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Crafting a well-read mission statement for your restaurant is more important than ever. In this article, we explain what mission statements are, why they are important, how to get started, and provide examples for inspiration.

What Is a Mission Statement?

Bon Chon foods.
Bon Chon’s mission: “To share the joy of Korean comfort food around the world.” (Photo courtesy of Bon Chon)

A mission statement articulates the core reason the restaurant exists, beyond simply serving food. It encapsulates the valuesbeliefs, and principles that guide their decisions and operation.

Shouldn’t the Food Speak for Itself?

Detroit Vegan Soul.
Detroit Vegan Soul is a family of restaurants offering flavorful, 100% plant-based soul food to vegans and non-vegans alike in a welcoming environment. Our warm, engaging staff create dishes from scratch using mostly organic ingredients, locally sourced when available.” (Photo courtesy of Detroit Vegan Soul)

Yes and no. A clear mission statement helps build a distinct brand identity for a restaurant, while differentiating itself from competitors. Providing a consistent message across all marketing channels — including its website, social media, and traditional advertisements — reinforces what makes the restaurant unique or special. Mission statements communicate a restaurant’s priorities and values, in a way that gracefully elucidates its fundamental purpose. 

Three drinks from Smoothie King.
Smoothie King’s mission: “Inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.” (Photo courtesy of Smoothie King)

Furthermore, a clear mission statement helps internal operations. When staff members understand and connect with the establishment’s mission and values, they become more invested in their work. Understanding the restaurant’s mission statement clarifies a sense of purpose which enhances morale, improves communication, and guides employee behavior. Mission statements help executive decision-making within the restaurant as well. In the face of competing interests, having a clear mission aids in prioritizing decisions, enabling the restaurant to stay focused on what truly matters.

Does Authenticity Matter in Mission Statements?

Respect the way of these french fries.
At Wayback Burgers, “Our mission is to create a culture of belonging by uniting people through the love of comfort food. We provide experiences that grow relationships and welcome people from all backgrounds. Achieving our mission starts with “The Way.” It stands for the way we treat our guests, support our franchisees, source our products, and commit to doing the right thing.” (Photo courtesy of Wayback Burgers)

Consumers are increasingly conscious of the ethics and impact of their choices and the food you serve must be able to speak for itself while harmonizing with its mission statement. Likewise, if mission statements aren’t authentically received and acted upon by upper management, other employees will follow suit. Without management leading by example, a mission statement becomes nothing more than lip service and creates brand disharmony.

Punk cupcake.
“Punk Cake is a non-conformist artisan patisserie. We make unforgettable sweet treats by turning baking rules on their head! Our mission is to offer amazingly tasty cakes that will make your celebration unforgettable.” (Photo courtesy of Punk Cake)

Consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, seek genuine connections with the brands they choose to engage with. A mission statement serves as a platform to showcase a restaurant’s values, beliefs, and passion, fostering trust in the eyes of discerning consumers.

Need Help Getting Started on a Mission Statement?

Waffles and chicken from the Blue Door Bakery.
At the Blue Door Cafe & Bakery: “If everything looks so amazingly good that you just can’t decide what to possibly get and then absolutely love your order, our mission has been accomplished.” (Photo courtesy of The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery)

If you are experiencing writer’s block, head to a mission statement generator to get those ideas rolling, such as Ramp or Elevation. Mission statements are a great way to express your restaurant’s atmosphere, cuisine, traditions, innovations, philosophy, and values to prospective customers. Does your restaurant have a mission statement? Let us know in the comment section!

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