6 Tips On Selling Restaurant Merchandise

6 Tips On Selling Restaurant Merchandise

Think of some of the most iconic restaurants and cafe’s from past and present. Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafe, Wahlburger’s…..they all did something specific to set themselves apart. They created not only a place where people love to eat and drink, but they created a BRAND. A lot of this was done through selling branded merchandise and a collection of other products.  Selling merchandise with your restaurant logo can help with a number of things like increasing customer loyalty, free advertising (t-shirts are like a walking billboard) and increase revenue through the sales of hard goods.

In order to introduce merchandise into your restaurant there are a number of key things to consider. Merchandise is a form of marketing and you want to make sure you have a clear strategy in place when adding logo’d goods to your business.



Set up your merchandise in a highly visible and high traffic area of your establishment. A lobby area or near the cash registers is the best place to place merchandise. The goods will be seen each time customers enter and leave your restaurant. You can also add a small flyer in your check presenters that are given to every table when they are ready to close out their bill.

Set Up An Online Store

In addition to selling in your physical location(s), if you have a website, add your merchandise to your website. Promotional products distributors offer services like online storefronts, order processing, warehousing and kitting so you don’t have to have the worry of housing additional goods and shipping. There are also ways to add your goods to your social channels and market them and sell them that way as well!

Choose QUALITY Merchandise

Restaurants have hundreds of budgetary things to keep track of each week and month, so budgets can be a concern. But in the case of merchandise, you don’t want to go cheap and cut corners. Remember, the merchandise you sell is  a representation of your brand. Items like t-shirts, drinkware and hats are usually the biggest sellers and are available at many different price points. Choose wisely and get samples of everything you are considering adding to your merchandise line before you make final decisions. It’s always best to see, touch and feel products before making final decisions.

Know Your Audience

When choosing your product line, colors and taglines, you should always considering the demographic that frequents your restaurant? Age, gender, occupation, income and location are all things to consider. Vague assumptions or estimated guesses aren’t good. Developing your customer avatar will increase your restaurant merchandise sales, because you can choose styles and lines that fit within that specific demographic. It helps you personalize your line of goods toward those that will buy!

Have Your Staff Wear Your Goods

We already discussed product placement. But another ingenious way to market your restaurant merch is by having the apparel be incorporated into your staff uniforms. This is  a great way to show off all of the apparel you have available for purchase as well as another form of free advertising. Another bonus? Employee apparel and uniforms ca be used as a tax write off!

Partner With a Merchandising Expert

From choosing the perfect goods for your restaurant, to strategy on how to correctly display the products, as well as selling online, promotional products distributors are experts in product selection and marketing. Make sure you partner with an industry expert that can handle the process for you.

If you are interested in consulting with our team at Pica Marketing Group on a restaurant merchandising strategy, please contact Paul Zafarana: paul@picamarketinggroup.com


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