Restaurant Marketing Checklist: Ten Branded Items You Must Have Before You Open

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So you’re getting ready to open (or maybe you already did) your restaurant, cafe, or bar, and you want to ensure that everything is in place so that your experience is top-notch. In addition to your craft cocktails, *delish* food, and outstanding service, having a well-designed brand is a must! That and your branded materials (think: menu, website, signage) will make a significant impact on your customer experience. That’s why we crafted the restaurant marketing checklist!

These items not only enhance your restaurant’s FOH visual identity but also serve as marketing tools to attract new patrons. Let’s explore the top 10 essential branded items that you should consider for your restaurant opening.

Before we hop into the materials you need, ensure you have a solid brand and logo developed.

This one is obvious and something we can help you with.

Your Brand + Logo

Your logo is the centerpiece of your restaurant’s branding. It is the visual representation of your restaurant’s identity and should be used consistently across all your collateral items.

Your logo should be:

  • Unique to you
  • Reflect your restaurant’s personality
  • Distinctive
  • Easily recognizable

Here are two good examples of distinctive restaurant brands

restaurant opening checklist


Along with your logo, you should also create branding materials such as business cards, letterheads, and envelopes that carry your restaurant’s visual identity.


Restaurant Marketing Checklist: Branded Materials

1. Menu Design

Your menu is one of the most important collateral items for your restaurant. It not only showcases your offerings but also reflects your brand’s style and personality.

A well-designed menu should

  • Have visual and taste appeal
  • Easy to read
  • Use brand-approved fonts and colors
  • Align with your restaurant’s overall aesthetic

2. Signage and Exterior Design

Your restaurant’s exterior design and signage are crucial for attracting customers. Your signage should be eye-catching, easy to see from various angles, and showcase your restaurant’s name and logo prominently.

Use materials and colors that are consistent with your brand’s identity. Additionally, you can use window displays, banners, or sidewalk signs (if local ordinance allows) to further promote your restaurant and entice passersby. We love a good sidewalk sign.


3. Uniforms and Staff Apparel

Uniforms and staff apparel play a vital role in creating a professional and cohesive experience. They should reflect your restaurant’s style and be comfortable for your staff to wear. We recommend incorporating your logo or brand mark into the actual apparel items. Use your brand color palette to determine colors for your garments. And note, you can never go wrong with black. Easy to accomplish for your team and stylish. This will not only enhance your brand’s visibility but also help your staff feel like a part of the team.


4. Packaging and To-Go Containers

If your restaurant offers takeout or delivery services, branded packaging and to-go containers are essential. These items provide an opportunity to extend your brand’s reach beyond the walls of your restaurant. Design your packaging with your logo, brand colors, and other branding elements to create a memorable and cohesive experience for your customers.

If you are on a budget, consider ordering a rubber stamp or stickers to put on each item. This will ensure you have a branded moment. Don’t be afraid to get creative!


various restaurant packaging


5. Napkins, Coasters, and Tabletop Accessories

Napkins, coasters, and other tabletop accessories may seem like small details, but they can make a big impact on your customers’ dining experience. Branded napkins and coasters not only add a touch of uniqueness but also serve as subtle reminders of your restaurant’s brand.

Other tabletop accessories you can consider:

  • Fresh flowers or succulents
  • Faux candles
  • Happy hour promotion table topper
  • Wifi password (coffee shops)

6. Loyalty Cards and Gift Certificates

Loyalty cards and gift certificates are powerful marketing tools that can help you attract return customers. Similarly, create gift certificates that are visually appealing and align with your restaurant’s branding.
These collateral items not only promote your brand but also serve as a form of advertisement when customers share them with others. Use gift cards to promote your restaurant by donating to local businesses to giveaway to their clients and local schools and non-profit organizations to use for auctions.

7. Website

Having a strong online presence is crucial for the success of your restaurant. Design a visually appealing and user-friendly website that reflects your brand’s identity.

Make sure your website includes,

  1. Menu – avoid using PDFs when you can, instead add the menu as plain text so Google can give you SEO credit
  2. Location and parking information
  3. Reservations
  4. Events
  5. Gallery
  6. Social media links

8. Social Media

The foodies are on social media and just waiting to tag you. Create branded social media profiles and regularly update them with engaging content that aligns with your restaurant’s brand. And if you are worried about showing up too much, don’t. The goal with social media, along with most marketing channels, is to remind people you exist and to get them to choose you.

9. Branded Promotional Items

Branded promotional items can help you create a lasting impression on your customers. Consider creating items such as branded pens for your staff, pins, and/or keychains that customers can take home with them.

These items serve as reminders of their experience at your restaurant and can help generate word-of-mouth referrals. Other items you could create are listed in our handy dandy logo checklist. – add link –

10. Event and Marketing Collateral

If you plan to host events or participate in marketing initiatives, having branded collateral items such as banners, flyers, or leave-behinds is always a good idea. These items should provide information about your event offerings and catering capabilities.


Starting off with these collateral items will effectively communicate your brand’s message and attract potential patrons. The better the branded experience, the more likely you are to have return customers.

From your logo and menu design to your signage and staff apparel, each item should reflect your restaurant’s identity and help create a consistent and memorable customer experience. Don’t overlook the power of brand!



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