When you first entered the restaurant industry, you probably didn’t think you would need marketing savvy but, just like other businesses, restaurants also need to keep up with marketing trends to ensure they get their brand in the public eye. Here are a few branding strategy ideas for restaurants to achieve the desired results.

Boost sales during busy periods

Taking note of the busiest seasons and times of day and boosting sales in that period can yield rewards. Restaurateurs often focus on trying to encourage activity when times are slow, but it is worth spending a portion of your marketing budget to focus on customers’ preferences. Introducing meal deals in the silly season or happy-hour specials, for example, will encourage a healthy response.

Keep your ear to the ground

Unfortunately, customer impressions may not line up with your branding intentions. There is a way to find out what your customers are saying about you by visiting online reviews and comment sections like Yelp, Google Reviews or TripAdvisor. Restaurants can also monitor what people say about them on Facebook and Twitter.

Take tasteful photos

A picture paints a thousand words. For your successful branding strategy, use the best pictures of your menu items in your marketing efforts. Taking professional photos is worth the return on investment, but if this isn’t an option, you can always read online articles for ideas on making your food look as delicious as possible.

Quick responses are critical

Whenever your brand is mentioned, positively or negatively, it’s an opportunity for you to ensure that your restaurant is depicted in the correct manner. If your restaurant is featured somewhere, be sure to share it with your followers on social media, and if you can display a framed newspaper clipping in your restaurant, that’s even better. However, if you get a negative review, deal with it as quickly and as politely as possible. Make sure that you thank the disgruntled person for their feedback and consider offering a voucher as an apology.

Make time for the menu

Your customers will spend a lot of time looking at your menus, so it’s worth ensuring that these are done right. Take the time and don’t shy away from spending some money on this element because it represents your restaurant and brand. Consider re-evaluating your menu every so often to ensure it continues to perform well and accurately reflects the best- performing items.

Don’t disregard diner experience

Every good restaurateur knows that service and presentation are essential to a diner’s experience. But how do you get this right? Begin by identifying your target customer and building on their ideal experience (including buffet, server or family style) and then expand on this. Restaurants will ultimately be judged by their diner experience and your branding strategy must be aligned with this.

With these branding strategy ideas, you’re sure to hit the right note with your existing customers and attract new clients.