Table Tents and Table Top Restaurant Marketing Options

Table tents are being banned at a popular chain restaurant. Should you use table tents and other table top restaurant marketing options?

Table Tents and Table Top Restaurant Marketing Options: Yes or No?

One very notable casual dining chain has banned the use of table tents and cut off table top marketing options for their marketing department. In some respects, I can see the rationale and in fact agree with it.

Table tents have deteriorated in terms of both quality and content to the point that they become unnecessary clutter. We’ve all see those flimsy, floppy, tattered and torn table tents with a little bit of the steak fajita from the guests before still clinging on to one corner. We’ve also all seen those hard acrylic or Plexiglas table tents sponsored by a name-brand supplier pushing some ill-advised discount offer or ill-conceived happy hour program.

In this vein, I can completely agree with the top brass of the not-to-be-mentioned restaurant chain for taking table tents off the table, so to speak, for the marketing department. If it can’t be done right, better not to do it at all.

Zone Merchandising – Table Top Restaurant Marketing Options are Important

That said, zone merchandising is an incredibly powerful tool within the restaurant marketers arsenal and the table is one of the most important zones in the zone merchandizing toolkit.

In this light, both are right – the executives for disallowing poorly executed table tents and the marketers who are fighting for permissions and budgets to run professionally conceived table tent programs that are rooted in and reflective of the brand personality and positioning strategy.

When table tents litter or clutter a table top, they should be pulled and not allowed back into the system until the head of marketing is willing to take personal responsibility for superior execution (both in terms of quality and content of the table tent but also in terms of operational protocols working with your operations department). It’s hard for marketing to effectively fight for those mandated sales increases with one arm behind her back. That said, the fight should still have some ground rules and that should include a clear set of parameters on what can be done to the table top in terms of marketing.


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