Posts in category Restaurant brand reviews


BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionRestaurant brand reviewsTrends

1st impression. Lasting imprint. 2 preventable brand mistakes.

A new boutique hotel property, the Epicurean Hotel just opened in Tampa. Expectations were high since the veteran restaurant team behind the iconic Bern’s Steak House created this new culinary and hospitality experience, too.
The press materials and marketing content tout the new property as personifying a passion for food and wine and include the tagline “accommodations for the senses.” (Sidebar from restaurant branding roadmap: of all 5 senses, vision is the strongest sense, so what consumers see dominates first impressions – anything visual is 90% of the impact.)

Comprised of 137 guest rooms, the hotel features the following: a restaurant and wine bar, retail wine shop, bakery, full service spa, health club, swimming pool with cabanas, an open-air special-events area, rooftop lounge and a demonstration kitchen which will be home to the Bern Laxer School of Food and Wine. The hotel will join Marriott’s Autograph Collection®, a portfolio of independent luxury hotels.

For months, buzz has been building in the local and national news about this new foodie-centric, dining and hotel spot.

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionRestaurant brand reviewsSocial mediaTrends

Trees, trends and textures – Birchwood is a natural

Last week we shared how a restaurant in Costa Rica tapped into history as a platform for their brand.

This past weekend we journeyed to another historic gem in St. Petersburg, Florida, The Birchwood Inn (a boutique hotel). The Birch and Vine (an adjoining restaurant) and The Canopy (a rooftop lounge) all a part of a beautifully branded downtown destination.

It was well worth the visit and they delivered a wonderful dining and hospitality experience and kudos for a thoughtful brand that reflects the tradition and charm of the property, a contemporary hipness and a family–honored and inspired name.

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BrandingCustomer experienceEmployee engagementMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsRestaurant brand reviewsSocial mediaTools, Apps, TechnologyTrends

Pizza, pickles and a plan.

Interested in the latest trends, concepts and consumer insight around America’s favorite food, Pizza? I’ll be part of the expert team presenting at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas on March 24-27th.  For more …

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionRestaurant brand reviewsTrends

Transform a boring dining room into a memorable experience – 8 tips to bring a restaurant space to life

You asked, we answered. This week’s blog post is an answer to a question submitted by one of our Restaurant Branding Roadmap readers.

“Our restaurant is in a building that has a very strangely shaped dining area. There is not much that we can do structurally and we think that the room’s shape makes the dining experience strange. It just feels awkward, but I can’t put my finger on why. I see it as a disadvantage to our brand. Do you have any suggestions about how we could work with an odd-shaped room? –Andrew B.

This is a perfect time to change the way you think about your awkward dining area. Creating a winning restaurant brand is about being unique and standing out in the marketplace. Think of your dining room as a great opportunity to create a space that is different and memorable. This point of difference will help build your restaurant’s brand. This room is an asset, not a liability. Create a space that gets people talking and maybe even lands your restaurant on a list like this.

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BrandingCustomer experienceRestaurant brand reviewsTrends

Tableside theater – great show or annoying act?

The Wall Street Journal columnist Alina Dizik wrote an interesting piece last week on the return of tableside service to high-end restaurants. To read her full story click here. It seems there is resurgence of this art of food presentation and entertainment.

She notes many restaurants employ the strategy as a viable opportunity to engage the guests, sell costly dishes and even add a bit of culinary education to the customer experience.

The article which featured one of my long time buddies, Alex Brennan Martin of Brennan’s in Houston (way to go Alex!) and his restaurant’s nostalgic take on the technique, also made a good point. Brennan explained, bringing back a tableside tradition can be a nice touch, but today it needs to fit into the real world dynamics of a busy night. In their case, they now train a team of servers and chefs with tabletop performances like Bananas Foster, Crepes Suzette, spirited coffees and warm salads ensuring consistency and smooth logistics. The food theater cast members are also designated as Flambé chefs.

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionRestaurant brand reviewsTrends

Quirky 4-legged restaurant brand. Something to bark at?

Small independent restaurants often have a universal challenge; they have no big budget, but need to create a memorable brand.

I recently discovered a small independent Mexican restaurant that does a nice job creating a unique dining experience on a modest budget.

It’s called Chihuahua Mexican Grill and is located in South Tampa on 4101 South MacDill Avenue. It is worth the trip to enjoy great Mexican food, and to see how a simple idea can be executed into a nice restaurant concept and brand.

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BrandingCustomer experienceEmployee engagementExpert interviewsMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsRestaurant brand reviewsSocial mediaTools, Apps, TechnologyTrends

Weekly Stew Debuts, Ideas for Restaurateurs

Weekly Stew Debuts
Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Weekly Stew, a publication dedicated to restaurateurs brought to you by Karen Post’s Restaurant Branding Roadmap.

Packed with marketing ideas, inspiration and insight to grow your brand, our mission is to help you succeed. The team behind the company is passionate about branding, food, wine, traditional and online marketing, social media and are fellow entrepreneurs.

The ezine will only hit your mailbox once a week. It’s free and full of fresh thinking on how to to get and keep customers.

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionRestaurant brand reviewsTrends

Bern’s Steak House breaks another branding virtue

Bern’s Steak House is a dining institution in Tampa. By many it’s considered one of the top steak houses in the nation. It’s always packed with a clientele of who’s who, from Presidents and celebrities to foodies and socialites.

Their brand is built on excellent food, stellar service, one of the largest wine cellars around, a quirky 2nd level dessert piano room, and culinary stories that make you want to like the place even more. These are all essential ingredients for a great restaurant brand.

Well it turns out one of the long time told stories at Bern’s is a well-toasted, faux food tale.

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BrandingCustomer experienceEmployee engagementExpert interviewsMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsRestaurant brand reviewsSocial mediaTools, Apps, TechnologyTrends

National Restaurant Association show – 21 coolest discoveries, part 1

This weekend The Brain Tattoo Branding team has been in Chicago attending the National Restaurant Association Show. It’s been an amazing experience, learning, making connections and tasting the next big food ideas from around the …

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