Restaurant Promotion Idea # 35 :- Digital Display to Market your Specials

Digital display board


By utilizing digital displays you can do away with printing of posters to promote your specials as well as products. You can even add a few different promotions and just allow the display to play the pictures. If you were to use the traditional printed poster you would need to print several different posters intended for various promotions. Besides to placing them around the restaurant hoping the customer will see it. A moving picture show will catch people’s attention as opposed to a static poster. You can even change your promotions and specials weekly and fast.

You can buy a software that you can plug to your LCD TELEVISION or you can even use a DVD player that can work using a USB flash drive. You will find quite some not to expensive USB compatible DVDs available in the market now. Just create a few jpeg pictures of your specials, put it on a flash drive, connect it into your DVD and play. Ensure the time between pictures are not too fast or too slow. Making use of Digital Display to promote merchandise, specials as well as menus have long the retail and the fast food business. But restaurants are slow to use this promotional idea. Some restaurants have a television set up in their dining area, which they will show movies, news or sporting events. I have noticed that most people are not interested in what’s on TV. If they wanted to watch TV, they wouldn’t have come out for dinner. Put it to use as a promotional board. Place some nice pictures along with unique taglines on it. If you are in a location with heavy traffic, a digital board behind your window. Pictures of delicious foods will tempt customers to stroll in.

Depending on your customers. To create the jpeg pictures I use Powerpoint and “Save as” jpeg. Make sure your food pictures are sharp or else it will break up on the screen. Add some unique or funny tag lines. This will capture the attention of your customers.

Bear in mind these days people don’t have the time to read lengthy taglines. Visit some famous fast food outlets such as McDonalds, Burger King and Starbucks. These people go to great lengths to study exactly what captures people’s attention. As the saying goes ” A picture paints 1000 words”. You won’t have to worry if your employees don’t explain a promotion, cause the picture will tell all.

You can place your LCD Display anywhere. At the entrance, at the hostess stand, at your waiting lounge as well as at several location of the restaurant. Cost might be factor with regards to setting up a digital promotion board. But its a one time installation as compared to printing posters. You need to brand new posters for new promotion. With a digital board you just design your products and uploaded it into the screen. If you don’t need it anymore, you just delete it.

Below are some of the specials that I created on Powerpoint and uploaded on my Digital Display

Digital Poster 1

Digital Poster 2

Digital Poster 3


How To Start a Successful Restaurant: GUIDE

If dreams of opening a restaurant have filled your thoughts for years, it might be time to sit down and draw up a plan to open your own business. To help you create a recipe for success, we’ve put together a how-to-get-started guide to make sure you have all the ingredients you need to open your restaurant with confidence.

While starting a restaurant is exciting, it’s also time consuming and one of the toughest businesses to successfully launch. In fact, 60 percent of restaurants fail in the first year.

We’re not telling you this to temper you passion. We’re merely pointing out that if you want a successful restaurant, you’ll need to invest some serious time and money.

What’s the biggest reason for failure? Lack of planning. Before you ever make dinner for a customer, you’ll spend a lot of time figuring out every detail of your restaurant. From kitchen appliances and menus to floors plans and staff selections, the planning stage will make or break your restaurant.

To help you plan, fund, and manage your new restaurant, we’ve asked three owners to share their trade secrets. Kim Strengari owns three successful restaurants in the Philadelphia region, including Stella Blu. Yuen Yung owns fast sushi restaurants called How Do You Roll? which received a million dollar investment from the hit ABC show “Shark Tank,” and now has 10 stores in the U.S. Lambrine Macejewski, is the co-founder of Cocina 214, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in Winter Park, Florida. Below are their tips for success.


Have the right intentions

If you want to make it as a restaurant owner, you have to love what you do, Kim Strengari says. While she knew a restaurant was the right path for her, she had to work nights cleaning office buildings to make ends meet when she first opened her restaurant.
“I wanted the restaurant more then anything else in life, so the sacrifices were endless and I never minded making them,” she says.
To be successful, you’ll invest a lot of time and money—so make sure that starting a restaurant is your passion, not just a business venture you hope will make money.

Have a solid business plan in place

You can’t scratch a business plan out on a cocktail napkin. You need a detailed business plan that charts the course for your success. That said, we suggest beginning with a “lean plan” rather than the cliché long, dry business plan. 

Yuen Yung’s plan included a list of everything he would need to buy for the restaurant. “It looked like a novel by the time we were done,” he says. “But it helped us stay on budget and keep track of our capital.”Your business plan should include market research, a comprehensive look at your competitors, explain your target audience, outline marketing plans, and offer a solid budget projection. To get you started, check out these templates specifically for restaurant planning, or check out LivePlan software that will walk you through the process.


