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View Full Version : Advertising on Placemats


procut
01-03-2006, 05:55 PM
It seems as if every restaurant in town has advertisments for local businesses printed on the placemats. I was considering buying an add. Has anyone else used this form of advertising? If so how successful was it? Also, I was told the cost is about a 1/4 of a penny each? Does that sound about right?

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-03-2006, 06:02 PM
I have never advertised on place mats. However, you have to think about different aspects of advertising. Ultimately, we want all of our advertising to drive in potential customers. I say this to bring my point to this: If you are thinking about place mats how busy is the restaurant. If it is a busy establishment than if nothing else you will increase your exposure to potential customers and it will help with name recognition and branding. You may or may not get a ton of biz from it, but I am sure that when someone receives a door hanger, postcard, fliers, etc. from you they may say "I have heard of this company", and if they are looking for someone then "Bam" the phone will ring.JMO. Good luck with it!

procut
01-03-2006, 06:19 PM
The restaurant that i'm considering is a very old well established business that always seems to be busy. Thus, is is with out a doubt that I would get tons of exposure, but still wondering how many calls/potentional customers it will actually generate.

tiedeman
01-03-2006, 07:15 PM
I don't think that it would work. I did it before in the past did not work. Also phone book covers do not work either

procut
01-03-2006, 10:09 PM
I don't think that it would work. I did it before in the past did not work. Also phone book covers do not work either
Really? I had a good feeling about it. Did you have any success with it?

tiedeman
01-03-2006, 10:37 PM
not a single ounce of success with it.

It could be my area though. It actually might work in yours

procut
01-03-2006, 10:39 PM
Thanks Troy. I might still try it, I'll have to see how much it costs.

tiedeman
01-03-2006, 10:41 PM
my biggest thing I would ask is, who and where is going to see it? HOw many and how long will the placements be used, etc? I would really find out the stats about it.

dcondon
01-03-2006, 11:18 PM
Thanks Troy. I might still try it, I'll have to see how much it costs.


I would say give it a try, what do you have to loose. People will still remember you after seeing your ad. word will get around!!!:waving:

Runner
01-04-2006, 01:04 AM
Don't do it unless you're giving them something. In other words, don't even bother unless the ad is WORTH something. Your ad should be nothing more than a literal coupon for 10% off. Now, you have just went from an ad that they can look at and easily forget about as soon as they pay their breakfast bill, or it can be something of value that they want to tear of and keep - not only for reference, but for the "10% off with this ad". There. How's THAT for some marketing info?...You'd probably better heed this advice,..because it isn't very often (and the others can attest to this) that you actually get something that makes sense out of me!

tiedeman
01-04-2006, 02:17 AM
hey Runner, that makes sense out of you :)

n2h20
01-04-2006, 03:59 AM
There is a local hauling company up here that has supplies coffee mugs to the local breakfast shops. I think it is a really great idea...
A contractor is sitting eating breakfast drinking his coffe thinking about his job and reads his mug,,,, orders his supplies from the company.
for lawn care? hmm not sure. It would most likely give you recognition which could never hurt.
If its not to pricey I would go for it.

Mower For Less
01-04-2006, 01:50 PM
Make sure the establishment has really slow service... otherwise they wont have time to see your ad. :eek: A buffet would be a bad choice... yet I have seen a few with such ad placemats. I must admit though, I have never patronized a biz from a placemat ad.

Kevin

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-04-2006, 02:37 PM
I to have not patronized a business through a place mat. However, I do believe that given the proper stats. (i.e number of place mats, how busy, if majority of customers are within service area etc.) that this is an effective way to build name recognition. A key to effective advertising is repetition. The more your name is in front of them the higher the possibility they will call you when they need someone that performs your specific services. If it is inexpensive then it really can't hurt any.

procut
01-04-2006, 10:22 PM
Thanks for the replies. Tomorrow I'll look into the costs and other stats and post them if I get a chance.

tiedeman
01-04-2006, 10:55 PM
I look forward in hearing them.

mtdman
01-05-2006, 02:16 AM
When's the last time you paid attention to what those mats say? I can't tell you one business that I can remember from placemats, or shopping carts, etc. I think it's a waste, imo.

