How a restaurant can increase sales with take-home items


It’s always the details that matter. Never is that more true than with a restaurant’s recipes. If a restaurant has a secret sauce, an irresistible dessert topping, or a to-die-for breading, it’s missing out on extra revenue if it doesn’t offer these extras to its customers to use in their own homes.

Don’t worry. They won’t steal the restaurant’s secret recipe. They won’t stop coming to the restaurant, because no one can put food together as well as their staff can. They will, however, use the restaurant’s products in their homes. Every time they use them, they’ll remember the restaurant—and probably reserve a table for the weekend. Its food is that good.

Just ask Red Lobster. Their trademark cheddar biscuits became so popular that supermarket chains now carry the mix. Those extra biscuits they allowed customers to take home with them created such a desire to recreate the magic at home that customers demanded that Red Lobster market the product.

The company listened to its customer base, began to market its product independent of its restaurants, and now cheddar biscuit fans can enjoy their favorite Red Lobster perk in the comfort of their own homes.

The restaurant chain, who boasts music legend Beyoncé as one of its fans, hasn’t lost a single customer. In fact, with the singer’s mention of the restaurant’s food in her song “Formation,” the restaurant’s sales spiked in 2016.

The point is, if a restaurant has something that bragworthy, it needs to market it to its fans so they can enjoy it whenever they want. But it shouldn’t send the item home in a brown paper bag. They need to make sure that the custom packaging reflects the company brand. With low-cost labels or custom-printed bags, the restaurant can stamp its own unique brand on the package as well as the food.

If the restaurant has a distinctive logo and slogan, make sure it appears on the container and labels. Make sure it complies with federal and state regulations regarding food labeling and contact information. After all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted, though, hire a graphic designer to make the container and labels sing the restaurant’s praises through the power of image.

If the restaurant doesn’t have a distinctive logo, now’s the time to create one. If the company is short on cash, a local graphic design student may trade work for a few meals in exchange for a winning design. Many label and food container companies, too, hire graphic designers that create designs for their customers who place orders with them.

The color of the container should either blend into the background to highlight the logo or be part of the logo’s color scheme. A restaurant needs to create a complete picture with its packaging, so that potential customers who just see the package rush off to order some of its special foods for their own.

Don’t forget to include a web address and phone number. Make it easy for customers to see and order the restaurant’s specialties. The eatery can even add a scannable QR barcode so customers can connect to it—and an order platform–with a single swipe.

With a few take-home extras packaged to showcase its brand, a restaurant can earn extra revenue and even greater loyalty from its customers for years to come.


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