurant. A strong brand helps people consistently understand what your business is all about, and it ultimately can be what brings them through the door. The key to establishing a great brand is developing an experience that is recognizable. Legal Seafoods is a great example of how the branding of a restaurant can shape the customer experience and in the long run, sales.
A GREAT BRAND CASE STUDY
Legal started out as a fish market in Cambridge, but the Berkowitz’s eventually saw a market for an upscale seafood restaurant in Boston, and then grew the brand to the rest of the eastern seaboard. Today, Legal has its signature upscale restaurants, Quick-serve airport locations, and the Legal Test Kitchen, a spin-off concept that develops unique seafood dishes and cocktails in a more casual environment than their flagship counterparts.
Their brand experience proved to be successful - since the restaurant first opened in 1968 and there are 32 locations now. They have the same name and logo recognition and their customers can expect that they have excellent lobster, clam chowder, and other seafood staples. You know what you are getting when going to a Legal branded restaurant and they created that feeling people hunger for.
GREAT BRANDS LEAD TO EXPANDED CONCEPTS
Since the Legal brand is so strong, they had the opportunity to explore additional concepts and grow their revenue in unexpected ways, most notably though their airport restaurants and test kitchens.
The airport restaurants are perfect for people who like the Legal food and experience, but are traveling and need food quickly. This installment even helps to gain repeat customers. People can also wait for their flights at the restaurant and feel the Legal Seafoods ambience. You can even get live lobsters to fly to different locations. This takes the brand outside of its normal regions and increases the brand exposure and chances that those customers may check out the restaurant when they are considering eating out while in an area where the legal brand is present.
The Legal Test Kitchen (LTK) is the newest addition to the restaurant group. The LTK appeals to people who like to try new flavors, tastes and experiences. The menu changes often with inspiration drawn from different cuisines or changing seasons. In tying all these elements together, Legal established the high-end seafood brand they wanted, developed a way to spread it, and by doing so increased the change that the same consumer will visit multiple Legal locations on multiple occasions.
By implementing an effective branding strategy, you can create a name and image associated with a specialty that people recognize and crave. In the end, you’ll win back more customers.