October 5, 2023

Key brand strategies for restaurant groups

Multi-concept restaurant groups have a distinct advantage in the market. They can cater to a broader audience by providing a variety of culinary experiences, from casual dining to fine dining, fusion cuisine to traditional fare. This diversity enables them to capture a larger share of the dining market and appeal to different customer preferences.

Operationally, this diverse structure allows for sharing of processes across concepts to more efficiently test changes and implement new procedures in the service and menus.

Marketing multi-concept restaurant groups is a dynamic endeavor that demands creativity, strategy, and a deep understanding of customer preferences. By crafting a strong brand identity under each concept, implementing targeted marketing strategies, and staying attuned to industry trends, each location can thrive publicly with individuality while capitalizing on the resources a network provides internally.

Let’s explore three fundamental brand practices that can be followed across concepts or locations.


MAKE IT KNOWN YOU ARE A PORTFOLIO OF PEOPLE AND EXPERIENCES. THIS IS HUGE. We are often delighted to discover that some of our favorite dining experiences are tied together. The kicker, though, this discovery is typically a surprise provided by word of mouth or stumbling upon a website’s footer to see multiple logos.

While each restaurant within the group may have a unique concept, it’s essential to maintain brand cohesion. Create a robust and overarching brand position that connects all the restaurants. This can be achieved through consistently practical branding elements that reflect the group’s values and vision, such as logos, decor, menus, marketing frequencies, and mission statements. These items do not need to match literally; however, they should convey the same quality, functionality, and attention to detail while maintaining individual personalities.

On average, it takes seven impressions of a visual brand for viewers to retain it, let alone take action. Consider all the mediums and platforms potential patrons have to research and follow your concepts. Suppose each does not have connective tissue in their visual quality and consistency. In that case, it is much harder for viewers to remember one cohesive message from one or multiple restaurant concepts.


There can be a significant disconnect for online viewers when individual concepts within the same portfolio have varying quality scales and experiences on the respective websites. This can be remedied by building one robust site as a theme or template that can be customized with each concept’s imagery, menus, and content. The structure, functionality, and user experience remain the same across each concept; this aids viewers greatly in associating the group as being in the same family and builds trust through ease of use.

As diners and designers, we feel that features like menus are a woefully ignored aspect of a restaurant website. They are often added as image attachments or downloads, causing issues with readability and accessibility. While this may seem trivial, a menu is the top item a viewer comes to a restaurant site to see, so make sure they can find it and absorb it across all concept sites consistently.

Build a consistent and ever-evolving photography catalog across concepts. Again, this is another advantage to the multi-concept platform; you can pool resources and talent from photographers and designers to build a replicable brand style. Viewers seeing similarly styles and quality in photography and design helps them visually associate that style with a specific concept and, ultimately, a portfolio.


IT IS OK TO REVEAL YOUR BLIND SPOTS. Restaurant analytics can place every bit of data available into a single, coherent storyline, which can be shared across concepts. Aspects like food waste, preferred payment methods, menu trends, waiting times, reservations, customer reviews, and countless other statistics can be combined and translated into actionable insights. This information can be generated using tools like your P.O.S., employee surveys, Google Analytics, heat mapping, social media analytics and engagement, and various review platforms like Yelp.

“I turned down a restaurant rebrand project because the reasoning behind it was high staff turnover, poor reviews, and an out-dated menu. Knowing the role your branding plays in the overall picture is key. It can bring much clarity, however can not mask operational problems.”

– Paul Mitchell, Founder Saint Emblem

Bring it together.

Success lies in the ability to offer diverse culinary experiences while maintaining a unified brand image that resonates with diners. The mission, values, and commitment to service are the brand and having a cohesive marketing and brand platform established across concepts pools knowledge, resources, and ultimately can save time and money.



110 Somerville Ave, Chattanooga TN 37405

Way-Finding Psychology

A significant degree of science is behind the interaction of a building and its visitors. Distance to typography size ratios, line-of-sight placement, cognitive patterns, physical barriers, and design simplicity are just some considerations when building a functional way-finding strategy.

When navigating a space, visitors look for three keys: information, engagement, and efficiency. How each of those aspects is delivered is where the psychology behind user habits comes in. Information is always the primary focus; providing clear and concise directions to destinations and features is necessary for the user experience. However, it can quickly become a negative visit when visitors are left in limbo and frustrations grow over navigation. These experiences, both positively and negatively can have a direct impact on your brand.

