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12. januar 2023, 6 min read

The why behind it all: How to write a restaurant mission statement

Author: Birgitte Brøndum
Two restaurant owners writing a mission statement. They're using their laptop at a table in the restaurant.
Two restaurant owners writing a mission statement. They're using their laptop at a table in the restaurant.

It might seem obvious what a restaurant’s purpose is. But all restaurants have missions, visions and values that make them unique. Defining yours in a written mission statement can help you develop a stronger restaurant brand and reach a wider group of guests. The mission statement also provides you and your staff with a clear list of goals to work with.

In this article, we’ll explore the values of a mission statement. Naturally, we’ve also added some tips for what to include in your statement and a few good examples from other restaurants.

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement is a short text that communicates your restaurant’s purpose, values and sometimes visions. It can be used in your staff handbook, on your website and for marketing campaigns. The aim of the mission statement is to ensure that your guests and employees know what your priorities are, what to expect from you, and why you’re running a restaurant in the first place.

Your mission statement is also a part of the complete narrative that tells the story of your restaurant. This narrative is comprised of everything you share on social media, what you verbally communicate to guests, your menu, your interior design and all the other things that when combined create your restaurant’s identity.

Storytelling is an essential part of creating a strong brand that people remember. You want guests to remember your restaurant and not that other place right around the corner.

Someone placing glasses on a restaurant table surrounded by red chairs

Why is it important to have a restaurant mission statement?

A restaurant mission statement is important for the following reasons:

How to write a mission statement for a restaurant

Your restaurant’s mission statement should state the main purpose of your restaurant. If you are the owner of a pasta restaurant, you could explain that making the best pasta dishes in town is your mission and passion.

Perhaps your mission is to serve traditional pasta dishes from a specific region in Italy. Or maybe it is to serve freshly made pasta with vegetarian ingredients from Scandinavia. It could also simply be to serve good food at fair prices. The important thing is that your mission statement is clear and that it lets potential guests know what they can look forward to when they visit your restaurant.

Your potential guests – who are they?

When writing a mission statement for your restaurant, keep your potential guests in mind.
Consider the local neighbourhood and its communities. How is the demographic? Do the people living here share values, interests and lifestyles?

Naturally, your concept is already established, but your mission statement will be more effective if you try to meet the minds and interests of your potential guests when writing it.

Small, black tables and red chairs outside in front of a restaurant with a big, red door.

Share your restaurant’s values in the mission statement

Another way to gain your guests’ trust and a good reputation is to include a short list of your restaurant’s values in the mission statement. Your values might be related to taking responsibility for the community by offering a dining place where everyone is welcome. But restaurant values can also concern how your restaurant is as a workplace, such as keeping a healthy work environment, listening to each other and being inclusive when hiring new colleagues.

Many restaurants are making an effort to become more sustainable. If sustainability is one of your values, it’s worth highlighting this in a concise and transparent way.

Keep it short and sweet and honest

Your mission statement should be fast to read, concise and honest. The honesty part is important. Today’s restaurant guests, and consumers in general, value companies and brands that live up to their promises and are transparent when communicating.

Even though it’s tempting to turn your restaurant mission statement into a memoir that gives your potential guests the long-winded history of your restaurant, it’s best to keep it on the short side. That doesn’t mean you can’t tell the entire story, in fact, that’s also good for your brand, but keep that in a separate section. That way curious guests can dive in and learn everything there is to know about your restaurant whenever they feel like it.

According to Patric Hull, entrepreneur and independent contributor to Forbes, a company mission statement should answer these 4 questions:

Restaurant mission statement examples

Here are three very different examples of good mission statements from the websites of some of our customers. Visit their pages to get a better feeling of the statement in the original design and layout.

Restaurant Kram in Fredericia, Denmark

Kram has placed the mission statement on the main page, so it’s the first thing visitors see. The statement is combined with a nice photo of one of the dishes from their menu.

“GOOD FOOD – FOR EVERYONE

We want to stay down to earth, without white tablecloths and gold spoons. The food must be for everyone, at a price where everyone can participate. We take pride in making everything from scratch, and if we can’t do it, we don’t do it.”

The Glass in Helsinki, Finland

On the Glass website, the mission statement is to be found on the about-us page. Here it’s divided into three promises combined with symbols indicating their focus: a trophy, a water droplet and a leaf.

Promise 1: Our goal is the best food, drink, atmosphere and service in town. Every day and for every guest.

Promise 2: Restaurant hygiene in Finland is top-notch. We take it further with new technical innovations and operating models.

Promise 3: In all our efforts, we constantly strive to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable development. “

Restaurant XEF in Oslo, Norway

On the homepage of Restaurant XEF, a short mission statement and a picture of a small colourful dish decorated with yellow flower petals are the first two things you encounter. A bit further down on the same page, the visions of head chef, Borja Martino are braided into a longer text describing his philosophy and approach.

“Starting from Spanish cuisine, more specifically northern Spain, we draw inspiration from all over the world.

Borja Martino and his visions:

My vision is raw material, technique and creativity. In Spain, there is a strong tradition of using local ingredients. There are therefore large regional differences in food culture within the country.

When I am in Norway, it is my duty to follow the same philosophy with regard to raw materials, but at the same time be faithful to the techniques of the Spanish kitchen and therefore I have to innovate and change in relation to which raw materials are available and in season.”

Many different approaches

As we have seen, mission statements can vary a lot from restaurant to restaurant. What’s important is to get your message across and create an honest text that fits your restaurant’s concept. Write several versions of your statement and share it with your team or a good friend, take their feedback into consideration, and then rewrite it until it’s spot-on! When it comes to writing, you almost never get it right the first time, but that’s a natural part of the process. The time you invest in writing your mission statement is time well spent if it encourages new guests to book a table at your restaurant.

Time to reboot your restaurant’s social media channels? Read our article on social media for restaurants right here!