Restaurant branding and the emotional connection

May 30, 2012

Did you know that in the quick serve segment, Moms and Millennials are the two most important demographic groups?


In the case of Millennials (18 to 34 year olds), this group is known to visit restaurants more than any other generation. A recent study conducted by foodservice research group, Technomic, delved further into the expectations of Millennials (beyond their palate preferences) by examining the restaurants they considered more socially responsible (think sustainable, green, local, hormone free and organic food, and community involvement).


So who made the list? Technomic’s study revealed that In-N-Out Burger, McAlister’s Deli, Logan’s Roadhouse, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store were named among the top restaurants that Millennials viewed as socially responsible.


Let’s take a quick look at a couple of restaurants that we feel are doing a notable job of creating an emotional connection with their customers. LYFE Kitchen is a fine example of a brand who exemplifies their mission of “Eat good, feel good, do good” through all aspects of the restaurant, from food sourcing best practices (sustainable, local and organic whenever possible) to healthy menu, décor, and participating in community-driven charity partnerships.


Five Guys Burgers and Fries, similar to In-N-Out in menu and fan-following, commits to only freshness and quality when it comes to the food. For example, Five Guys only uses fresh, never frozen ground beef (they don’t even have freezers in their locations, only coolers) and allows guests to add unlimited free fresh toppings (free!). Locations also have signs mounted on the wall that proudly display where “today’s potatoes are from.”


How do your customers view your restaurant’s brand? It’s often an easily overlooked aspect but significant, nevertheless. There is the element of emotional connection that your brand can share with your patrons, as this study demonstrates.  Are there any values or philosophies that you implement at your restaurant? Do you only use certain ingredients such as grass-fed only beef or free range chicken? Does your restaurant support a particular charity or organization? When someone comes across your restaurant name, what do they think of? What do people associate your brand with? If you need assistance with restaurant branding, contact Synergy today for a free initial consultation.


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