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Tabletop Marketing Done Right

Consumers are exposed to numerous marketing messages every day. From ads on the radio to billboards on the highway, marketing messages are everywhere! While these messages are everywhere, how many messages are actually being processed and understood by the consumer? It’s difficult to get a consumer’s attention for even a minute, but restaurants and bars have a tool that they can use to get their marketing messages in front of consumers for a considerable amount of time. That tool is tabletop marketing. Tabletop marketing comes in many designs but all product designs have the same goal, to market your specials and event messages to your consumers. Tabletop marketing is great because even after the normal menus are gone, this marketing piece remains. So even if someone doesn’t notice the message right away, there are ample opportunities throughout their visit that they will get to see your marketing messages.

“40% of all specialty cocktail sales comes from our tables and our T-Stand holders we purchased from Menu Designs.” -Shane S. from Chianti Room

With tabletop marketing being so effective we wanted to re-release our post from July 2015 on “Tabletop Marketing Done Right”.

Tabletop Marketing Done Right - Original post date: July 24, 2015. Revised: July 26, 2016

The great thing about tabletop marketing is your target audience is already right in front of you. When this type of marketing is done well, it can be an inexpensive way to generate additional revenue. However, when done poorly, you can easily put a customer off. So what's the best way to approach tabletop marketing?

Consider Your Customers - When deciding on what type of tabletop holders to use, think about who your customers are, what they want and what you have to offer them. Crafting a message that's relevant to your customers' needs and wants is much more effective than a generic list of menu or drink items.

Consider Your Restaurant - A brightly colored, illustrated tabletop stand might be great in a kid- or family-friendly restaurant but would be completely out of place at a fancy bistro. Make sure the design and tone of your tabletop marketing items match that of your eatery. Having your marketing pieces blend in with your décor can show that what you are presenting to your customers is a genuine offering from the restaurant instead of an out of place marketing message that comes across as a salesy push.

Consider What Tabletop Marketing Can Do - You already have a menu. Your tabletop marketing should go beyond that. Offering specials is a good start, but you can also use tabletop marketing to promote loyalty programs, special events, and even social media. A tabletop stand can encourage social media "check-ins" that you can link to special coupons or discounts. Remember after the menus are gone, your tabletop marketing remains. What information do you want your customers to continue to see?

Keep It Short and Sweet - The same ideas that apply to conventional marketing wisdom apply to tabletop marketing: The smaller the space, the shorter the message. Make sure your message is clear and easy to read, with plenty of white space. Absolutely avoid paragraphs – remember your tabletop marketing doesn’t need to be your entire menu. Keep your verbiage short and sweet.

Keep It Fresh – Do not always have the same tabletop displays out year round. Have some fun with your marketing and change things up to go along with the season. For most table menu holders, the inserts are able to easily be switched out. Make sure you are changing your inserts for time sensitive material. A New Year's special advertised six months later is something you want to avoid.

Have you tried tabletop marketing in your restaurant or bar? If so, what worked for your company?

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