A dining experience goes way beyond the food you’re about to eat. It all starts when we set foot in a venue and look at what’s surrounding us. If we see clean, smart and tidy looking staff, that’s always a welcoming sign — if not, we turn on our heel and go somewhere else.
Nowadays restaurants are like any other company, which means they’ll want their staff’s appearance to reflect the company’s image, values and products. Personalised workwear gives restaurants an opportunity to step outside of the ‘apron/black and white’ comfort zone and get creative. It also goes without saying that it is an invaluable marketing opportunity.
Here are some restaurant clothing ideas that are a little bit different and will certainly get your restaurant and its staff noticed.
How to promote your restaurant with personalised workwear
1 – Print your most delicious dishes on T-shirts
Modern printing techniques, like direct to garment printing (DTG), recreate detailed and colourful images, which means your tempting desserts and sumptuous starters will make clients’ mouths water even if it’s just a picture printed on fabric.
2 – Do the same with drinks
Seductive images of cocktails, steamy hot chocolate, champagne and the like can create a visual image of what’s on offer and be a constant reminder to the customer of what they could be ordering. Just one more G&T before we leave won’t hurt*.
*Unless they’re driving, of course. Here at Printsome we don’t support driving under the influence of any substance.
3 – Use social media
It’s a sad fact that many people just can’t leave their mobiles alone, even when they’re sitting at a table in good company. So why not take advantage of this and print your web address or blog page on staff uniforms?
Better still, you could use a specific call to action, like “For 20% off your next dining experience at the Such-and-Such Restaurant write to us at discount(@)suchandsuch.com.” This will capture email addresses for your marketing campaigns and alleviate the boredom of customers who clearly don’t wish to speak to each other.
4 – Does the restaurant do delivery?
Then tell everyone on a T-shirt!
5 – Happy hour
Again, shout about it on T-shirts and watch the customers pour in.
6 – Competitions
Create loyalty and interest. “Want to win dinner for two at the “such-and-such” Restaurant? Then visit suchandsuch.com. to find our more”. This is one more way to collect customer data while they are sitting at your tables.
You can even get social media involved on this one (like we were talking about above). Some restaurants give away a free dinner or a gift basket of products to a random fan on their Facebook page every month, for instance.
7 – Print the whole menu on staff T-shirts
Use your signature dishes, the ones that are unlikely to change, so you don’t have to print the entire staff’s uniform every time you modify the menu.
8 – Create regular special events
Taco Tuesday, Fish & Chip Friday, Oriental lunchtime, New York Saturday night, and Sunday ‘swing’ brunch, among many others. Use your imagination. The possibilities are endless! Let people know about your special event on your staff uniforms.
9 – Keep it simple
Print simple images of fruit, vegetables, drinks, desserts, or just your logo to personalise work wear without going over the top. Usually, when it comes to uniforms, less is more. A simple well curated picture can say more than an assortment of images. Use your corporate restaurant colours for the basic T-shirt to reflect your brand identity.
10 – Quick hit promotions
‘Review us now and get a free drink … link to review website page with star rating’. Of course you will probably only be able to afford one drink per person (maybe specify the drink) and customers would need to liaise with wait staff to show they are actually giving a review, but this could be easily managed.
Rapid-fire Ideas to Promote Your Restaurant
And now, we’re stepping away from our one true love for a bit (T-shirts) to give you some rapid-fire ideas for how you can promote your restaurant in general. The idea is that these are all actual things you can do right now (or at least fairly quickly):
11 – Run a contest
You could do something simple like a T-shirt giveaway, or get creative and let people create a new cocktail or dessert flavour combination.
12 – Give people an incentive to follow you on social media
Offer 10% off if they subscribe to your newsletter, or give them free WiFi for liking your page on Facebook — there are lots of ways you can get people to engage online with your restaurant.
13 – Train your staff on etiquette and polite behaviour
It’s surprising how many rude waiters there are out there. But it’s easily fixable, as a lot of them probably don’t realise how off-putting their behaviour can be. Do a quick training and give them pointers on proper etiquette.
14 – Visually emphasis the things you want people to buy on your menu
Some of your dishes will have higher profit margins than others. The best-designed menus make sure that guests’ eyes land right on that deliciously profitable meal.
15 – Give away T-shirts for a special occasion
Free tees equals people walking around with your restaurant’s logo or name on their backs…which equals free advertising! Need help finding the perfect tee? Get in touch with us.
16 – Create a loyalty card
These can be as simple as your regular business card with a grid of 10 squares on the back. For every 9 meals a guest buys, they could get 1 free (or something along those lines).
17 – Pimp your Instagram account
Instagram is such a great opportunity to get people’s mouths watering for your food. If your photography isn’t your strong point, team up with somebody who can show off your dishes to their best extent. Don’t forget to tag your photos with the location so everybody knows your restaurant is in X town or city.
18 – Add all the details to restaurant review sites (like Yelp and TripAdvisor)
Who hasn’t looked up a restaurant on one of these sites to find out if they want to go? Add as much detail and information as you can, especially nice photos of your food. Hours, address, phone number, and any perks (like WiFi or free parking) are also good to list.
19 – When somebody says something good about you, share the news!
Did you get a mention in a local magazine (or even a national one)? Share the news online, and if you can, get a clipping to put on display in your restaurant.
20 – Have an online menu available
Lots of people like to check out the offerings before they decide to visit your restaurant. Maybe they’re choosing between yours and another restaurant, and the deciding factor is how delicious your shrimp special sounds on your online menu, while the other place doesn’t say what they have. Websites like OpenMenu can help you post your menu online and have it look good.
Bonus points: do online reservations, too!
Printsome is a UK custom clothing printing agency offering t-shirt printing London to t-shirt printing Belfast and everywhere in between. For a quick quote, some advice on custom polo shirts, or simply a nice chat about your business clothing, just get in touch!