Skip navigation
Behind the story

Building a beloved brand takes time — and not a hard sell

NRN editors take you beyond the headlines and offer perspectives on the issues and events shaping the industry. Get more inside takes from Behind the Story >>

We are just back from our MUFSO conference in Denver where we had food tours, award celebrations, new products and lots of networking.

Of course, in the usual NRN fashion, we also went deep into the most important issues the 
industry is facing right now.

Digital entrepreneur and bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk told foodservice attendees voice ordering through devices like Alexa or Google Home will be huge.

Jenna-Telesca.gifIf someone orders “pizza” on a device, you don’t want the technology company to decide which pizza restaurant to order from, he said. And with ghost kitchens bringing down the cost of opening a restaurant, he predicted restaurants will have more competition than ever.

So what’s most important is investing in your restaurant brand.

“I promise you that in a decade, 15 years max, your brand is going to be the only thing that
matters,” Vaynerchuk said.

To build your brand, Vaynerchuk suggests restaurants think more like media companies with targeted marketing and not focus on transactional marketing that directly leads to sales.

It’s all about customer relationships in the long term, after all.

NRN_10-28-19_cover.jpgThis point rang true to me. It’s not only going to be important, but vital to have strong brand identities. With more targeted online reviews, I wonder how long people will be willing to just give a random restaurant a try. (I know I usually research where I am going to eat, even if it’s just in the airport.)

How to build a beloved brand? Take a look at the Nation’s Restaurant News 2019 Consumer Picks report, developed in partnership with Chicago-based research firm Datassential.

Datassential polled consumers on which brands they visit not just because of convenience, but because of “true loyalty” to that restaurant. We share the top restaurants for loyalty, and also outline the top restaurants for individual attributes like ambience, craveability, service and value. We even share which brands consumers think have the best menu items like burgers, coffee, fries and pizza.

NRN breaks down what’s special about these restaurants. But remember, these rankings are from consumers, not us. Consumers are telling you exactly which brands are hitting the mark.

How are you building stronger relationships with your guests? Let us know.

Contact Jenna Telesca at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JennaTelesca

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.