Restaurant Promotional Products Buying Guide

Posted September 1, 2011



Why Buy Promotional Products for Your Restaurant?

Restaurants are places for people to come together, eat good food, and enjoy each other’s company. Likewise, catering companies and other food service companies seek to replicate the same fine-dining experience had in a restaurant at private parties and corporate events. While no one can argue that tasty food is a restaurant’s best salesperson, there are other ways to entice potential clients into your establishment.

Bars, restaurants, and catering services can use promotional products to expand the business to new markets, to uniform the waitstaff, or to enhance customer loyalty. While some of the products discussed in the upcoming pages can be used by the restaurant itself, many of the items featured here are ideal as customers giveaways. Whether you are thinking of purchasing new uniform shirts for your waitstaff, need customized pens and check presenters, or want a product to give your most loyal customers, InkHead will have a product that works for you and your budget.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the promotional restaurant items InkHead carries.

Customized Apparel for Restaurants

Most restaurateurs and caterers are intimately familiar with the old saying “the devil’s in the details.” The more attention given to the little things, the more impressive a dining experience is sure to be. One of the largest details to consider is the restaurant staff uniform, and InkHead’s selection of promotional apparel and custom workwear has several options.

Are you going for an upscale look to your restaurant? Are you trying to convey the same casual feel a patron may have when dining at home? Or are you looking for something in-between?

  • Custom Dress Shirts

    Perfect for high-end and upscale dining establishments, a promotional dress shirt will make sure that your waitstaff is easily distinguished from your restaurant’s patrons. Similarly, a catering staff will be discerned more simply if they are wearing a uniform that includes a custom dress shirt. InkHead carries dress shirts with both long- and short-sleeves and both men’s and women’s cuts.

  • Embroidered Polo Shirts

    Ideal for restaurants with mid-tier price points, personalized polo shirts add a small touch of refinement without being as stuffy (or in some cases, as costly) as dress shirts. Plus, the polo shirts will still make sure employees stand out against the restaurant patrons, making it easy for guests to know who to summon if they have an issue with their meal. Owners of restaurants with outdoor decks or patios may want to think about getting one of our performance polo shirts, which are made from materials designed to keep the wearer cool even when the weather is hot.

  • Custom T-Shirts

    Owners of bars and casual restaurants should think about going with imprinted t-shirts for the waitstaff. Not only will they convey a fun and relaxed image, they also make great giveaways to loyal customers. Enterprising? Why not sell the custom t-shirts to customers through a restaurant gift shop and turn the t-shirt designs into collector’s items! Regardless of the type of t-shirt, InkHead will have something to fit your employees and your marketing budget.

  • Promotional Aprons

    A staple of any waitstaff or restaurant uniform, embroidered aprons provide protection to employees’ clothing while also projecting an air of refinement to your customers. InkHead has several different aprons from which to choose, ranging from full-length to half-waist options. If you cannot locate an apron that works for you, please feel free to contact us at 800-554-0127 any time between 9 AM and 8 PM ET Monday through Friday to speak to a Promotions Specialist.

  • Custom Chef Wear

    Owners of restaurants with exposed kitchens will need to include the back-end restaurant staff in any promotional apparel decision-making. Not only will custom embroidered chef jackets and cook shirts impress diners, but they will also make the chef and cooks feel appreciated and an equal part of the restaurant staff. With a full selection of pants, hats, and shirts, InkHead can outfit your entire kitchen staff!

Custom Items for the Restaurant Waitstaff

An attractive uniform featuring custom apparel is a good first step for restaurants looking to enhance their image. Promotional pens, customized crumb scrapers, and printed check presenters decorated with the restaurant logo will underscore the restaurant branding to patrons in tasteful, subtle ways. Such products show customers an a refined attention to detail without seeming overpowering.

  • Promotional Pens

    Although many patrons enjoy “permanently borrowing” pens from servers, restaurant-owners won’t mind so much if the pens were customized with the restaurant logo! With a selection of more than 1500 pens, InkHead has a pen to fit any budget. Order some for the waitstaff and for the hostess stand!

  • Custom Check Presenters

    While more likely to be found in higher-end restaurants, custom check presenters are a subtle touch of branding that customers are bound to notice. As mentioned before, the devil is in the details. Impress customers by showing a fine attention to detail, starting with the check presenter.

  • Custom Crumb Scrapers

    As anyone who has seen a waiter use one can attest, crumb scrapers—used to clean tables covered with tablecloths—project quite an air of refinement at a restaurant. Crumb scrapers customized with the restaurant logo will quickly become coveted items among frequent patrons. Give them to the waitstaff or the restaurant guests, and you’ll be promoting the business either way.

Promotional Drinkware for Restaurants

Restaurants and other food service companies looking for an item to give guests to show appreciation for their continued patronage ought to think about getting one of the many custom drinkware items mentioned below. While not all of the options discussed can be used as the restaurant’s drinkware, all of the items considered here will make fabulous tokens of gratitude to customers.

