The art of the impulse buy: A guide to product display stands for restaurants & cafes

Customers go to restaurants and cafes to buy food, but that doesn’t mean they’re thinking about buying anything from your product display stands. From branded sauces to festive gift cards, how do you encourage diners to purchase products they didn’t come in for? To attract customers’ attention to a specific product (or range of products) in your cafe or restaurant, consider these four smart methods:

1. Make it easy

It’s no accident that product display stands are placed next to the cash register - it gives shoppers less time to think about the purchase, making it more likely that they’ll act on an emotional impulse. If your displays are located elsewhere, make sure your restaurant or cafe is easy to navigate. A good way to do this is by examining where diners spend most of their time and displaying impulse buys in or close to those areas. Our product display stands are ideal for this kind of versatility - our skilfully crafted wooden structures are easily portable, can accommodate new products and are built to last.

2. Play on emotions

Italian chain Carluccio’s is a superb example of this. The cafe-deli litter the restaurant with product display stands filled with their own ingredients, sauces, recipe books and gift cards for diner’s to peruse at their own leisure and recreate dishes at home. It’s a more emotional and hedonic way of shopping, compared to planned rational purchases. Taste is a powerful sense - and diners can take home a little bit of the experience with them. Impulsive buying isn’t necessarily a negative behaviour - it can bring feelings of satisfaction and create stronger memories around a product, as opposed to the duty of rational buys.

3. Run special offers

A smart way to encourage shoppers to make snap decisions is to present them with offers that feel too good to miss out on. They doesn’t have to be extraordinary, just a cleverly presented message on your product display stands to make customers feel like they’re spending wisely and getting value for their money. These tried-and-tested methods are perfect:

- Limited time/edition offers. This is one of the most quick-fire methods to trigger an impulse buy at the point-of-purchase (POP) area - limiting the quantity of a product or limiting the time available to purchase it. Plenty of food manufacturers, restaurants and cafes only offer certain products and dishes at certain times of the year (looking at you, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte). It’s this sense of scarcity and urgency that inspires customers to impulse buy.

- Promote new and exclusive products. If a product looks new and exciting, customers will notice it. This doesn’t have to be an entirely new product - perhaps the branding has been changed, or the recipe updated. What’s important is to make sure your product display stands get the message across effectively.

- Value-for-money. ‘Three for two’, ‘buy one get one half price’, ‘buy two get two free’: whatever promotions you go for, customers will always react to a generous offer. Give them good value and watch their baskets increase.

4. Offer personalised recommendations

A quality wooden display stand with all the right messaging and all the right products can act as a powerful salesperson. But that doesn’t mean your restaurant staff should take the back seat. We all know how important it is when waiting staff go above and beyond to create a personalised dining experience. Extend that to your point-of-sales: if a diner has chosen a certain dish or product, suggest an item that’s relevant to their preference. Perhaps the recipe for a meal they loved is in your branded cookbook, or the biscuits served with their coffee are also available to buy in packs on your product display stands. Making it relevant can dramatically influence impulse buys.

With the right amount of urge-to-buy messaging and a well designed POP stand, customers will be attracted to the products on sale in your restaurant or cafe. Our well-designed product display stands respond to the needs of both our clients and their consumers. We’ve worked with everyone from Starbucks to Eat Natural, so we know how important the right POP communication paired with a quality wooden display stand can be in a food environment. Get in touch to see what we can do for your business - you’ll get a full-scale example of your wooden display stand at no extra cost, so you can see exactly how it will work in your restaurant or cafe.

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