Branding standards, continued…

Branding standards, continued?

Ok, here are my answers from last week?s blog: Picture #1 is a Westin, #2 is Four Seasons, and #3 – this may come as a surprise, is also a Four Seasons  (Beirut)!

So how do brand standards, particularly for a restaurant, relate to the hotel brand? I am not sure they do. There seems to be a growing movement among franchise owners to create restaurants that are more community driven, and not so exclusively hotel guest driven. I am also hearing more and more from the people who represent the big brands that they too are moving in this direction, but they are more reluctant to actually implement certain ideas.
The principal impact here is that hotel restaurants generally come in two flavors: a breakfast-centered look (dominated by tables for two to accommodate business guests), or a very upscale, specialty dining look. In reality, there should be more than two customizable options that remain ?on-brand.? There should be as many variances as there are markets.

The truth is, all you have to do is look around a community to find out a few pertinent facts about what the public wants. What are the top 5 to 10 grossing restaurants in the trade area? How long have they been there? The surrounding area can give you an important message if you take the time to notice. Popularity is reached by (1.) hitting the mark of pubic passion and (2.) recreating to that passion with the level of style and service that your brand promises.

The brand ?promise? is the most important thing a brand can offer (other than its reservation system). It needs to be respected and interpreted into a community, so that the community embraces and loves it. If a brand, or any hotel for that matter, can create affection from the community via the restaurant, then that affection will extend to catering, and ultimately rooms. The hotel?s restaurant can further its occupancy. 

A hotel restaurant is more than a needed function to feed guests; it is your hand out to the community.