There are some noteworthy examples of companies using advertising on restaurant menus successfully. But is it a “must do” or “faux pas?”
Of all of the restaurant chains in the world, no other chain comes close to matching the average unit volume of Cheesecake Factory. Across 135 locations they average $10.9 million each. It was certainly a surprise then to see them selling ad space in their menus for other retailers.
While running F&B marketing for a luxury hotel, we even bought ad space to promote the new $20 million spa. Boy, was it expensive. Recently, I also saw a small oyster bar in my hometown had sold not just space in their menu, but even their table tops – virtually everything was for sale.
My opinion on menu ads is mixed and depends heavily on the concept in question. For the right concept though, this can be a great way to forge new relationships in the community while also getting all of your menu production costs covered. Some actually turn a small profit they invest back into marketing. For more see: Menu Advertising: Selling Out or Selling Smart