Visual merchandising is multi-dimensional and hoteliers can choose from various ideas when designing displays. Most noticeably, merchandising is no longer considered an afterthought, it has emerged as something that restaurant and foodservice owners now consider a must – something as important as the kitchen design and the menu.
The key to designing a successful display is by conceptualizing brand’s value and mission onto the interiors and the menu. Merchandising utilizes product placement and displays to drive sales. It's an art form that relies on data and understands what drives consumers. When done well it pushes a brand narrative that evokes something aesthetically pleasing and relatable. It can also provide touch points so consumers understand how to interact with products, especially at a time when the customers are distracted.
The intention of visual merchandising is to create stopping points and increase customer’s curiosity. It's very effective to be able to do that during the festive season as it tends to be a pretty rich and deep merchandising environment. Below are the sure shot ways to ace the visual strategy:
Color Is King: Color is powerful; it can either make or break the store’s visual displays. The hotel or the foodservice joint might have an erratic display but if the colors coordinate well, the display can still be a work well together. Consider using contrasting colors or monochromatic colors for creating intriguing and eye-catching displays.
Start with Merchandising: Most new restaurant and foodservice joint incorporate merchandising displays and areas right from the start. Smart owners have their interior designer work alongside a merchandising consultant so there is no need to redesign your restaurant when you decide to put a merchandising program in place.
Use Menu as a Power Tool: Menu is the greatest marketing tool and should be used beyond simply listing the dishes and their prices. The average customer will spend around three minutes looking at the menu, so it needs to attract them to not only order the most profitable items but want to order more than just one. The menu should be designed in such a way that it entices the customers to come back to try other dishes.
Create a Focal Point: Where does the viewer’s eye focus on your display? Do their eyes move toward a specific location on the display or are they confused about where to look? Create a hotspot--or focal point for the customers. Examine your display from the customer’s point of view to ensure that they can easily view the hotspots and merchandise. Remember, the focal point is the food service and customer service of the restaurant, not a visual element you use to add to the story.
Tell a Story: Use powerful, sales-enabling designs to display the USP of the restaurant. By telling a story, the customer understands the offerings better and enables the buying decision.
Use empty space wisely: The section between the displayed merchandise and the ceiling is the most underutilized. This space can be used for many different things, like signage providing information about restaurant or the star staff members. You could also display customer testimonials with the customer’s name and picture.
Visual merchandising tells the story of a brand. It's not just about product placement in a store but also about enveloping customers in an experience. At a time of increased competition, thoughtful merchandising can be a key factor for increasing sales. Visual merchandising can create a deep connection of the brand with the consumer.