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What’s Your Restaurant’s Brand Promise?

Bad Restaurant Service

Is there a mismatch with your delivery of food and service with your restaurant's brand promise?

A Restaurant’s Brand Promise Matters to your Customers

Let’s start off by defining what a brand promise is.

What is a Brand Promise?

A brand promise is the statement that you make to your customers that identifies what they should expect from all interactions with your people, food, services, and restaurant.

Starbucks’ Brand Promise:

Starbucks has a great brand promise in practice. Starbucks’ brand promise is simple. It’s about delivering the best coffee, providing friendly service, and to make customers feel that they’re in their “third place.” A place that is not their home, nor their work, but a place they can rest and relax from the hustle and bustle.

Why is it Important that a Restaurant Have a Brand Promise?

Brand promises are essential because they allow for your customers to know what your restaurant standards are, and what they can expect when they come into your restaurant. When the brand promise is matched up with the actual food and service, then this will increase your restaurant’s sales dramatically.

Let’s look at an example of a brand promise for a fictional restaurant.

“Our servers are always happy to help you with a smile.”

Now imagine that a customer, let’s call her Emily, has seen this on the restaurant’s website. She decides to come in to the restaurant because she found the brand promise appealing and to her liking. She drives half way across town to visit your restaurant.

She sits down and orders her food. She shortly receives her food, and is loving the food, but then midway through she decides she would like a cocktail. She waves a server down, and requests for a cocktail.

The server then responds, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you, I’m not your designated server.” Worse, the server says the statement in a rushed tone, and with a grumpy face.

Emily thinks, “Wow, it seems like servers here aren’t always happy to serve me, and they sure don’t smile.”

This is when a brand promise created by a restaurant no longer holds true, and word of mouth goes around that your restaurant doesn’t deliver what it promises. However, imagine that Emily is attended by servers who are happy and smiling whenever she has a request.

This is going to help validate that the restaurant does deliver on its brand promise and isn’t just using it as some marketing gimmick. Emily is going to be very happy in telling her friends to come to the restaurant.

Your Staff Need to Know the Brand Promise Inside Out

A brand promise is also important in allowing your staff to know what the priority is when delivering a type of brand personality or image to the customer. In the above example, the brand promise was, “Our servers are always happy to help you with a smile.”

When the staff read this, they understand that the food is important, but the brand promise is about delivering great service with a positive attitude, and with a smile. This means that when a customer is looking to have their water filled, they don’t tell him that it is some other server’s duty. The server with a positive attitude and smile will say, “I will be back with your water very shortly.”

Or when a customer is asking for the washroom, it’s having your server pause, smile and point them to the washroom and give him an accurate description of how to find it, whether he has a dish in his hands or not.

A brand promise also works as a guidance system on how your team should behave, or how the food is presented and cooked. Without a solid brand promise, a restaurant’s staff may be misguided into believing that their priorities are cleanliness, or it’s about producing the quickest food. Having a brand promise clarifies and unites staff under similar values and similar courses of action.

Brand Promises Matter to Your Customers

A brand promise matters because it allows your customers to confidently and consistently know what to expect from your restaurant. It also differentiates yourself from the rest of your competitors. Customers are looking for consistent quality and a consistency of delivering the brand promise you have set.

This is why there was a period of time when Starbucks shut down so many stores. They were growing too fast and aggressively that many customers were no longer getting the personalized service they had been accustomed to. And therefore many of the stores shut down, because the brand promise was not being delivered.

There’s a positive correlation between increased revenue and cafes that delivered Starbucks’s brand promise.

Ensure that your staff are buying into the brand promise, and truly believe in it. You need to ensure that whatever brand promise that you are creating for your restaurant, it’s one that is simple to understand by both your staff and your customers. If your restaurant finds it challenging to create a brand promise and can’t differentiate it from other competitors, and you would like to find a way to create the perfect brand promise, then feel free to contact us.

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Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing, and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis and the host of the Pinterest podcast, Pictures to Profits. You can grab your free e-book on How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines."