For restaurants, the number-one priority is serving delicious meals for customers—from quick serve restaurants (QSRs), to fast casual restaurants to convenient takeaway to sit-down dinners. Of course, this requires a high-functioning kitchen and top-notch staff, but there’s another supporting player that’s critical in keeping both the back of house and front of house running smoothly: printed materials, including back-of-house resources empowering staff to do their jobs and the front-of-house marketing collateral that supports your customer from the moment they enter your restaurant.
The customer experience is critical to the success of your business – and that includes everything from the menu to the service they receive to the food they consume. So, what does that entail, exactly?
A restaurant’s back of house is staff HQ, and it should be equipped with all the resources team members need to do their jobs effectively. As far as printed materials go, that includes any signage regarding key safety rules, equipment storage, etc., but most importantly, it includes the restaurant operations manual.
The operations manual—critical for all staff to have and use but particularly useful for training and learning and development leaders to use to onboard new employees—is an in-depth dossier on every aspect of the restaurant, and it ensures a consistent dining and service experience for customers, no matter who’s on shift on any given day. Think:
- General restaurant background and information
- HR policies and resources
- Hiring and training procedures
- Guest services guidelines
- Food preparation procedures
- Food safety policies
- Opening and closing procedures
- Maintenance instructions
- Team member safety
Whether it’s packaged as one massive book or several smaller documents, the manual should contain detailed information and checklists for each of these categories, and it must be kept up-to-date to reflect any potential changes in company policies, or even local and federal food safety and employment laws.
As your restaurant grows it can be difficult for training or HR leaders to ensure that manuals stay up to date and every employee has the latest policies, procedures, and information at their fingertips. The result could be the temptation to recreate pieces of the manual from scratch, sharing ad-hoc information that may or may not be consistent from one teammate or location to another, ultimately sowing confusion and jeopardizing the consistency of the brand.
Our recommendation: keep all updated training collateral in one digital, centralized hub so anyone who needs it can quickly and easily grab the latest and either distribute it digitally or order print copies—right through the platform—and have them shipped wherever they need to go.
Front-of-House Restaurant Marketing
While the back-of-house materials are strictly practical, front-of-house marketing content can—and should—be a little more exciting. Just like retailers use in-store marketing to both boost sales and curate a positive customer experience, restaurants can use front-of-house marketing to do the same. Think:
- Outdoor signage and window clings to catch hungry diners’ eyes and encourage them to walk through your door instead of the one down the street.
- Directional signage and floor graphics
showing customers to seat themselves, head to the host station to be seated, or make their way to the counter to order.
- Tabletop signs highlighting specials, limited time offers, or upcoming events.
- Sleek menus that showcase your brand and your best dishes
- Point-of-sale signage at the order counter, tucked into the check holder, or placed in the waiting area to promote loyalty programs, upcoming specials, and additional engagement with your restaurant.
- Wall graphics and décor graphics creating ambience in your restaurant while showcasing your company’s brand.
- Delivery vehicle wraps to ensure your brand stays at the top of your customer’s mind outside of the building for delivery orders.
These extra touches are powerful drivers of brand loyalty and great ways to boost revenue by enticing customers to order that drink special or fun new dessert that they might not otherwise have tried.
So, how can restaurant marketers—and particularly marketers supporting multiple locations or franchises—ensure every location has the print materials they need to create the optimal front-of-house experience for diners?
Our recommendation: Manage all of your collateral in once central, easy-to-access location—ideally one that’s connected to your preferred print and distribution partner. That way, individual locations can order what they need, when they need it—without marketing leaders having to worry about inconsistent design, noncompliance with local alcohol and beverage regulations, or mixed messaging from location to location. Additionally, keeping everything in one hub makes it easy for marketing leadership to produce and distribute collateral kits to multiple locations at once for seasonal promotions or special events, such as grand openings.
At OneTouchPoint we know creating, maintaining, producing, and distributing all the print marketing materials needed to keep both the back of house and front of house running as efficiently as the kitchen can be a lot to swallow. That’s why we pride ourselves on partnering with restaurant brands—both independent locations and large chains—to make it easy. Our U.Connect platform is the foundation of the robust marketing production capabilities that enable us to deliver high quality print materials to complement any dish.
We invite you to learn more about our marketing execution services here. Then, when you’re ready, contact us or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.