Walk into any bar or restaurant, and you will see plenty of evidence of the time and care that has gone into the branding of the establishment. Starting with the creation of the logo, to the uniforms worn by the servers, the carefully chosen glassware selected for a variety of cocktails and wine choices, everything seems to fit together into one unique brand identity. Even the choice of music playing in the background helps to reinforce the brand identity. But there’s one element of the hospitality experience that often goes overlooked: the plain white cocktail napkin.
In many ways, that’s understandable. There is no powerful Napkin Lobby advocating on its behalf! Even the ordering process is flawed. Placing your order for custom designed napkins with your Foodservice Salesperson or Wine Rep is less than ideal. These busy folks do a fantastic job representing their stocked product lines. However, handling a special order request for custom printed beverage napkins requires a level of expertise that you can't get from the person selling you your boneless chicken wings. We at Napkins Ink have assembled a team of experts with over 60 years of printing experience paired with Foodservice professionals with over 20 years in the Houston market. We are the actual manufacturers; our local facility is fully equipped with the latest state of the art flexographic printing and tissue converting equipment. Until now, the cost to custom print a beverage napkin may have been beyond the budget of all but the largest chain restaurants or establishments.
At Napkins Ink, our unique business model of selling direct to the consumer, allows us to custom print your logo and message on a high quality 2-ply beverage napkin for usually less than a penny increase to what you’re currently paying for the plain white 2-ply bev naps.
Beverage napkins can serve far more than just the obvious role of absorbing moisture. When people are hanging out in a bar or restaurant, the first item they typically reach for when they want to make a note or sketch out a concept for a new product, company, or idea is -- you guessed it -- the beverage napkin.
In fact, there’s a rich lore of famous businesses starting out as nothing more than a sketch on the back of a beverage napkin. According to legend, back in 1967 a meeting in a bar between Rollin King, a pilot, and Herb Kelleher, a businessman, conceived the concept for a new airline with a simple sketch on a beverage napkin. King drew a triangle representing a flight route linking Dallas, Houston and San Antonio and made aviation history - Southwest Airlines was born. Also, the idea for The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” reportedly started out as a napkin sketch during a bar brainstorming session. Aaron Sorkin, Oscar winning Screenwriter wrote his famous movie “A Few Good Men” on the back of many beverage napkins while he was a bartending at the Palace Theater in New York City.
And that leads us to the real value of the beverage napkin - it’s the perfect item for customers to take home with them to remember their experience with you. In marketing lingo, it’s known as a “leave-behind,” and it’s a powerful way of extending your brand and building awareness of your business once customers leave your establishment. A generation ago, the perfect leave-behind was the pack of matches. For today’s non-smoking culture, the perfect leave-behind is the beverage napkin with your business logo on it.
How many times have business executives flown into a new city, had a great meeting or meal with their business partners, and wanted to share that experience with others? They’ll often tuck a napkin into their pocket as a memento and a reminder for when they get back home. That often leads to their acquaintances and colleagues checking you out when they’re in town.
So if you’re thinking of how to extend your brand and build greater customer loyalty, the beverage napkin - immortalized in business and marketing lore - might just be the perfect way to improve your branding. The beverage napkin is, indeed, the perfect “white space” for projecting whatever you want customers to remember about you. Partnering with Napkins Ink, you’ll be able to work with a team of professional designers who can help you come up with the perfect look that tells your brand story.