Many tend to think inspiration is not a central need in non-retail spaces. We tend to believe the opposite. Retail requires quicker decisions and navigation. The visits are shorter in time, and the reasons for visits are less broad than those in an educational or municipal space. Engaging with audiences in spaces with repeat visitors and frequent functional needs is where your brand can play an important role. Your brand story and why it matters to the viewer should be prominently displayed in thought-provoking ways to capture imaginations, build offline awareness, and, ultimately brand ambassadors.

The ultimate goal of this experience is guest retention. The odds of gaining an audience and getting them to engage with you again via future visits, social media, purchasing, or referrals depend on your connection with them. Way-finding and brand implementation are great opportunities to showcase your care and concern toward your audience. There are also opportunities for interactivity via technologies beyond traditional signage. Digital signage, mobile device interactions, and social media opportunities can elevate viewer engagement.

The experience of getting from point A to point B in a building should be much like navigating a website, efficient. As we all navigate online experiences, they can quickly make the process of absorbing content or making purchasing decisions either smooth or mentally taxing. Now think about your space as if it’s a website; when visitors can get where they need to go quickly, it increases the odds of positive referrals and return visits, or they can get stonewalled. Their brand interaction with you can become harmful.

Strategies to incorporate properly placed visual triggers and clear communications along every path of a visitor’s journey can ensure their visits are efficient. When visitors feel unencumbered with their ability to navigate a space, it decreases the chances of frustrations and confusion when they ultimately reach their destination or interaction. The speed at which we all consume content in media these days is breakneck; we scroll fast, click fast, and type fast. These are the same audiences in your space; keep up with them.

Below are some insightful articles on branded environments and way-finding effects on visitor habits and psychology.

110 Somerville Ave, Chattanooga TN 37405

Full-Time Marketing/Communications Strategist

Employment Type:

Full-Time, In-Office


Chattanooga, TN

Job Summary:

Saint Emblem seeks an insightful, diligent, and organized Marketing/Communications Strategist to generate effective promotional strategies for our clients and agency. 

The Marketing/Communications Strategist is a hybrid role, also requiring proficiency in managing creative projects, campaigns, and client objectives. This individual will be task-driven, responsive, and take an assertive approach to problem-solving.

To succeed in this role, you must be able to research consumer and client metrics, translating this information to Saint Emblem branded campaigns. The Marketing/Communications Strategist is primarily an idea-generating position within a creative agency, making the ability to bring unique and tactful thought to the table key.

About the Agency:

Saint Emblem is a small team based in Chattanooga, TN, specializing in brand and marketing strategy. Our philosophy is that great brands are created with a story-first approach, understanding the client’s and audience’s mission and goals before ever putting pen to paper or pixel to screen. We push ourselves daily to deliver tactful solutions that take an extra step in the creative process, providing an elevated result our clients may not receive elsewhere.


  • Create adaptable marketing strategies for clients and the agency (social media, digital marketing, and print marketing) at a variety of budgets.
  • Plan, estimate, and track progress on creative campaigns, branding projects, print orders, and more.
  • Keep remote and internal team members accountable for timelines, sprints, hours, and product quality.
  • Communicate consistently with clients and vendors via email and video call to schedule calls, record issues and requests, and present project outcomes.
  • Assist in managing the day-to-day operations of creative projects to ensure they are completed on time, within budget, and to the client’s satisfaction.( monday.com is utilized for agency project management – experience with the platform is helpful but not required.)
  • Assist in the planning, execution, and management of organic social media marketing for the agency (FB, Linkedin, and IG). (Later.com is utilized for agency social media – experience with the platform is helpful but not required.)


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g., marketing, communications) or equivalent experience
  • 2+ years of marketing strategy and/or client communications experience preferred
  • 1+ years of project management experience preferred
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience with developing and implementing marketing strategies (social, digital, print)
  • Experience with Monday.com (Some training will be provided)
  • Experience with creative agencies is preferred but not required
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite is a bonus

Statement of Diversity:

Saint Emblem may be small; however, we think big in many regards. This is seen in a universal process of creative collaboration, no matter the size or theme of our clients. Our team’s creativity is best harnessed when the diversity of people and their thinking is embraced, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, cultural beliefs, or physical/mental capabilities. These agency ideals are reflected in a spirit of equality, empowerment, and respect for those we work for and with.

Branding is all about fostering a connection with a message and, ultimately, the people behind it. We believe these connections can be generated or followed by minds of any background, providing a platform for all to feel welcomed.

Salary and Benefits:

Your Resume

651 E. 4th St | Chattanooga TN 37403 ​