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Menus, Marketing, & Management tips to grow your restaurant business.


Table Tents: Pop-up Marketing for Your Restaurant

Marketing your restaurant is more important today than ever. In today’s competitive market, if you are not reaching out through social media to connect with customers and bring them in the doors, you are getting left behind. It is extremely crucial to continue building that connection and marketing with your guests once they are in your building. If you are not effectively utilizing table tents to communicate with your guests as they enjoy their experience, you are leaving money on the table.

On average, a guest spends approximately an hour sitting at a restaurant table. Generally, they only have a menu in front of them for about the first 10 minutes. The table tent provides that continued opportunity to communicate with the guest throughout the dining experience.

Table Tents for Upselling

The most common and effective way to utilize a table tent is to increase check averages. Pictures of menu items increase sales. If you put a photo of some nachos right there on the table, you will sell more of them. Placing pictures of appetizers, beverages, or featured entrees will help you to sell more.

I spoke with Sarah, a bartender from Logan’s Roadhouse about how table tents help her to increase sales. “It’s amazing how much the table tent helps me with upselling! Since we started putting them on the tables, my sales have gone up at least $100 per shift. The pictures really help.”

A best practice is to train your service staff to use the table tent as a visual aid. People retain information best when they can both see and hear it. Referring to the table tent is a great way to enhance upselling efforts.

Selling Dessert with Table Tents

The opportunity to effectively sell desserts is often lost because by the time a guest is being asked about a dessert, they are no longer looking at a menu. Diners often tentatively decide on dessert before they receive their entrée, while they are still hungry. If they see a picture of a delicious dessert throughout their meal, their likelihood to order a dessert is drastically increased.

Using Table Tents for Promos and Events

The table tent also provides a great opportunity to make your guests aware of any current or upcoming specials or events that you have going on. As your guests eat, they can take note of a happy hour special or an upcoming event that they will make plans to return another time for. This is a fantastic way to get your customers to return soon and often.

It is a great practice to display your social media tags here and encourage your guests to follow, possibly even using a QR code to make it easier for them to do so.

QR Codes on Table Tents

In response to COVID-19, many restaurants have begun to use table tents with QR Codes on them in place of menus. Restaurants have begun doing this as a new and innovative way of eliminating a contact point. Guests can scan the QR code from their table tent to be directed to the menu right on their phone. I expect this trend of contactless menus to continue. Guests appreciate restaurants taking these types of preventative safety measures.

Table Tent Maintenance

It is important to note that anything that is on your tables needs to be maintained. There are various styles of table tents and most are easy to clean. They should be cleaned frequently with a light sanitizer solution and replaced if they begin to show signs of wear. There are extremely durable print products out there that are easy to clean.

If you prefer the ability to change out content frequently, you can get something that is more disposable. Often, your vendors can give you frames that you can place your own print material into.

Table tents are a fantastic way to boost your sales and communicate brand messaging with guests who are already in the building. They serve as a great tool for your service staff to help raise check averages and as a nice way to ensure your guests return to visit you on a regular basis.

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