Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs has rolled out nearly 170 new indoor and outdoor menu boards to help establish consistency across the system and increase margins.
The new menu boards feature a contemporary aesthetic and have been re-organized to focus on placement of premium products. Now highlighting product descriptions rather than images, the entire Cousins Subs menu is presented to the consumer, with hot items on one side and cold items on the other side.
Cousins Subs' menu board initiative was completed in seven months to support the company's rollout of 10 new products in 2012. The initiative engaged nearly every department in the company, including marketing, IT, operations, and the Cousins Subs Franchise Advisory Council.
"This was an 'all hands on deck' effort which demonstrated our commitment to refreshing the Cousins Subs brand image and supporting our owner/operators and franchisees," said Justin McCoy, director of marketing at Cousins Subs. "After just three weeks in the system, we're already seeing increased margins and consumer trial of new products, even those with limited or no marketing backing."
Re-investing significant advertising fund dollars for the program, Cousins Subs' new menu boards can be efficiently changed at any time based on menu mix and sub sales. The menu boards are modular with a set middle section, interchangeable tiles, and quick turnaround paper inserts. While the sub offerings make up the middle section, the exterior panels feature Cousins Subs' bread offerings, toppings and dressings, salads, extras, sweets, soups, quenchers and catering options.
"The new menu boards are the biggest marketing tool we have. Our customers have noticed the difference and are starting to try new offerings that they never even knew we had," said Maria Piotter, Cousins Subs franchisee.
Cousins Subs teamed with Visual Graphic Systems of New Jersey to design and develop the new menu boards. Cousins Subs is also installing refreshed new point of sale and in-store materials in all stores.
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