Your favorite restaurants are serving up much more than delicious bites these days. According to the National Restaurant Association, industry sales are expected to hit a record high of $709.2 billion in 2015. That translates to extra spending money for promotions—and a whole lot of loaded potato skins. Just ask Arlene Packles (that is, about the spending part).
As the owner of apg group, Jersey City, N.J., Packles regularly works with restaurants to ensure their door signs are always set to “open.” These partnerships often are planned in advance, but sometimes opportunities arise by chance, say, on a lunch break.
Here, Packles tells the story of how her hankering for an inexpensive falafel sandwich turned into a lucrative marketing campaign.
Print+Promo (P+P): Describe a promotion of yours that you consider one of apg group’s best.
Arlene Packles (AP): apg group has produced various menus and check holders in small quantities over the years, but we recently handled a larger campaign for a chain of small falafel restaurants. By chance, I walked into the establishment to get lunch and I noticed that the type on the employees’ T-shirts was wearing off. (I didn’t realize it at the time that this was a famous Zagat-rated falafel restaurant.) I asked for the owner and introduced myself. I then proceeded to explain why the type on the shirts was not lasting. I got my first order for 500 T-shirts.
P+P: What items were featured in this promotion?
AP: The initial promotion featured T-shirts. The client was pleased with how his T-shirts came out so he gave me other projects that featured baseball caps and aprons.
P+P: How was this a profitable promotion for your company? For your client?
AP: After the T-shirt order, the client asked me for baseball caps, and then I found out that his restaurant had other locations. Not only was the owner happy with the results, but the employees liked the shirts I supplied much better as well. I was later asked to do work for two other locations, one of which was a franchise. We also provided aprons for a grand opening of one of their locations.
P+P: Did you encounter any challenges with this particular promotion? If so, how did you overcome them?
AP: This project went off without a hitch. We had to adjust the client’s logo a few times, but didn’t have any problems. Most clients are not able to create proper files and no matter how many questions you ask up-front, something pops up. And for the new locations, we set the type.
P+P: Is there anything you would like to add?
AP: I always told myself that I would never walk in and out of various stores, but my $3.50 sandwich turned into a great client and account. On a side note, a few weeks ago, I got lost on my way back from a printer’s open house and ended up in the same town where one of the new restaurants is located. I surprised my client, which got me brownie points and good news of upcoming orders.