At Concepts for Profit® we help foodservice operators and distributors stay up to date on helpful training resources available to support effective merchandising and food safety in foodservice. Check here for the latest updates on training programs to support your business.
Training for Effective Merchandising in Foodservice:
Every foodservice establishment shares the same mission each day: Provide guests a compelling reason to visit – and to continue coming back for more. The challenge begins at the front-of-the-house with the first impressions the guest encounters in relation to service and product quality. The interior of the establishment can be utilized strategically as a marketing vehicle to convey favorable impressions to influence the diner’s experience and improve the profitability of the transaction.
Marketing Within the Establishment
While many foodservice operators focus correctly on advertising and promoting outside the establishment through traditional media and social media, many savvy operators also recognize the opportunity to use the interior space within the establishment to tastefully merchandise and promote products that add excitement, drive profitable impulse purchases, and convey the quality and value of the menu offering.
Depending on the type of establishment, appropriate front-of-the-house merchandising can occur at the various points of purchase, which in some cases may be at the tabletop where guests dine and receive their bill, at the counter where guests place their order, at or behind the bar, and near the cash register.
Increasing Profits with Tasteful, Strategic Merchandising
When done tastefully and strategically within the establishment, utilizing the front-of-the-house merchandising power of national brands that carry strong consumer loyalty can help drive the following positive outcomes for the business:
- Prompt impulse sales of higher margin items
- Up-sell products in the appetizer, beverage, and dessert categories
- Promote exciting new menu items that sell without discounting
- Introduce “grab-and-go” items that guests can take back to the home or office
- Increase overall guest check average
Each foodservice operator ultimately decides which national brands reflect the right quality and value proposition of their establishment. In doing so, the “tools of the trade” in tasteful and strategic use of branded merchandising within the establishment may include branded counter displays, tabletop and table tent promotions, branded bakery and dessert display cases, attractive food photography in the form of posters or counter cards, and various branded wait staff/server promotional tools.
Many national brand manufacturers make available a wide variety of powerful merchandising tools to foodservice operators simply with the agreement to use the national brand in the establishment. See the current branded merchandising offerings featured on the Concepts for Profit website here.
The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) offers an online training course titled: NACS Merchandising & Packaging with strategic guidance for effective planning, comprehension of consumer buying behaviors, and key tactics to design attractive in-store displays. Visual merchandising concepts, lighting, signage, packaging, and use of planograms. The use of color and accessories, equipment selection and layout, and a gallery of foodservice operation photos provide ideas for in-store application. In addition, participants will complete an interactive audit of their merchandising and foodservice packaging to identify key opportunities. See additional details here.
Food Safety Training:
Easy access to online training programs help your team understand fundamental food safety principles, basic regulatory requirements (FDA, FSMA, USDA) and industry best practices to support food safety compliance.
Online training programs are scientifically-based and have been developed by Anne Barker-Smith, a Professional Food Technologist and senior level executive with 35 years of experience in the food industry and extensive knowledge of a broad base of products, quality assurance, and food safety systems including SQF and FSMA’s Preventive Controls.
The training programs can be bundled to elevate key staff member’s full understanding of food safety goals and objectives, or used as stand-alone a la carte training to help meet minimum job performance requirements. Learn more at absctraining.learnupon.com.