Thursday, June 21, 2012

To-Go Fliers Long Term

To-go fliers have a slow return in the beginning, but the repetitive ad on every to-go order will become familiar to the customers.  To make the advertisement effective, the customer must see the advertisement repetitively before they take action.  The customer, seeing the ad for weeks to months, will now respond and call for birthday parties, communions, block parties or company picnics.  If they don’t contact you directly, they call the restaurant for your information.

I once received a call from a lady looking to book me for her son’s first birthday.  She told me that I entertained at a restaurant that they visited.  She was so impressed with me that she kept my business card and told her husband that she was going to hire “Magical Balloon-dude Dale for their son’s first birthday.” It only took three years before she called to book me. She told me that my business card was in her wallet all that time.

Consider a minimum of six months for a to-go advertisement campaign to start working. If starting a to-go flier, consider budgeting for one year. Pay-offs will come in years to follow. Customers save restaurant menus. If your to-go flier is attached to a menu, then your ad will be seen every time the customer orders or is looking through their take out menus.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Trifecta of Marketing

Opportunities can be made and should not be overlooked.  In an early example, I discussed piggybacking off of a community fair advertising; by having the restaurant advertised on the marquee.  Expand your marketing by having the to-go filers advertise you during these weeks. Local customers will receive a community flier in the mail. They will recognize your name from the restaurant marquee and than the to-go fliers from the restaurant.  This trifecta of marketing is quick and efficient and can brand you to the event and to the restaurant.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To-Go Flier Cost

We are going to assume that cost is an issue and we only going to make 101 copies.  We could make 100 copies, but I have learned that price breaks for coping drop over 100.  By adding 1 copy you can reduce coping price as much as $0.10 a copy.  Check with your local copier to find out what the price break structure.

Let’s produce 101 fliers at a cost of $0.39 a color copy. Three dollars a cut; each flier requires three cuts. Cut one vertically divides the two columns, cuts 2 & 3 are horizontal cuts separating the to-go fliers. Cost = (101 X $0.39) + (3 X $3.00), total $48.39 + tax. For simplicity I will round the total to $50.00. Six hundred and six to-go fliers produced, each flier will cost $0.08.  Comparing the price of producing a to-go flier to the cost of one 260 balloon (bought after shipping and tax) is cheap advertising.

In only weeks, the restaurant would have attached 606 fliers to all the to-go orders. The entertainer pays nothing for labor cost or stapling cost. The reward for producing the to-go flier is… every carry out customers and local businesses now have an opportunity to learn about your entertainment service through the to-go flier. You could not have reached these potential customers without the help of the restaurant.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Developing a To-Go Flier

The goal in creating a to-go flier is to make a flier that is interesting, colorful and large enough to get the vital information across.  You want people to remove the to-go flier form the order and read it. Remember this is an advertisement for the restaurant and you.

I choose to use a 2 x 3 gird layout.  This would be large enough to place a season balloon sculpture, large text, week day & time of entertainment, restaurant name, website address and telephone number.  I would develop this material myself and take it to a local printer for quick color coping. I wanted color so it would be interesting and give customers something to read while eating. I would have the printer cut the flier to the proper size.  I learned it was more efficient to have the printer cut the filers. Cost was $2.00 per cut, but they were ready to distribute ASAP.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

To-Go Fliers

One evening I observed that the takeout orders for the restaurant were steady, while the din-in was slow. This is nothing unusual; on other days it is exact the opposite. What I did notice is that every order went out had a menu stapled to the order. Bingo! It hit me. Why not include a to-go flier adverting kids’ night on the takeout orders. I talked with the owners and they said “if I make up fliers, they would staple them to the to-go orders”. At first I thought, “hmm, shouldn’t the owner pay for the fliers?” After all it’s his business. Then I really thought about it. How many companies allow you to advertise directly to their customers? None! So I took it upon myself to create the to-go fliers, with printing and cutting it cost about $0.07 for each flier. That’s about the price of a high quality business card.

I figured to have 600 fliers made at $0.07 a flier. It would cost me $42.00 dollars a month for flier advertising. So I had a 600 flyers made, and surprisingly that’s only a little more than a three weeks worth of flyers. So, I decided each month to have 600 flyers distributed. I told the owner I had enough made for the first five months and if it works, would he consider splitting the cost on the next run. He said he will think about it, and that is all I can ask for now.

As the months wore on and we approached the slow season (January-March) management opted to cancel kid’s night.  I have not given up on the to-go flier idea.  I have presented the idea to my Friday night restaurant and the owner asked, “Are you advertising kid’s night or just you.”  I told him it would be both. I would advertising about kid’s night with both our contact information.  His reply was “Yah, go ahead.”  When I asked how many should I have made, he informed me they do about 200 to-go orders on Friday and Saturday nights and about 100+ orders during the week; So about 1,000 fliers a week.  I jumped at this opportunity to advertise. Advertising would start at the end of January when times are slow and because the restaurant is close to home, be marketing to local community. My goal is to reap the rewards later in the year by increasing my party business and to pickup business in the slow months too.

Restaurant entertainers should have a to-go flier in their arsenal of marketing material and present it to restaurant management.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity to advertise to 100’s if not 1,000’s of people each week. Make it a win-win for both you and your restaurant.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Become Part of the Advertisements

Entertainers need to be alert because opportunities arise and they simply overlook opportunities at restaurants. My Thursday night restaurant was reprinting their menus and I suggested they add me to the activity page.

Many restaurants have a simple plastic insert that allows management to add a specials or holiday events into the standard menu. I suggested they consider having an insert page incorporated into the new menu design.  The owners, wanting to save cost, decided to advertise my services directly back of the menu.  This was more than I expected, but will take the free press. On the back cover of the menu it reads:

Every Thursday Night from 5:30-7:30
Come see Magical Balloon Dude Dale
Our Amazing Balloon Artist

The restaurant included pictures of me performing in their franchise brochure to help sell the restaurant birthday and field trip parties

The owner has decided to revamp their website and have added me to the main page. They have even gone as far as providing a link to my web site and created a slideshow of kids with balloons.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Available for All Events

Restaurant entertainers must be aware of activities occurring at the restaurant.  Owners are always looking to promote their business and can quickly overlook entertainment especially if the event is off-site.  Aggressive restaurant owners will schedule promotional events at malls or business expos to market their restaurant.  Entertainers can use these opportunities to help the restaurant draw attention to its booth and be able to promote their business while at the event. These off-site restaurant events provide opportunities for entertainers to garner public exposure and to pass out business cards.

Expanding management’s interpretation of your entertainment potential can only come from the entertainer.  By participating at an off-site event, the entertainer will draw crowds and their knowledge of the restaurant, along with their people skills, can greatly benefit the restaurant marketing.

Restaurants participate in seasonal events from local business expos, community carnivals, holiday gift certificate drives to promotions in malls to name a few.  So, talk with the restaurant owner, let them know you are available to work all events, not just kids night. Expand management’s perception of entertainment and show them the possibilities of using the restaurant entertainer at other events.