Restaurant owners have a lot on their plate. (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.) Between managing food deliveries, coordinating workers, and actually serving delicious food to guests, it can be hard to find enough time in the day for all their duties.
However, in our opinion, creating an inventory of print materials is nearly as important for restaurants’ success as the food itself. You may not realize just how much your business relies upon prints. They are often used daily to communicate essential messages about menu items, specials, reward programs, gift cards, and more. Without print items, your guests may feel confused about how to get the information they need, and you’ll miss the opportunity to inform them about limited-time offers or special programs.
If you’re just starting to build your restaurant’s print materials, it may be difficult to know where to start. That’s where we come in. Keep reading to discover our full list of the most essential print materials for restaurant brands.
As guests walk into your restaurant, you have an opportunity to immediately grab their attention with eye-catching prints displayed in poster frames right on your wall. As each party waits for their table, they can learn about your limited-time menu items, featured dishes, weekly specials, employment benefits, or other important messages. Because they’ll be enclosed in glass frames, poster prints can be printed on relatively thin paper, which means they’re inexpensive and simple to replace regularly.
Once they reach their table, you can continue presenting special messages to your guests with table tents, or heavy-weight prints displayed on the tabletop. Many of our restaurant clients use table tents to display deals or specials that aren’t included on the permanent menus. These prints can also offer a convenient place to convey information about gift cards, rewards programs, or other valuable offers. Keeping one tent on each table ensures every guest has an opportunity to see your message during their dining experience.
It will surprise no one that menus are among the most essential prints a restaurant can provide. It’s true, many customers have become accustomed to using QR codes in recent years, but a significant number of guests still prefer a print menu. Plus, there’s just something about reading menu options off of a phone screen that takes away from your restaurant’s ambience. For stores that don’t rotate menu items frequently, we highly recommend opting for a reusable synthetic material when printing menus. Synthetic menus are both water and tear-proof, and can be sanitized between uses without fading or streaking. The material is conducive to printing bold, high-impact colors, and will typically be cheaper than using laminated print menus.
Business Cards & Comp Cards
As representatives of your restaurant brand, it’s important for your store partners and managers to carry branded business cards. These prints will help each person introduce themselves to guests and put a face behind the restaurant they love. Similarly, you may also consider giving your managers branded cards they can use to write off meal compensations or discounts in order to build or repair customer relationships as needed. This uniform approach to customer service can help streamline responses to problems and provide a sense of organization across your brand.
Now that we’ve talked about how to reach the customers inside your restaurant, let’s discuss how we can use prints outside your dining room, too. If your restaurant offers to-go service, you need to make full marketing use of your small but important touchpoints with your customer. As your guest digs containers out of their to-go bag, they’ll also naturally grab out any other prints you slip in with their order. This is a great opportunity to promote those same specials, gift cards, hiring efforts, or other topics that you promoted inside the store. Bag stuffers can be printed on small, thin, inexpensive pieces of paper, which make them an easy addition to your inventory of print materials.
You’ll also want a way to communicate your brand and delicious menu items to consumers who aren’t yet customers. Printed takeout menus are a great option for spreading the word about your restaurant. You can pass them out to nearby hotels to capture guests passing through town, or deliver them to local neighborhoods to entice residents. To further engage potential guests, consider including a QR code on each takeout menu that leads to your website. This feature can help your audience explore your restaurant in depth and ultimately convince them to dine in or place a takeout order.
Need to make an announcement to the broader public? Large outdoor banners can help communicate a short, impactful message to anyone who drives by your store. Our restaurant clients typically use banners to announce grand openings, specials events, or hiring pushes. Banners come in a variety of sizes, and can be reused over and over again for evergreen messages or regular events.
Gift Cards & Sleeves
If you’re not already selling gift cards for your restaurant, this is your sign to start now. Gift cards are a win/win for restaurant brands – they can help introduce your store to new audiences, and you receive the full sales value even if the recipient never comes in to redeem the card. Though many restaurants now offer e-gift cards, many consumers still prefer to purchase physical cards, or want to receive the cards immediately if they buy in store. Using decorative gift card sleeves designed for different occasions (think birthdays, graduation, and winter holidays) can also add an enticing, eye-catching touch.