  • Promotional Beverage Glasses

    Since most of InkHead’s beverage glasses are not manufactured to withstand the extreme heat of commercial dishwashers, they are better for customer appreciation events, such as pint nights or custom appreciation dinners. We have glasses in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 8-ounce juice tumblers to 16-ounce pilsner glasses.

  • Custom Coffee Mugs

    As with our selection of drinking glasses, not all of the coffee mugs and tumblers carried by InkHead are suitable for use at restaurants. That said, we do carry a selection of custom vitrified coffee mugs, which have been specially-fired to ensure that they can withstand the heat of commercial dishwashers. While not every coffee mug we offer is ideal for use inside the restaurant, any of the coffee mugs in the InkHead catalog would make a great item for the restaurant gift shop or as a promotional gift to frequent customers.

  • Printed Plastic Cups

    Plastic stadium cups are great for restaurants to use for to-go orders or kids’ meals. Order a few different styles and hand them out on different nights of the week to turn the cups into collector’s items among frequent patrons. Like other promotional drinkware, however, be careful if you plan to reuse the plastic cups at the restaurant due to the high temperatures of commercial dishwashers.

  • Customized Shot Glasses

    Few other promotional products say “let the good times begin” like custom shot glasses. Perfect for any restaurant or bar, shot glasses can be used as giveaways at promotional events, sold in the restaurant gift shop, and much more. However a restaurant or bar decides to use the shot glasses, customers will be excited to receive such a fun item that they can later use at their own parties and gatherings.

Custom Products for Restaurant Tables

InkHead carries several promotional items that would be perfect for use on each table at your bar or restaurant. While the restaurant’s cuisine or decor may dictate the most appropriate promotional product, all of the products below will better connect you to your customers.

  • Printed Napkins

    Impress patrons with your eye for detail by placing a stack of promotional napkins on each table in your establishment. We carry both beverage and dinner napkins, so you have an option when it comes to the size of your napkins. If you don’t want to add your logo, why not add a humorous note or question to kick-start conversations among your patrons?

  • Custom Placemats

    Although generally associated with diners and other quick-serve restaurants, custom placemats will add a touch of home or retro flare to the decor of any restaurant. Customize the placemat with the menu, location hours of operation or a personalized message to your establishment’s diners to keep them coming back.

  • Customized Towelettes

    Perfect for restaurants that serve food generally eaten by hand—ribs, chicken wings, or lobster, for instance—promotional towelletes customized with restaurant logo, phone number or hours of operation will improve the “stickiness” of the business. Restaurants with popular take-out or to-go services should also drop a couple of these in each order to encourage customers to dine in next time.

  • Promotional Tablecloths

    Although promotional cloths wouldn’t be used on every table in the restaurant, having one for the front of the restaurant may entice passers-by to enter or at least provide them with additional information about the business. A promotional table cloth for the emcee’s table would also make a great addition to the decor for trivia nights or karaoke events at the restaurant.

Other Custom Products for Restaurants

Here are some other items restaurant-owners can give to customers to entice show them their thanks, to entice them to visit again, or to remind them of the restaurant’s delivery options or location hours.

  • Custom Magnets

    Ideal for Chinese takeaway, pizzerias, and any otheProducts r restaurant with an active delivery or carry-out service, custom magnets can be used to inform customers of the location’s phone number, delivery area and phone number and any other little message the business-owner may want to add.

  • Custom Matchbooks

    Since matchbooks are not used as often as they once were, they are now a unique giveaway that bars and restaurants can offer patrons whenever they need a light. Not only will the matches serve a purpose to the recipients, but they will also subtly promote the bar or restaurant. By adding an eye-catching image, the bar-owner can even turn a customer’s shared cigarette with a stranger into a marketing opportunity for the business. Alternatively, InkHead offers a number of promotional lighters for restaurant-owners seeking a saleable item.

  • Customized Mints

    Sometimes, a great meal can stick around longer than necessary. Assist customers in fighting halitosis with promotional mints. InkHead carries a variety of mints, including several flavors and package types. For those planning to hand them out to customers, go with one of the individually-wrapped options. Any restaurant- or bar-owners looking for a saleable option should consider one of InkHead’s many mint tins.

The Bottom Line

The restaurant promotional products listed in this guide are just the beginning. While they cannot replace the good food, excellent service, or a pleasant ambience, they can remind customers of your location hours, upcoming specials and events, or just let them know how much you care!

Be sure to peruse the entire catalog to find other items that would work for your food service business. If you need assistance in locating an item, call our team of promotional experts at 800-544-0127 any time between 9 AM and 8 PM. One of them can assist you in locating an item, make product recommendations, and answer any questions you may have.

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InkHead Promotional Products
We make quality custom promotional products designed by you.
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Winder, GA 30680 United States
P: (800) 554-0127 | F: (800) 734-2179
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