Brand Guidelines for Restaurants

Franchising? Create Brand Guidelines

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I love local eateries. Whether I’m scouring town for that hole-in-the-wall diner that serves the best chicken and waffles. Or hearing from friends about a mom and pop noodle shop with lo mein to die for. Finding the best diners and dives that the locals eat at is one of my favorite parts (ok, my absolute favorite part) of traveling to a new city.

However with places like this, if you’ve never been there before, you really don’t know what you’re getting. You go based on recommendations or just by following your adventurous spirit, hoping it’s not a waste of money. Sometimes it’s a hit, others it’s a miss.

So while I’ll always support local restaurants and cafes that cater to my curious taste buds, there’s also something to be said for franchises.

No matter what state I’m in, I know if I’m craving wings I’ll get good ones at B-Dubs. If I want to make my daughter happy I can get her a happy meal at McDonald’s. And if I want a coffee, a Dunkin’ is always around the corner.

The draw of franchises from a consumer point of view, is their consistency.

Yes the consistency of their food but also of their customer service, interior decor, ambience, processes (do you pay at the table or the register?), uniforms, logo, brand colors, and more.

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“Consistency between uniforms, presentation, look-and-feel of the brick and mortar locations, and general business processes strengthens the franchise’s ability to differentiate itself from the competition and stand as a credible, trustworthy business. In short, consistency lends weight and credibility to your franchise’s brand as a whole.” – Hubspot

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It’s for this reason that it is imperative that you create brand guidelines for your franchisees to follow. Your brand guidelines should be a comprehensive list of brand standards that must be maintained in order for all franchises to remain consistent. Your guidelines should include:

  • Your mission statement
  • Your brand values
  • A short history of the company
  • An overview of your brand personality
  • Operations (can include how to do things as well as list of suppliers, etc.)
  • Appearance (including colors, fonts, logo usage, etc.)

Letting your franchisees know what you expect from them lessens room for error, strengthens brand consistency, and sets the franchisee/franchisor relationship off on a good foot.

If you need help figuring out your brand values, visuals, or guidelines, contact me and I’ll be happy to help! 

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