walker-talker
01-05-2006, 10:57 AM
I would say if you are going to give them a try, do just what Runner said and nothing less. Give them a reason to tear off the ad and take with them. It might give you some exposure if you don't offer something, but I think Runner hit the nail on the head.

tiedeman
01-05-2006, 04:18 PM
When's the last time you paid attention to what those mats say? I can't tell you one business that I can remember from placemats, or shopping carts, etc. I think it's a waste, imo.

that is what I am saying. Basically you plate, foods, silverware, galsses, etc cover the things so you can't see anything. And then afterward, a lot of times there are wet or covered in food

procut
01-05-2006, 04:38 PM
Well, i went to that restaurant today, and looked all over the placemat and couldn't find a number to call about advertising. Its wierd because I've seen the number on there every other time. So I guess I'm at standstill.

Tyner Lawn Service
01-05-2006, 06:27 PM
Well, i went to that restaurant today, and looked all over the placemat and couldn't find a number to call about advertising. Its wierd because I've seen the number on there every other time. So I guess I'm at standstill.No your not. You just saved a bunch of money. I had a friend who had ads on the back of your grocery store receipts and got nothing. It seems like up to about the year 2000 all types of advertising would work but now-----who knows.

mtdman
01-06-2006, 12:14 AM
Just because you slap your name on something doesn't mean it will work. You have to slap it on something people actually look at. Placemats, receipts, shopping carts, people don't pay attention. And usually so many business are on those things that they're too busy to pick out individual ads. Advertise wisely.

Soupy
01-06-2006, 04:17 AM
Well, i went to that restaurant today, and looked all over the placemat and couldn't find a number to call about advertising. Its wierd because I've seen the number on there every other time. So I guess I'm at standstill.

Why didn't you ask the manager?

I think it would work great if you could supply the placemat and have the whole mat to place your add. You could make a separate style for kids and make it functional with coloring. Parents always look at their kids art work on place mats.

It would probably be cheaper if you have a printing company make the placmat and you donate them to the restaurant. Have it designed at www.designoutpost.com/forums/ for fairly cheap.

SLSNursery
01-06-2006, 07:32 AM
For my supply company, I approached a local restaurant that I frequent. He had very basic placemats at the time. I offered to supply him with placemats, with a different theme based on the season. I didn't want to be one of those quarter sized ads running around a sketch of the Acropolis or something like that.


Ultimately, you have to find out what motivates the owner of a restaurant, because my plans changed slightly, but have worked out ok. He liked the idea, so much, he ran it by a friend (trash and dumpster guy - who is my tenant!). So we were going to split it with his ad and the Restaurant would get a plug, with some kid games, and word puzzles, etc.

It has turned out ok, and the printer slipped a little plug in for himself (I am sure this is how he keeps the price down - since he snatched the account from the original printer based on price). The ads are prominent and well laid out. The restaurant will occasionally rotate placemats, and we occasionally change the layout to keep it fresh. Costs are minimal.

As far as business, I don't really ever have coupons or discounts, especially to non-regular customers, so I totally disagree with that idea. Up to the point a couple years ago (approximately 120,000 placemats) we did no advertising. I felt that since this was a smaller community, and since I knew a lot of people from our target communities frequented the restaurant that it would be good, affordable exposure. I believe that this strategy has worked, because we are gaining good name recognition, have our logo on the trucks that matches up with all of our promotional or business material. I don't want people to think of me when they want to save some money. I want people to think of me when they need the products or services that I listed. In my case, I want them to think of me when they have their landscaper go get supplies. To that end, we get new customers all of the time because there customers sent them to us.

stumper1620
01-06-2006, 08:11 AM
Pro cut,
I have done placemats a few times, the way it works is they print like 15,000 (? I'm not positive of the number) mats for a list of different restaurants in your area, cost about a hundred bucks to have a business card size add that will end up in somewhere around 5 to 10 different restaurants. I push my stump grinding this way and have never had it where I did not get at least enough back to pay for the ads.
anyway, they print these mats about 4 times per year, cost about 100 bucks per run to get in about 5 to 10 restaurants, they also, do special runs for the county fair time periods. people come up here from the city to a cottage, go out to breakfast and while waiting and having coffee read those mats, I have been called several times from cell phones while the person is sitting in the restaurant looking at my ad.
The printer is called Plate mates, I will dig in my reciepts and find you a number to call, I don't have it handy because they call me whenever they get ready to design a new batch of mats.
OK, found it.
PlateMate
9301 Hyde Rd.
Clark Lake Mi. 49234
platemate@voyager.net
517-529-9421 / 800-388-4878
ask to talk to Cindy Naegele

