Printed Table Talkers - Find the big secret to grow impulse sales & attract eyes

on Saturday, 04 November 2017.

Table Talkers are a type of Point of Sale marketing, often used in hotels, restaurants and retail settings, designed to increase sales at the point of purchase. In a retail environment it is common to see them at, or near the register, and in a restaurant they are commonly found on the tables, suggesting the customer try a new item or buy something that they hadn't planned.

Table Talkers tend to concentrate on low-cost, high impulse items which make an obvious addition to an existing order. They help to create impulse purchases and are an efficient, inexpensive way to increase product awareness and sales. Table Talkers have a universal appeal and, while they represent buying something that the consumer hadn't planned, their presentation is usually as a bargain or deal, and they appeal to customers that are price conscious by offering things that are new or seasonal and only appearing for a limited time.

When choosing how to use them it is important for the retailer to identify what purpose they are trying to accomplish, such as moving overstocked products or highlighting a new, or novelty item. Table Talkers advertise products at eye level so that they are difficult for the customer to ignore and many times they promote sale items, even if that product is continually offered at that price.

When considering the use of Table Talkers, retailers need to analyze the layout of their establishment to take advantage of customers that are waiting and looking for a distraction, like standing in line or waiting for their server. Table Talkers are remarkably effective at generating increased sales, particularly when used along with suggestive selling techniques. When a server suggests that a customer try the new dessert, flawlessly displayed on a Table Talker that they have been looking at throughout their meal, the decision to say yes is irresistible.

  • First we will explain a bit of methodology around the use of point-of-sale and specifically table talkers.
  • We will then follow on with the types and options that are available.
  • Then cover some points to help you decide which is best for you.


How to effectively use table talkers

Table Talkers provide restaurants and retailers with a low-cost, effective way of communicating to a captive audience. This type of marketing enables businesses to advertise and get a message across to customers that are already in the establishment.

Marketing messages with like two for one appetizers, or drink specials between certain hours, or on specific evenings, will increase sales and profits. Table Talkers enable retailers to remind customers of these promotions and prices by placing the message where it is sure to get their attention. People can't help but notice what's directly in front of them and menus and special offers within easy reach improve efficiency and tempt consumers to order extra items or upgrade their order.

Using high-quality pictures catch the eye and adding a detailed description with a list of ingredients, will tease and entice consumers to try your latest dessert creation or featured cocktail. Even if you are not promoting an in-house invention, Table Talkers can let customers know about new items that you carry or the variety of items in stock, such as a new brand of beer or the latest coffee flavors available. 

Special promotions are a great way to encourage your customers to spend more, and Table Talkers are an excellent way to get those promotions in front of customers whether seated at the bar, a table, or standing at the register. Your menu is full of excellent and delicious appetizers, entrée's, and side dishes. Table Talkers enable you to highlight high-profit-margin items like desserts and drinks separate from your menu, and is an excellent low-cost, practical marketing tool.


The uses of printed table talkers

With traditional sales methodology falling by the wayside, businesses need ever new and clever ways to spread the word of their product or service for increased profit margins. Even with the high-tech solution of adding an online presence to your company's brick and mortar location, in today's world of instant gratification driving sales, it's a given that what was trending last month is already getting old. Keeping up with technology is necessary and oftentimes opens your sales floor globally. And that's a good thing.

However, the one thing that will never change (and what secures the hospitality industry a healthy and robust future), is that people need to eat. As long as the food service industry continues to serve up tasty cuisine, people will continue to spend hard-earned money at favourite restaurants. In addition, with women comprising such a huge portion of the work force, it's difficult to expect any employed woman to work 40 hours a week, be a soccer mom, housekeeper, laundress, wife and daughter--and still make a meal every night of the week. 

A very big part of the corporate world's down time (also known as 'lunch hour') is enjoying a little rest to stoke the fires before resuming the work that pays the bill. Going out for lunch takes care of that very nicely, thank you. From fast food to gourmet cuisine to vegetarian fare, every restaurant with tables and seating has the potential to increase sales, not only for their own promotion but to offer a service for neighboring providers of various industries.