Location, location, location

With a restaurant, location is everything. You need a spot that draws crowds, is easily accessible, and has potential for growth. Of course, you need a location that fits within your budget too. The perfect spot can be hard to find, so take your time, Yuen Yung says.Whether you rent space or build from scratch, selecting a location is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an owner.

Test your menu

You probably have several stellar dishes in mind for your new restaurant, but you’ll want to test them out before you laminate your first menu, Yung says.“Have a small party and invite people over to try your food before you open. Get honest feedback from people on the taste, the pricing, and the location.”

You might love the taste of a certain dish, but if customers won’t pay for it or aren’t keen on its taste, you won’t make money.


Product Coffee Shop Secrets


Cost Only $67
60 days unconditional money back guarantee 

There are some people within the coffee shop industry who have not been telling the truth about how much it actually cost to open a coffee shop or open a coffee service business. There are two reasons for this.

1. They are trying to sell you something. Either some really expensive equipment, or some expensive consulting.

2. “They” don’t want to create more competition for themselves (ie, other coffee shop owners).

Wayne Mullins a former co-owner of two successful coffee shops have written this e book called Coffee Shop Secrets which is designed to walk you through the entire process of opening a coffee shop

Coffee Shop Secrets is not for people who think they can sit on their couch and have a coffee shop magically open for you. Opening a coffee shop is work! But Coffee Shop Secrets will guide you straight through the process with the fewest possible mistakes (saving you money and your valuable time).


Unique Selling Proposition with Afresco Dining

Adding an Alfresco Dining to draw in Customers.

Other then the food or beverages served in the restaurant, you also need look into the Unique Selling Proposition of your restaurant. Unique Selling Proposition is why customers choose your restaurant over your competitors. One way is to add an Alfresco Dining Area.
Grand lexis 3Adding an alfresco dining area is a great way to increase seating for any busy restaurant and is also a great unique selling proposition to draw in customers. The term “alfresco” comes from an Italian word meaning fresh or open air. I am not sure what is it about an open air dining area that it adds elegance to any dining experience. People also believe that food eaten outdoors taste better. Maybe it’s the sunshine and warm breeze that creates a “I’m on vacation” feeling,

As Malaysia is blessed with warm weather throughout the year, outdoor dining is a favorite option among diners especially from people cooped up in the office 5 days a week. This is the reason that I have setup an outdoor dining area on the roof of the hotel that I worked. The Roof Top Restaurant has a great view of the sea especially when the sun sets. So much so that I have added a special sunset happy hour with beers at a special price. I have even purchased two coin operated binoculars so people can look out into the sea.

If your place has a great full moon view on the sea, you can do what I did in Cherating which was have a full moon happy hour. The full moon nights are really beautiful as the moon lights up the sea. What I did was look at the Chinese calendar which is quite easy to get in Malaysia. From there you will get the dates of when the moon is at its fullest. As we had quite a number of long stay guests who normally stayed a week, we put into their rooms that there will be a beautiful full moon in three days time. So on the full moon nights we opened the pool bar which was near the sea, played light instrumental music and served beverages and bar snacks. There were a quite a number of people just sitting having drinks and enjoying the moonlight. Entertainment is provided by mother nature and its free.

Here is an article on an outlet that has benefited from having a Patio in their establishment, Patio investments pay off for Crave, Psycho Suzi’s

Here’s great another article on 4 Ideas to Boost Patio Business

How to Open a Restaurant in 8 weeks in Malaysia

Product How to Open your Restaurant in 8 weeks
Cost Only RM89.90 (approx. U$29.00)

Starting a restaurant looks very lucrative simply because people generally love to eat and we eat out lot..!! Asians are some lucky lots who can afford to have breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and supper without having to know how to cook and without poking huge holes in our wallets. Eating out is part of our culture. We eat out all the time.

This explains the numerous restaurants, cafes, warungs, bistros, or kopitiams in almost every corner of Asian countries. It seems like everyone knows and wants to open a restaurant. You don’t need to be a chef to open a restaurant. In fact, most restaurant owners can’t even cook.! Many are politicians, singers, actors, models, housewives, retirees, businessmen who love food or even foreigners who want to introduce food from their homelands. While anybody can open a restaurant, it takes a trully hardworking, dedicated and discipline entrepreneur to open and operate a successful restaurant.

Here is a detailed step-by-step ebook to guide you in planning your finances, obtaining necessary licenses and opening your first restaurant in Malaysia


4 Things to Consider in a Good design and Layout Plan for a Restaurant

How to Start a RestaurantA successful restaurant will need a good design and layout plan. Design and layout plans are dependent on different factors which will influence the final decisions later on.

