Opening a restaurant is an amazing process that draws on professionalism, stamina and patience. It is both an exhilarating and frustrating endeavor. It brings out the very best in people and has the capability to bring out the worst in people.

Our collective team at Mootz Consulting has opened more than 100 restaurants nationwide. We find one of the key components to developing a successful restaurant concept is to develop proper branding words or brand language to guide the restaurant’s decision making.

Branding words are descriptions of what the restaurant concept is. Simply put, the branding words drive the decision-making process from uniforms, table top, menu design, menu development, décor, music and service style. The branding words are the concept!

When we approach a new restaurant, we famously take a look at the marketplace and conduct a thorough review of “what’s going on”. We visit all operations in the competitive set and develop a gap analysis to determine holes in the marketplace to compete within the given trade area.

Let me give you an example. Once we have determined the overall restaurant concept, we develop 5 branding words that will lead us to important decisions. If it is determined that the concept is, for example, a fine dining restaurant with a higher-than-normal check average, we might come up with branding words like refined, high end, special, and elevated. Our decisions with regards to menu development would focus on elevated and delicate dishes that invoke an atmosphere of truly special experiences. The uniforms would match the menu style, the décor would match the elevated atmosphere. At that point, the decisions are guided by those carefully chosen words and become easy.

We find it important that the branding words are prominent well past the restaurant opening and are present in the ongoing operations of a restaurant through weekly manager meetings, training manuals, pre-shift meetings, employee orientations and overall operations. We have found that successful management teams use the branding language to keep the concept on track which results in a unique and special dining experience for the guests.

Although this is a brief overview to a very dynamic process, Mootz Consulting is adept at working with management teams to develop branding words to define the restaurant concept. Our experience in developing concepts in a collaborative nature in highly desired locations throughout the nation has been successful for our clients and operators.

Mootz Consulting is a nationwide, full-service restaurant and hospitality consulting firm specializing in concept development, asset management, management services and operational support.