Would Starbucks coffee ice cream add to your dessert list? Would Billy Bob’s local barbeque sauce boost the sales of your ribs? Would an Oreo crust make your cheesecake sound more appealing? Many restaurant managers find that co-branding menu items leads to increased sales and stronger and more beneficial relationships between suppliers. Customers have an increased awareness of your product and may be more likely to try new items.
Before you meet with suppliers to brainstorm product uses—and to find out legal requirements for including product names on your menu and in your recipes—meet with your chef, food and beverage managers and other core employees. Pull up sales reports and look at menu items that fail to get selected. Then, brainstorm products that might improve the sales on these items or replace them with new items.
After you’ve decided to co-brand (or multi-brand), be sure to ask suppliers about marketing assistance. Many will provide signage and other marketing tools to bump sales for these products.
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