In fact, the output of the layout plans can definitely affect the success of the restaurant. People often go to a new restaurant and they think to themselves “they should have put that plant elsewhere, it obstructs the good view” or “I wish they hadn’t put too much light in here.” These are small things which can really add up and end up influencing the customers to go to the other side of the street where another restaurant is calling out to their taste buds. Here are the 4 things to consider:

• Density of customers

The layout plan should be based mostly on the comfort of the patrons. Even fast food restaurants consider the density of people, especially in peak hours, even though it may seem that these restaurants become too crowded during lunch time.

For formal dining restaurants which cater to the upper class income, it may be wise to provide more space between the tables since these restaurants don’t really rely on the number of people per day. Their revenues depend on the pricing of the food items. There should be more provision for eye candy such as furniture and art works.

• Style of service

The layout and floor plans should also be based on the type of service that the restaurant will give. Fast food restaurants and self-service restaurants would need less distance between the tables since the food won’t be served there. For other restaurants which provide table service, the space between the tables is very important so as to prevent too much clutter from happening in a specific part of the restaurant.

• Type of building

The layout plan is restricted by the type of structure where the restaurant will be built. You should be able to take into consideration all the different curves and the minor details in the structure before proceeding.

• Lighting

Proper lighting is very important for every restaurant. The lighting should be able to match the mood and the type of service of the restaurant. A relaxed atmosphere can be complemented by bright lighting while serene and serious moods can be accompanied by subtler shades.

Ray Freeman is the author of “How To Start A Restaurant Business Following A Profitable System”. If you would like to learn more about this topic, please visit:


Create your Restaurant Menu

How to Create your Restaurant Menu

Another great marketing instrument that is generally overlooked will be your restaurant menu. As I’ve mentioned in my Previous Post “Creating Great Customer Service Culture, first impression is important. Preparing the menu takes a lot of work and a lot of planning. You need to do it step by step. And you can’t skip any of these steps. Below are the steps.

Restaurant Concept

Firstly, you have to identify what is your restaurant concept and what type of customers that you want to attract. Look around at your area, other restaurant premises and what others are offering. You have to know whether the community are young working adults, families or college students. This will determine the style, quality and portion sizes of the food that you will feature on your restaurant menus. It would be suicidal to open a fine dining restaurant in a community of families who normally dine together.

Market Analysis Market

Market analysis is an important part in planning your menu for your restaurant. You need to know what others are selling, what the locals want. The market analysis also can help you with your menu prices so as to be inline with the income of the community in your area. Its no point to create an expensive menu for a community that are in the middle income category. You will then have an empty restaurant and a fridge full of expensive items.

Consult your Chef

In one episode of Restaurant Makeover, the Makeover Chef tells the Restaurant Chef that “Chefs create menus not owners“. This is true, only the chef knows what he is good at. Its no point for the owner to come out with the menu that the chef is not able to cook it well. Firstly consult with your Chef and also review your current menu with him. Take into consideration of your top sellers and the poorest selling items. This is to identify what to remove and what to keep. Also take into consideration the local likes and what others is offering. The items in your menu may be limited to the size of your kitchen or by the equipment that you have. If you want to try something new you have to be prepared to buy the equipment that your chef needs for his menu. Also take into consideration the skill level of your staff both in the kitchen and at the front. Its no point to create a fine dining menu when the staffs are not skilled enough to prepare or sell it. Also the raw items should be readily available or you will have a menu with lots of sold out items.

Menu Pricing
Knowing the costs of your items that you plan to sell means success to your business. By carefully calculating the food cost you can determine the price that you will be selling. But saying that, you also need to be aware what your competitors are selling, so as not to overprice your items thus turning away business. That’s where your market analysis comes into play. There are numerous website giving out free templates that you can use for calculating your food. One such site is Menu Costing Templates

Designing Your Menu
wpid-Menu-front-page-150x150.jpegAs mentioned in my previous post Free Restaurant Menu Templates that a restaurant menu is an important key to promote what your chef has to offer. In the menu you will list what is available in your restaurant. Splendidly prepared menus will really entice the customer to dine within your place. I’ve learned that beside scrumptious sounding write ups, mouthwatering images will definitely appeal to customers to try something new. Sometimes I feel that the customers usually are not clear on what to order, so they normally will order the norm. Shying away from something unique or different that your chef have conjured up. Thus a picture will give the customer a visual taste of what’s coming. In that post I also suggested some free templates sites so you don’t have to take the trouble of designing the menu from scratch.

Proofread and print final design
Go through the entire menu with a fine tooth comb as error will make you look like a fool and also once printed its costly to reprint again. You could also hire a professional editor. You can do what I normaly do, is to pass around to a few friends who are quite ok in English and ask their opinion. After all the people that is going to read your menus are normal people not restauranteurs. So if they can’t understand what you are trying to drive at, how do you expect your customers.

After all this is done, sent out your menu for printing. In my next post I will give you ways on promoting your restaurant menu.