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10 WAYS TO ENCOURAGE SALES AFTER PEOPLE ENTER YOUR RESTAURANT

As a restaurant
operator, you have to make countless decisions every day. One of those
decisions is how to influence what people are buying after they walk through
the doors. Many operators unintentionally overlook ways they can increase
customer loyalty, promote key products, and inspire last-minute sales. That’s
why it’s important to optimize your in-store signage and promotional areas to
your advantage.

1. FRONT DOORS, WINDOWS,
AND CEILINGS

First
impressions count, and the front doors are often the first contact your
customers will have with your restaurant. They’re a great place to promote specials
and other materials that are being marketed on a national level. Often national
promotions will trigger recognition with the customer, and they’ll be more
likely to choose that promotion when ordering. In addition to displays on the
front doors, don’t forget to display POPs throughout the restaurant on windows
and hanging from the ceiling. Make sure that whatever you display, it’s in sync
with what you’re offering on the menu. A customer who sees the same promotion
twice is much more likely to select it.

2. FREESTANDING POP AT LINE
ENTRANCE

Once a customer
enters your restaurant, they get in line. Don’t miss out on a chance to use a
freestanding POP at the entrance to the line. You can display what’s being
marketed at a national level or promote one of your highest margin items. It’s
also a great area to promote regional menu items that appeal to a local
audience. Digital POPs give you added flexibility to choose what to market at a
moment’s notice (such as iced coffee instead of hot coffee on a warm day).
Again, make sure the items promoted on the POPs reflect what’s listed on the
menu.

3. DIGITAL MENU BOARDS

As the most important
marketing tool in your restaurant, the menu board ties all the other
promotional items together and helps enhance the customer experience. Make sure
you display the latest and greatest menus from the corporate office, whether they’re
static or digital. If you’re advertising on the radio, TV, or online, the menu
board should highlight those items. Review your menu boards frequently to deemphasize
items that are sold out, underscore high margin items, or highlight special
LTOs that should get more attention. Digital Menu Technology makes changes like
this a breeze and empowers store managers to assist with keeping your marketing
materials current. Digital Menu Technology also allows you to have fewer items
on the boards, especially if you run multiple dayparts. That makes it easier
for the customer to read and will increase the speed of service. If you’re
looking for a new static POP board, reach out to your corporate team and
request it. It’s likely that if you want to promote a certain menu item, other operators
do as well.

4. CUSTOMER-FACING POINT
OF SALE SCREENS

Most
restaurants now have customer confirmation screens on the customer-facing side
of the point of sale to confirm orders. (If you don’t have these, look into
getting them.) These screens are a great place to display promotional messages
both between and during orders. You can market an item for upsell or inspire a
last-minute purchase. If you need help, contact your corporate marketing team
and see what they can do. Often the point-of-sale systems are managed by IT
teams, not marketing folks, and they forget to include promotional messages.

5. ORDER PICK-UP AREA

When a customer
is waiting for their food, the pick-up area is a great place to use table-top
displays for promotions. Since they’ve already ordered their meal, try
encouraging them to purchase a drink or dessert. You can also build customer loyalty
by promoting your social media channels, websites, or mobile apps. To build
loyalty with local customers, share where you source your food (if local), post
a note on a local charity you support, share a local community event that’s
coming up, or post personal pictures/stories of your employees or management team
supporting local events or causes.

6. TABLES

Everyone knows
that tables are an excellent place to put promotional materials such as
table-tent POPs displaying specials. But the new twist with tables is the
growing popularity of table-top games, whether on tablets or built into the
tables themselves. These games are growing in popularity and, in addition to
giving your restaurant a more modern feel, they can also be used to promote
marketing messages like national web and TV ads. If you have a restaurant
design that includes table-top games and your guests are engaging with these on
a regular basis, ask your marketing team to incorporate promotional messages
into these displays.

7. BAGS

Although it’s
not a new practice, putting promotional messages on bags is an easy way to
communicate with your customers and build brand loyalty. As a restaurant
operator, you don’t always have flexibility for what is printed on the bags,
but you can add personal touches. It can be as simple as having your employees
write a friendly message, smiley face, or hashtag on the bag. It enhances the
customer experience because it’s a personal touch that people remember.

8. TRAYS

If you don’t
already, make sure you use marketing messages on your paper tray liners. They
typically come from your marketing team, but sometimes restaurant employees
forget to put the liners onto the trays and the message isn’t used. Tray liners
are perfect ways to get promotional messages in front of your customers. They’re
simple yet can be extremely valuable: customers spend five or ten minutes eating
their meal, so those tray liners get plenty of attention.

9. RESTROOMS

This one can be
controversial, but restrooms offer valuable real estate for your restaurant and
should be used to display signage. Use signage where it makes sense, like on
the doors, inside the stalls, or by the mirror or paper towels. Make sure this
key real estate is working to your advantage.

10. VIDEO WALLS

Video walls are
appearing more at quick service and fast casual restaurants around the world to
create an engaging customer experience. Video walls help set the mood or change
the atmosphere of a restaurant, and many operators are using them to give their
restaurants an instant makeover. From a marketing perspective, a video wall is
hard to miss, so it’s the perfect place to promote your high margin items and
best sellers.

One more tip for your in-restaurant signage: Restaurants, especially quick service and fast casual, may find paper signage challenging. Between the heat and grease of a QSR or fast casual restaurant, static boards can get dirty fast. Management teams should swap out old, dirty paper signage on a regular basis with new, cleaner signage. Of course, making the switch to Digital Menu Technology will not only last longer and require zero staff time to update, it increases average ticket size and boosts revenues as well.

Want to learn more about Digital Menu Technology? Click here. 

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