Merchandising is an effective marketing tool to enhance your restaurant's brand identity, influence consumers to spend, and distinguish your restaurant from competitors. Branded apparel and unique, meaningful items, such as custom glassware, can keep your restaurant top of mind in the market.
When creating restaurant merchandise, consider items that resonate with your audience. If you have a signature dish or cocktail, consider putting it on a fun t-shirt or glass. Branded items become conversation starters and even collectors' items that can jumpstart loyalty.
When designing merchandise, focus on the quality and comfort of the items. Consumers are more likely to wear and use your merchandise regularly if it's comfortable, practical, and aesthetically pleasing. Quality reflects positively on your brand.
Here are some other ways to amp up sales and promote your brand:
Consistency in branding is crucial. The design of your merchandise should align with your restaurant's branding elements, including colors, logos, and fonts. Consistency reinforces your brand's identity, making it easier for the public to recognize and engage with your restaurant.
Setting up a display inside your restaurant can be a subtle but effective way to increase brand visibility. It gives patrons waiting for a table or takeout orders an opportunity to browse. Highlight bestsellers, seasonal items, and special promotions.
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Takeout orders offer mobile advertising opportunities. Utilizing branded stickers, stamps, or other branded elements add a subtle platform to showcase your brand on carryout containers or bags. Items like First Mark® containers or other packaging can be used to tag with your branded sticker of choice. It’s as simple as a walking advertisement.
Just like the rest of your website, ensure your store is user-friendly and optimized for mobile devices, as many consumers shop with their phones. Regularly update your online store with new merchandise and promotions. Cross-promote it through your social media channels and email newsletters to drive traffic to your store, increasing brand visibility both inside and outside your restaurant.
Outfitting staff in branded apparel, such as t-shirts or aprons, reinforces your brand and creates a sense of unity among your team. Also, it helps guests quickly identify your employees and creates a unified dining experience. Branded uniforms can be particularly effective if they feature a subtle, stylish design that your employees enjoy wearing.
Seasonal merchandise or special collections promote exclusivity and generate excitement among your patrons. Promote these items through your website, social media, and email marketing. Highlight their limited availability and unique features to encourage customers to purchase a piece of your restaurant's identity. Whether it's a holiday-themed collection, a commemorative item for a special event, or a limited-edition design, these exclusives add a dynamic dimension to your branding strategy and can drive sales.
Integrate merchandise into your customer loyalty program. Offer branded merchandise items as rewards for reaching specific milestones, such as a specific number of visits or purchases. Guests who receive a branded item as a reward become walking ambassadors for your restaurant, spreading your brand message to their friends and family.