To illustrate the versatility, below are examples of how clearly a table taker is 'heard'

  • Sales enhancements to menus

 The typical plexiglass stand-alone can hold the image of a steaming cup of coffee next to a plate that cushions a moist mountain of chocolate cake slathered in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, complete with a cherry on top. Are you salivating yet? Did that restaurant just make another sale? 

  • Cross selling

You're on your lunch hour and enjoying your salad while wondering if you'll have time to call for an insurance quote this afternoon. The table talker catches your eye, advertising an insurance company with their number, contact email and hours of operation. Mission accomplished! 

  • Marketing products and services

Need a gift? Your table talker is advertising great gift ideas and now you know the perfect gift is at Suzie's Emporium--and Suzie delivers!

These are only a few examples of how table talkers can not only help your business prosper with add-on sales, optioning to rent the advertising space to other local businesses for a monthly rate is another avenue to pursue. 

One thing you can always count on is that nothing says "profit" like word-of-mouth sales--or is that the table talking to me?


Graphic Design Is King

Designing the artwork which includes the layout and content is probably one of the most important factors that will make your message a success.

If you have a marketing department they will probably be able to provide what is needed.

You should always put the customer front and centre, although the print quality is important the power is in the words and images.


Which Type is Best For Your Restaurant?

When it comes to table talkers there is a vast array of types which can be utilised in different scenarios to maximise benefit.

Are you taking full advantage of advertising space by placing table talkers on each table of your restaurant? Customers new and old will love the quick glance aspect to show off your food highlights. Table talkers are ideal for promoting meal deals, drink specials, happy hour, trivia nights, special occasions or parties coming up, sports game schedules on their TV's, charity nights, Sunday brunch, or any other event your restaurant does. These small table top advertisements complement your menus and restaurant promos perfectly. The two main types come in wood or perplex (plastic), and come in many forms such as chalkboard, flyers, brochures, and leaflets.


Typically made of clear acrylic or plastic, it's easy to wipe clean and a durable way for your customer's to stay informed.

  • Come in 2, 3, 6, or 8 facings with printed info on each side
  • Available in leaflets, double-sided, or brochure style
  • Pre-formed shapes make viewing easy, or can sit in slotted wooden holder
  • Protects from grease and spills
  • Lasts a very long time, great long-term quality option for staple highlights of your restaurant

Cardboard/Foam Board

This type of table talker is perfect for short-term use and is very popular.

  • Short term life-span (not as durable as plastic or long-term use)
  • Most affordable option
  • Potential for more spills and stains, due to customer handling
  • Easily and quickly switched out
  • Come in 1, 2, 3, and 6, or 8 faces
  • Available in one-sided, leaflets, double-sided, or brochure style


Used for holding the flyers, these stands come with grooves in them to insert a cardboard or plastic mini-menu. These stands often come with a chalkboard backing if you choose to not insert a flyer into the slot.

Chalk pens are a great way to update your information on these type of table talkers. Combined table number holders and chalkboard stands can also be purchased if your restaurant uses a number food ordering system.

On top of creating sales for your restaurant, you can also raise your revenue by offering advertising space for other local merchants.

What a great way to keep your customers entertained while they're chatting at the bar, or waiting for friends at a table!


What’s the best approach?

A good place to start is to put yourself in your customers shoes, if you are a hotel or restaurant walk into the main customer entrance and try to map the customers journey and think through the actions they are likely to take at each stage. For instance upon entrance they will subconsciously check for information around them to make sure they’re going to get what they want, entrance areas are normally best suited to simple but powerful messages and photography. Once they reach the table you probably want to upsell. Upon leaving, minimise pictures about food and capitalise on other services offered such as transport, relaxation areas and places of interest they may want to visit.

Marketing Services

In addition to business credit checks we provide a wide range of business services including business to business data cleansing and a wide range of other business services.