The last two years have been tough on all industries, and restaurants have had to be flexible to adapt to changing safety requirements and stay in business. Now, it’s time to focus on welcoming customers back into your restaurant and growing your business. Print can be a cornerstone of an effective reintegration marketing campaign.

However, you hear “print,” and it doesn’t seem as current or innovative as social media or digital marketing. Yet print is a uniquely effective medium for restaurants to bring customers into the door. Here’s how print can impact your restaurant’s customer base:

Reach a local audience with direct mail

Imagine you’re a customer who goes to the mailbox and pulls out an oversized postcard with a full-color high-quality image of a juicy hamburger. You get hungry, and your mouth starts to water. Now, imagine that same image as a 300 X 250-pixel banner ad—it’s tiny, flat and pixelated. Digital just can’t capture the impact you get from a tangible piece of direct mail!

Direct mail also gives you better, more precise targeting that will boost your ROI. Developed with local businesses like restaurants in mind, the U.S. Postal Service offers “Every Door Direct Mail,” a program that provides a cost-effective way to either saturate a ZIP code or filter recipients along precise criteria. If this sounds like it could work for you, contact us to learn more about what you’ll need to prepare your mailer and take advantage of this offering.

Here are a few other data points about how direct mail works for restaurants:

You can be even more strategic with your direct mail by sending coupons or special offers only good for dining at your restaurant. Once a patron makes it to your establishment, you have even more ways to market to them!

Large-format graphics and signage bring the WOW factor

As customers return to in-person dining, it’s vital to make those experiences special. Beautiful signs and branded posters can freshen up your interior. You’ll get even more bang for your buck with signage that looks good on social media too. Learn more about how to leverage signage here.

A refreshed menu can boost sales

Even if your offerings haven’t changed, a menu redesign could boost your sales by as much as 27%. More upscale restaurants should aim to refresh their menu at least three times a year to reflect seasonal offerings, while other sitdown-style restaurants should do a menu refresh once a year. In addition to introducing new offerings, the menu should look different—and it should feel different too, since paper weight, finish and texture send a big message about the quality of your business.

We work with countless local restaurants and food establishments, so we have plenty of samples we can share with you to show you what’s possible.

Tabletop signs promote new offerings to a captive audience

Tent and topper signs are a great upsell, letting you showcase daily specials or limited time extras like featured wines and desserts. Patrons will see your messages throughout the meal, so your signs should be colorful enough to stand out, and durable enough to stand up to food splatters and liquid. 

Takeout packaging can help build loyalty with third-party app users

Third-party delivery apps have been an asset to many restaurants, helping them stay in business and provide food for their customers. But now, many of those customers are more loyal to the apps they use than they are to the restaurants they order from. Your takeout bags may be your best chance to stand out. Check out these to-go bento boxes from a San Francisco restaurant; they’re beautiful, branded and perfect for customers to share on social media. And when you’re packing up your orders, include a printed menu that makes ordering more convenient for customers— and may encourage them to order directly from you rather than the delivery app.  

We can help make marketing a piece of cake!

We love print because we see and hear great results from our customers every day. We have decades of experience developing high-quality marketing just for the restaurant industry, and we’re here to serve you. Give us a call today to learn more and discuss your next project!

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