Covid-19 has turned takeout into a critical form of restaurant service in the past year, and as such, many tools and innovations have helped improve takeout operations. One of the smallest yet most versatile of these tools is the humble sticker.
Stickers have found small ways to make a big difference in both marketing aspects and operational processes with to-go orders. Incorporating different types of stickers and labels into current takeout efforts can help restaurants and bars save time while building their brand.
Here are five ways to use stickers with takeout orders to help build your business.
Labeling. The first and most obvious use of a sticker is for labeling products. From jams to sauces to drinks and catering to-go, a printed label looks professional and makes it easy to name what’s inside. Include ingredients, instructions, logos or product details so that you don’t have to write this information on the sticker every time you package the product.
Branding. Creating a sticker embossed with a logo can help boost your brand when affixed to just about anything. The brand recognition allows customers to further identify with the business. Some places to put a logo sticker:
• On takeout orders as a seal.
• In takeout bags as a gift to customers.
• On computers, water bottles, or anywhere customers might see when paying for their orders.
• Near the checkout counter for customers to take.
• On food or drink packaging.
A benefit to adding a free sticker inside the bag of takeout orders or at the checkout register is that not only will people consider it a fun addition to their order they weren’t expecting, but it’s a great way to promote the business when people stick it to their personal items.
Sealing for freshness. Being able to keep food and drink fresher for longer is key when guests order takeout. The restaurant or bar may not always know how long it will take for the food to arrive at a customer’s door, or how long it will take for the customer to pick it up. Keeping a tight seal on boxes and bags will add to the longevity of hot food.
Add a tamper-evident label to show customers their food and drink is safely sealed while in transit. Some of these stickers have perforated sections, or are large enough to simply fold over the top of a bag to show it’s sealed. This kind of sticker is especially great for sealing cocktails to-go.
Including instructions or notes. Stickers with a matte finish and blank space or lines make it easy for employees to write specific notes on an order. The extra space adds to the efficiency of labeling food items that rotate frequently.
Some of the types of notes to leave on a sticker:
• Special instructions or details about the product.
• Directions for adding last touches to food or drink.
• The name of the product or ingredient list.
• Customer names or order numbers.
• Any other quick or last minute note as needed.
Ultimately these stickers save employees’ time by allowing for better organization. They help keeps takeout orders moving quickly so customers spend less time waiting around, plus stickers can make each food item more readily identified once the customer is unpacking it at home.
Using QR codes to connect further. A QR code can link to any number of websites such as online menus, landing pages, social media channels, ordering systems and review sites with a quick scan of a smartphone. This allows the sticker to be a seal while doubling as a customer engagement tool.
Add a quick note to “View our menu” or “Follow us on Instagram,” but take up the majority of the space of the sticker with the code itself so it’s easy to scan. A QR code leads to a greater chance the customer will connect and engage with the business past picking up one to-go order.
Any of these uses for stickers can improve marketing and operational processes. And with the restaurant industry being a fast-paced environment, any potential for saving time while promoting business is a significant advantage.
Elizabeth Riggio is a copywriter at MustHaveMenus, an online service that helps restaurants and bars design and print professional-grade menus and marketing materials.