As restaurant delivery and takeout continue to gain momentum—compared to two years ago, a third of consumers are ordering carryout more often, while 21% are ordering delivery more often, according to Technomic’s 2018 Takeout & Off-Premise Consumer Trend Report—operators need to consider how best to leverage the trend to drive incremental sales—both on- and off-premise.
Many operators forget that meals eaten at home or in the office are also a marketing opportunity for dine-in business—a more profitable occasion because of the potential for high-margin beverage sales and the elimination of fees charged by third-party delivery services. What’s more, although a delivered meal may be handled by an independent third party, customers still tend to hold the restaurant itself responsible for the quality of what’s delivered. Similarly, takeout is often viewed as an extension of the restaurant. Thus, a good takeout or delivery experience can prompt a customer to try dining in.
Some places try to curry favor with such additional touches, such as including extra packets of hot sauce or a mint for after the meal, but those add-ons can be expensive. One easy, high-touch possibility that’s often overlooked is providing high-quality napkins that double as billboards for the restaurants. More than two-thirds (68%) of restaurant customers have a higher impression of a restaurant that custom-prints its napkins with the name of the establishment or other information that engages the guest, according to research from Tork.
The research shows that including printed napkins with delivery orders may be especially effective, particularly to the sweet spot of the delivery market—urban dwellers aged 18 to 34. What’s more, even if the diner is loyal to a third-party app, by reinforcing the restaurant brand, the restaurant will be more likely to get repeat orders.
The imagery on the printed napkins can enhance a restaurant’s brand by depicting an attractive logo, tidbits of trivia from the operation’s history or perhaps a poignant or humorous quote. New technology for digitally printing napkins allows for full-color imagery. Digital printing is more cost effective than traditional plate printing and allows for shorter minimum runs while also enabling several different imprints in the same napkin pack. Full-color printing makes a huge impact on customers, strengthening brand recognition and enhancing customer experience. Restaurants can leverage this technology to their advantage to showcase attractive food imagery for featured specials, new items and check builders, including beverages, appetizers and desserts.
They’ve also proven effective in teaching customers that they can place delivery orders directly through the restaurant’s app or website instead of using a third party platform. Customers get the added touch of dealing directly with the restaurant, and winning that direct business can save the operation a considerable amount of money by cutting the commission. It also enables the establishment to capture valuable information about its customers and their ordering habit—the platform for targeted, so-called one-to-one marketing.
For on-premise dining, custom-printed napkins can be similarly used to reinforce the brand image, promote catering or encourage a particular behavior, such as downloading the restaurant’s app or following their social media. And a message specific to that establishment helps differentiate it from the competition—per Tork’s research, 75% of guests believe these restaurants care more about the customer experience.
Using custom-printed napkins in this way to drive more sales—whether through takeout, delivery, catering or on-premise dining—is easier and more affordable than ever, thanks to the small-run printing capabilities of Tork.
Tork Digital Custom Print Dinner Napkins provide an impactful and inexpensive way to make an impression on guests, whether they dine onsite or off.
For more information about how custom-print napkins can help you boost customer traffic at your restaurant, please visit https://www.torkusa.com/digitalprint.
This post is sponsored by Essity, makers of the Tork brand of Professional Hygiene products