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More Than FDA Menu Compliance: Integrated Menu Solutions for National Restaurant Brands

Posted by Cindy Lawrence on Jul 24, 2015 8:15:00 AM

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FDA Menu Compliance Solutions from DataSourceBy now, most marketers at both executive and local levels have come to terms with the added costs and headaches created by the FDA’s mandatory caloric labeling. Strong marketers grasp the challenge in front of them, and most have identified a means to address the regulation by training workers and identifying technologies that they believe will keep their menus and menu boards consistent.

However, for those managing marketing initiatives in hundreds or even thousands of restaurant locations, there are further steps to be taken to ensure that not only is their marketing compliant, but can integrate within their own marketing initiatives.

National restaurant brands can benefit from partnering with a managed services provider for an integrated approach to creative, procurement, production, ordering and distribution of menu and menu related materials.

Partnering with an Experienced Managed Service Provider

Marketing Asset Management Technology

One of the first steps is to identify a marketing services provider with experience in managing the creative lifecycle of marketing materials, from inception to delivery, that can help with brand control and centralized distribution of menu materials. A strong partner will not only have the ability to assist with creative development, procurement of materials and the ability to distribute them, but will also provide your brand with a robust web portal that allows permissioned users access based on corporate versus store level. With this platform in place, local marketers and managers are able to sign-in and access only branded and approved menu information, ensuring brand control and reducing the risk of compliance oversight. Once a marketer places an order approved by the corporate level, an efficient marketing services provider uses on-demand print capabilities to produce cost-efficient marketing content bearing promotional and compliant menu content. This ability allows marketers at the executive level to maintain brand control of real-time marketing products, while empowering those at the local level to have their marketing needs fulfilled.

On Demand Print Production

In addition, on-demand printing coordinated by a marketing service provider makes procurement and delivery more efficient, all while reducing costs. This is achieved by leveraging a strong network of suppliers who can be relied upon for quality and service. It also eliminates costly one-off requests from local printers, which can lead to marketing and menu materials containing misinformation and even spelling errors.        

Centralized Warehousing, Kitting and Distribution

Aside from menu maintenance and production, marketing services providers can also utilize a centralized location for storage and fulfillment. This allows for the added service to print on demand for real-time inventory, while saving on freight costs as multiple products can be sent in one box from one destination on one invoice: all of which allow marketers to stay within their budget while planning various campaigns utilizing their provider as a one-stop shop!

Multi-Channel Integration for Local Users

But wait, what about the non-traditional marketing materials, such as social media, e-mail marketing, and direct mail, among others? Here, quality control is just as important, as multi-channel efforts require the same branding, accuracy, and delivery needs as traditional media. The last thing a large restaurant franchise needs is for a local manager to “go rogue” and distribute something that doesn’t match brand consistencies, or worse, is non-compliant. Sharing outdated menus via social or e-mail, or posting content that doesn’t meet FDA regulation, is certain to cause sleepless nights for some marketers in the near future. 

Intelligent Location Profiling

As we all know, collecting data is imperative in today’s modern marketing world. Utilizing a platform where data (menu board sizes, zoning regulations, number of tables, etc.) taken from the local level is not only collected but also integrated into accounting and operations functions, allows for better budgeting and improved best practices. As menus are changed frequently to reflect new additions (and new caloric data), managing the consistency of marketing materials – traditional and digital, will become paramount.

What's Next?

The buzz around FDA menu compliance is enough to send CMOs scrambling for solutions. Before committing to technologies and processes that alleviate short term worries, such a one-off print job for new menus, consider a program that fits your larger marketing strategy. Established marketing service providers ensure that your branded marketing content is controlled for quality, available at the local level, and whose production and fulfillment is tracked to support budgeting and assessment of the overall campaign. DataSource can help. If we can be of assistance in your search, please reach out.  You can reach us at or call 877-846-9120!

Let us help you  power your restaurant brand! See how!

Topics: restaurant marketing, marketing asset management, distributed marketing, print on demand, menu management

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