The Case for a More Modern Approach to Restaurant Marketing Materials
Marketing materials play a vital role in a restaurant’s success, whether it’s eye-popping posters promoting a new app or in-house training modules. Many restaurants today are innovating on the fly, testing new menu items, or printing literature to accompany delivery and catering orders to build brand loyalty. Yet, with most of project management’s attention focused on the creative and branding elements of these pieces, it’s easy to overlook logistics, such as in printing and shipping.
But what if a brand launches a new seasonal menu item without the proper promotional support or staff training in place? Potentially lost sales and profits.
Take a fast casual chain that realized it had an abundance of a certain ingredient. They decided to create a new dish, which meant they had to distribute an updated menu to the field as quickly as possible. It can be a difficult feat at any time, but these days it can be harder than ever given the current supply chain disruptions. Fortunately, they knew of a service that could help them: FedEx Office.
Challenges inherent in the traditional print and ship process
For decades, restaurants have relied on a standard model where they print materials in bulk and ship them to locations. However, this process usually requires significant delays, and with the current pace of business, it can lead to obsolescence – and waste of time and money. For example, in today’s uncertain environment, many restaurants are changing their opening hours or updating their prices more regularly.
Restaurants are looking for ways to be more agile and pivot on the fly to take advantage of new opportunities. A key aspect of this agile approach is getting crucial marketing materials ready faster.
“Distributed printing” to the rescue
FedEx Office meets this need with its “distributed printing” model designed to accelerate documents where and when they are needed. “The term is meant to express the fact that we can produce documents digitally before printing them, which allows for more efficient and effective deliveries,” says Amit Sangani, senior manager of FedEx Office Hub of Excellence.
Through FedEx Office’s robust network, which includes approximately 2,200 stores and 17 strategically located manufacturing plants across the United States, customers can access an equipped infrastructure to produce large-scale projects. A brand can place an order at a location, with the orders then routed to the retail network so that marketing materials can be produced at the location closest to the end user.
“With the power of the FedEx Office network, we have the opportunity to save money on shipping because we can produce materials closer to the point of consumption,” Sangani says. This practice can also provide substantial environmental benefits, with shorter shipping distances leading to reduced energy consumption.
Customers can choose between two types of models in the distributed printing process. In a self-service model, the business sets up the design, branding guidelines, disclaimers, and other details, then each location orders the quantity it needs. “With this solution, the brand can be confident that all restaurants have approved menus, pricing, messaging, signage and other elements that all meet brand guidelines,” says Sangani. However, the individual restaurant operator can then make minor customizations online, such as showing their store hours, and order the amount they need individually to be printed and delivered by the nearest FedEx office.
The second model is for a legal person who wants to oversee the whole process. Rather than relying on each location to order theirs, they do so on their behalf and ship completed parts directly to them. The FedEx Office team can support a project that involves the same materials, same weight and same delivery locations, and because they have access to all 17 facilities in their network instead of just one print shop, they can able to offer savings on shipping costs and transit time.
Many of their customers use both models at various times, Sangani says, relying on FedEx Office trusted advisors to determine which model will help them best execute a given strategy from a business perspective.
A holistic and transparent process
When creating a marketing project with FedEx Office, brands have access to a comprehensive team that includes strategy, design, sales and logistics consultations. “Our goal with our one-stop white glove service is to alleviate project management tasks that might otherwise fall on the brand when using a regular print provider,” notes Sangani.
And while no business is immune to today’s supply chain challenges, FedEx Office may have an inherent advantage as its volume allows it to source directly from paper mills, rather than relying on distributors. . It also has alliances with a wide variety of vendors, which opens the door to alternative options for customers.
Efficiency can increase profits
Restaurants are keen to attract additional customers using a range of marketing materials that can advertise new locations, hours, promotions or menu items. And, as many are struggling with staffing shortages, they need to train staff and bring new team members up to speed quickly. Having supporting documents readily available can have a significant impact on a restaurant’s operations and is imperative to maintaining focus on customer service.
Restaurant managers who need to have materials produced for promotions or to support operations often don’t know how they can reduce distribution costs and time, says Russ Dearborn, regional account manager for FedEx Office. “In a world where many restaurants are squeezed by rising labor and food costs, it makes sense to consider what options are available for a distribution system that can reduce costs.”
As you plan your strategies for 2022, FedEx Office distributed printing can help your restaurant marketing run more smoothly. Contact FedEx office to learn more.