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Novelty drives many people to try a new restaurant once. The challenge is getting them to come back and keep coming back, creating the regulars that are a business’ bread and butter, no matter what is on your menu. Let’s look at why you should opt for subtle branding throughout your restaurant to drive repeat business. And we'll address how to implement this subtle branding the right way.

Look Professional Inside and Out

Which menu will tell visitors that you are likely here to stay, the quickly printed resume from someone’s printer or professionally printed menus with images of your meals and company logo?

You should also have professional business cards to reinforce the memory of your brand. Give them business cards with the bill so that they have a long term reminder of your business, since they are likely to take the bill home for bookkeeping whereas one simply placed in a takeout bag is likely to be thrown away. Place business cards alongside your catering orders, too.

Immerse Them in Your Brand

The best way to build brand awareness is to immerse people in your brand. We’ve already discussed the importance of professionally printed menus. Complement these with eye-catching window stickers promoting both your brand and your products. Use branded drink coasters on the tables, and consider having these in addition to branded place mats. Give the children branded kids’ menus with games and puzzles they can play. Don’t forget product advertisers that stay on the table like drink and dessert displays. You should give your employees clothing to wear at work that reinforces the brand, whether they are T-shirts or branded polo shirts.

Give Them Reasons to Return

The best way to gain repeat business is to reward them for doing so. Instead of sending out coupons to entice people to come for the first time – many of whom would come for the novelty – reward those who eat at your restaurant with coupons on their next order. It doesn’t have to be a big freebie like a free entrée. You’ll actually see significant repeat business when you give them a coupon for a free drink, dessert or child’s meal. They’ll feel rewarded for coming and want to come back, and a professionally printed coupon with your company’s name, logo and address will act as a reminder for them to do exactly that. Branded punch cards are a way to keep customers coming back again and again, and you won’t lose any money on the coupon if they don’t return.

Provide Freebies that Fit Your Niche

Before you plan on printing up freebies, select freebies that will promote your business at the point of likely planning of the next meal. For example, have branded to-do lists and shopping lists sent to families in the area, provided they include your restaurant’s phone number. Then you’re likely to get a few calls for takeaways by someone adding items to their grocery list but who don’t want to go to the grocery store right now. Other types of desk supplies are unlikely to have this result unless you’re giving someone a note pad or message board that leads them to order from your menu for their next catered lunch. Calendars, key chains and most other types of freebies fail this test.


If you want to get maximum results, only use professionally printed materials for menus and business cards to leave a positive impression with visitors. Immerse visitors in your brand by surrounding them with your logo. Reward those who come to your restaurant with professionally printed coupons to entice them to become repeat customers. And give away freebies like branded stationery given that it reminds people of your restaurant when they are likely to order takeaways, reserve a dinner spot or call you for delivery.

Why Opt for Subtle Branding Throughout Your Restaurant to Drive Repeat Business

Posted by Matthew Apps on

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