Even if your restaurant has been in business for decades, with recipes passed down through generations and a name well-known to your loyal customers, you still need a logo.
A logo is an integral part of building a brand. If your brand is built around grandma’s recipes, all the better. This branded image and wording combination can help to trigger all the positive feelings your customers have about your restaurant. It fosters brand loyalty and separates you from the competition in your area.
Some restaurants have a logo that dates back many years, and owners are hesitant to modernize. But your outdated logo suggests to hungry potential customers that your service, menu items, and decor haven’t changed with the times, either.
Rebranding is a normal part of owning a business, and there’s no better place to start than with a new restaurant logo design.
Logos grab attention and help you make a strong first impression, allowing customers to remember your restaurant more easily. Just think about the Golden Arches. You know what eatery I’m talking about.
Of course, with all the options, picking the perfect logo can be an overwhelming task. You probably know what works when you look at it, and maybe you can be critical about logos you don’t like. But starting from scratch can leave you with decision fatigue fast.
Here’s what you need to know to create a strong restaurant logo that will attract customers:
5 things to consider when creating a restaurant logo
Logos are a big deal. You’ll want to have your logo front and center on your restaurant’s website. You should include it in any direct email marketing campaigns, in which you can send out coupons and specials to your customers. You can even use your logo as the image when you manage your online listings and reviews.
Instead of being awash in options, use a tool that can help you narrow down your preferences in a way that integrates the values and qualities that set your restaurant apart from the competition. Consider these five things when creating your logo:
Presumably, you already have a name for your restaurant because you’ll need this for your licensure and legal documents. Until you reach the international fame of Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, or Starbucks, you’ll want to include your business name in your logo.
Still, you’ll need to make choices on the font — the design of the text itself. You can choose script or roman, make it look like it was typewritten on a vintage machine, or try something futuristic and fresh. Here are a few tips for choosing a font:
- Determine appropriateness. A steakhouse shouldn’t have a dainty, cute font. A Greek restaurant could have a font that looks like it was carved on the side of the Delphi, but that might seem odd for a Mexican restaurant.
- Know your fonts. Some fonts have little lines on the ends of the letters called serifs, and others are straight — known as “sans serif.” Each one can express a different feel. Pick ones you like, and then test them with an audience.
- Be careful when mixing fonts. Either pick two different fonts that contrast greatly or use only one.
- Use contrast with the size. Either keep everything neutral or make some words much bigger and bolder.
- Make it legible. You may fall in love with a font, but you don’t want to deal with being called “Mam’s Home Cooking” because people couldn’t read it. Also, if you use a specialized font, use it sparingly. Don’t feel like your entire menu needs to be written in the same script as your logo.
Do you serve the best pizza in Brooklyn? By all means, add a tagline to your logo. While a slogan isn’t a requirement for every logo, it can sometimes help express to potential customers what to expect when they place their order. Plus it provides free bragging rights that you create yourself.
Taglines aren’t easy, but they can be fun to brainstorm with your team. Perhaps you already have a saying about your establishment that works. Sometimes slogans can be silly — any sort of emotional response means you have a winner. While you’re brainstorming, be sure to be sensitive to double-meanings or anything that’s too wordy.
Here’s where it gets really fun. The image element of your logo is known as a symbol, and you can use it as the icon of your restaurant. Think of the green and white design of the Starbucks logo. It was designed as a vintage marine siren. Today, it’s so recognized that the coffee shop chain doesn’t even include its name on its packaging or signs anymore.
Often, symbols come as a result of working with a professional artist paid to design something different that expresses the feel of your restaurant. To expedite this process, look around for inspiration. Do you want a mascot, like’s Wendy’s little girl, or an abstract shape? Do you want a crest that expresses a familial line, or would you like something more dynamic like the Nike Swoosh?
The bottom line for your symbol is to keep it simple and directly related to your niche in the restaurant industry. Don’t make people wonder if you’re a farm-to-table vegetarian cafe or a rib joint — make sure it’s clear exactly what type of cuisine you serve.
When you design a logo, start in black and white. Your logo must hold up on its own without relying on colors. However, it’s also a good idea to create a color version that you can use on the front of your menu or your sign outside.
When picking colors, stick with one or two. A rainbow may be lovely and get traction on social media, but it’ll get expensive if you want to embroider all the shirts of your waitstaff with your logo.
Finally, restaurant logo ideas may also include a specific shape outlining your logo. While this shape is an optional element, it may improve the design and even make it easier to put your logo on takeout boxes, bags, or other promotional materials.
Try these tips today
Ready to rebrand your restaurant as part of your comprehensive marketing plan? Now that you know five things to include in a logo — name, symbol, colors, slogan, and shape — you’ll be able to create a logo that shows why everyone should come and eat at your business today.