General Landscaping
01-06-2006, 08:16 AM
Call the other advertisers on the placemat and ask how it has been working for them.

procut
01-06-2006, 02:26 PM
Ok. I noticed a buddy of mine who owns a cell phone shop had an add on these placemats, so I went and talked to him today. the cost is about $175.00 for about two months worth of advertising. Thus far he has spent almost $800.00 advertising on these placemats and has sold two phones because of it. He's not renewing next month. I'm beginning to think there are better ways to spend advertising dollars. Thanks for all the replies.

tiedeman
01-06-2006, 02:49 PM
that does seem like a lot of money for two months. That would get you a nice yellow pages ad, where thousands could see everyday, compared to maybe a few dozen with the placemats

BCF
01-20-2006, 07:40 PM
I tried the placemats thing a couple of years ago. It was 3 bills and some change for 15,000 copies, split up to 2 or 3 diners that lasted a few months. Had no calls for work, but my dentist said he saw the add. FUnny thing, because I try to sell him a fence everytime I go in there, tells me it's goverment property, then last time I went in for a cleaning there was a new fence. Time for a new dentist.

Tyner Lawn Service
01-20-2006, 08:18 PM
I tried the placemats thing a couple of years ago. It was 3 bills and some change for 15,000 copies, split up to 2 or 3 diners that lasted a few months. Had no calls for work, but my dentist said he saw the add. FUnny thing, because I try to sell him a fence everytime I go in there, tells me it's goverment property, then last time I went in for a cleaning there was a new fence. Time for a new dentist.Same here, years ago I spent over $1,000 with my dentist (and I have good teeth) he asks me what I charged for aeration. After I told him(which I have fair prices)he said "oh good" I saved because me and my neighbor rented one this past weekend and saved money. He became my former dentist as I left his office that day!

Paradise Landscapes
01-29-2006, 04:59 PM
I once tried that. It absolutely did not work for me. Not a single call. I think it makes a business look tacky.

macharborguy
11-19-2009, 04:25 PM
I own a motel business and we have advertising thru PlateMate, currently 2 runs of the ad thus far. The price is around $170 per run. Oddly enough, Google sent me $250 to use for their AdWords service and the following month after using them we had much better business than the previous months (we are new owners).

Apparently PlateMate does a "dollar for dollar" trade when it comes to some motels, where we trade them, dollar for dollar, a room that one of their employees can stay when they come into town to deliver their platemats to the restaurants. The rest of the $170 is then left in a, as they put it, "rolling balance", which rolls over each ad cycle. Personally, I call that "debt".

When I spoke with them about paying for the advertising in full and getting my balance to zero, they seemed to not be interested in doing this and told me that I would "lose money" in the long run.

I take pride in knowing that I don't own any company that I do business with anything, or at the very least know that if I do owe them money that I will be billed at a regular cycle. It is also a bit alarming when a company that I am doing business with openly says that if I pay them money that I am wasting it.

shade tree landscaping
11-19-2009, 06:44 PM
I thought about doing the placemat thing at a few diners around here this past spring. Only reason why I didn't do it was simple, I have never called anyone I have seen advertising on there, never tore a coupon out of the placemat, or anything like that. I could be the exception and maybe everyone else uses them, but thats the number 1 reason why I didnt go thru with it. Hope this helps

mdvaden
11-19-2009, 07:08 PM
Interesting - an ancient thread revived.

I did place mats years ago. Never kept track of results, but would condider it again locally just for the fun of it.

But most restaurants here don't use them, because it simply is not a need.

It probably wastes paper needlessly too, compared to just wiping a table that has to be wiped anyway.

If it was avaiable, I sure would not have high expectations though.

procut
11-19-2009, 09:50 PM
Hah! When I saw this threads title, I remebered that I had started a thread about this very subject years ago, and I was going to try to find and post a link, but when I clicked on it, it was my old thread! It's from almost four years ago. For the record, I never did the place mat thing.