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Futzing With Fast Food Menus :

Almost every day I come home from work and invariably there is a door hang menu or flier for a local fast food restaurant attached to the door of the apartment where I live.

Why do managers of fast food places do this?

The flier goes straight in the rubbish and I can almost guarantee that ninety-eight to ninety-nine percent of the people who also receive the flier throw it straight in the trash and it is never seen again. Something stuck on my apartment door makes me feel like my abode has been violated in some way. Some business had the audacity to plaster their graffiti over my door. And now I’ve got some image of some shady immigrant being paid less than minimum wage sneaking around the complex tagging door handles with their impersonal mark.

Don’t even get me started on the fact the person doing the distribution hang these useless marketing gimmicks on the door handles of the storage rooms (when the rooms are clearly marked as storage and non-residential) and so after a few weeks the storage room doors become festooned with so much garish (and pulpy if it has rained) advertising it looks like it belongs on the Las Vegas strip.

How do I know less than two percent of the people who receive the flier ever make use of it? Because those are the statistics from every study I’ve read and from personal experience of using it as a marketing method in year’s past that have shown that the response rate for this kind of marketing is usually around 1% to 2%. And that’s if you have a good flier.

Why do fast food restaurants persist in doing the same tired marketing? O.K. Let’s assume you didn’t start a fast food business because you had an original thought but in a commodity market the only way to sell more or sell at a higher price is differentiate yourself and your product.

Here’s a thought…

I have to walk through the lobby to get to my car. I have to walk through the lobby to return from my car. I have to walk through the lobby (twice!) to collect the post. So in an average week, assuming I collect the post from the box when I come home and also once on Saturday, I pass through the lobby eleven times in a week. That’s just an average week.

I could get to see an advertisement for your restaurant eleven times in a week.

In advertising, repetition is the key.

So rather than putting menus on doors why not place them in the lobby in an attractive display stand?

Putting two dozen menus in to a fold-up cardboard stand in the lobby has got to be cheaper than paying someone to sneak in to the building and run around placing door hang menus on the hundred or more apartments in the complex.

Apartment manager won’t let you leave behind your fliers in the lobby? Ever thought of bribing them with free food? Just about every resident apartment manager works for remuneration far below minimum wage. Why not print up some free meal coupons and give the apartment manager three of them. In a month’s time, send that same apartment manager a thank you note and another three free meal coupons.

Why three?

Because one just shows how cheap you are, two is just right, but three? Three is generous and unless the guy is single will probably be taking a friend or significant other out for a meal and he’ll either never use the third voucher or have it buy a meal to go along with the last remaining free voucher on his second trip.

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