Why pay for condiment holders?

condiment holders
Are you feeling left behind with major establishments displaying their condiments in fancy holders? Are you wondering why they are spending their profits when a bowl will do the same job!

If this is you then you are missing a trick. A premium brand of sauce displayed in a good looking holder will give your customers the perception that your establishment serves premium quality food.

Everybody knows that Heinz is the daddy of all sauces and as such will put a smile on your customers faces if they see a well know recognised brand, alternatively locally sourced condiments are also a winner. Stokes is an up and coming winning brand who use ‘real food ingredients for a real food flavour’, they are well packaged and are perfect if your menu features locally sourced produce.

Unless your business is the greasy spoon down the road you will not get away with placing jars and bottles on the tables, you will need a holder that fits your brand and enhances your condiments.

Condiment holders or caddies as they are sometimes referred to come in all shapes, sizes, styles and colours. You can opt to have your logo printed or engraved on the front for maximum brand awareness, something that I would always recommend if budget allows, remember brand promotion equals brand awareness and familiarity which equals success!

Before purchasing your condiment holder you need to work out what type of holder is required. When your customers place an order do they order at the bar or at the table? For orders placed at the bar it is a good idea to offer condiments that can be carried to the table, this allows you to hand out the correct amount of cutlery and ensure your condiment bottles are always wiped clean and well presented. With this in mind you will need to choose a holder that is not too large (but large enough to house your sauces, cutlery and serviettes) and is easy to carry (preferably with a handle).

For table service the world is your oyster! You can choose any style that suits your décor and brand. You could choose a rustic crate type appearance to blend with a vintage themed interior and locally sourced produce or for a more contemporary look why not choose metal bucket, these can be partnered with a smaller bucket for serving fries.

If you are struggling to choose the best condiment caddy for your business, then please give us a call on 01353 665141, we have years of experience and know what will work for you and your business.







What is Dibond?


What is Dibond?

Dibond is an aluminium composite material consisting of two aluminium sheets with a centre core of polyethylene. This was originally invented by the former “Aluminium Walzwerke Singen GmbH” back in 1965 who had patent protection for their invention calling it Alucobond, and is still being used today in architectural applications.

Based on the same technology, Dibond was born in 1992 and is now the leading brand in the Signs & Display industry.

Dibond is a very rigid yet relatively lightweight material with a thickness of 3 mm.

What is it Dibond used for?

It is mainly used for display and sign applications including retail & shop front signage. It can be drilled, riveted, screwed or nailed to almost any surface, and as it will not rust or crack it is ideal for both long and short term advertising displays. Dibond is also suitable for direct digital printing and has been used frequently in art exhibitions.

Can it be used outside?

Dibond weathers extremely well, with high UV resistance and excellent stability within a range of temperatures. It offers the same metallic finish as other metals without the weight or the risk of rusting. It is the perfect metal substitute for all weather conditions.

Is it easy to install?

Dibond is very easy to work with and is similar to using acrylic.  It is a strong, rigid material, and can be hung with screws through drilled holes, double sided Velcro, double sided tape, double sided adhesive pads and stand off fixings.

Is Dibond recyclable?

Dibond is fully recyclable with the help of a technical procedure that separates and processes the aluminium & polyethylene.

What are its advantages?

•Increased corrosion resistance.

•The super-polyester lacquered surface is perfect for screen printing & digital printing.

•UV resistant.

•High rigidity and perfect flatness, even with thin sheets.

•Excellent exterior stability within a range of temperatures from – 50 to +80°C.

What colours are available?

Our Dibond signage is available in a range of solid colours, brushed finish gold & silver and also mirror gold & mirror silver.

What is Foamex?

foamex blog1

What is Foamex?

Foamex is a PVC foam sheet that is fabrication friendly, it is also known as Foam PVC, Foamalite, Forex and Palite; it is not to be confused with Foamcore, which is a different material used for mounting pictures. The word ‘Foamex’ is very misleading, foam indicates a soft, spongy consistence however Foamex PVC is a rigid, robust material of superior quality.  Foamex is easy to cut, drill and glue and can be treated the same as a solid acrylic sheet and is available in four thicknesses 3mm foam PVC, 5mm Foam PVC, 10mm Foam PVC and 19mm Foam PVC.

What is it Foamex used for?

It is mainly used for signage, sign letters, banners and exhibition display panels and is the preferred choice for professional digital printers due to its fine cell structure and high quality smooth finish.

What are its advantages?

Foamex is easy to cut, bend and shape, allowing designers to create attractive graphic panels for exhibitions and advertising applications. It is a cost effective alternative to plywood, Dibond, MDF and aluminium, and actually looks far more expensive than it is. Foamex is extremely durable and has a life expectancy of 5-7 years.

Can Foamex be used outside?

Absolutely! Foamex is water repellent and weatherproof.  It is resistant to moisture and perfect for external applications, although I would recommend 5mm or thicker for wind resistance externally when being used for larger signs.

Is it easy to install?

Yes very easy! Foamex is a strong, rigid material, and can be hung with screws through drilled holes, double sided Velcro, double sided tape or double sided adhesive pads.

Is Foamex recyclable?

Yes, Foamex has been classified as a recyclable material as with all types of plastics.

How to maximise your profits this Christmas


If you’re not advertising this Christmas you’re missing a trick. You really don’t want to be the one to sit on your laurels and regret it; it may seem like Christmas starts earlier every year but the seasonal window for marketing is short.

Take a leaf out of John Lewis books. Their Christmas advert doesn’t come cheap; it’s well thought out, it’s different every year and it’s designed to create brand awareness and bring customers through the door.  They don’t advertise what’s on offer, they establish an emotional connection with their audience which creates familiarity and leads to loyalty.

Whilst I am sure not everybody has the budget for mainstream advertising campaigns there are still a few things you can do to increase your footfall this season.

Follow my top tips below to ensure your business maximises its potential.

1. Encourage indecisive shoppers with slogans like “Order Now for Guaranteed Delivery Before Christmas” and “Last Few Left”. Make sure you don’t overdo it though and keep it genuine. Customers are smart and will sniff out a rat a mile away when they are spending money, genuine offers will keep them coming back and your generosity will be the talk of the town.

2. Make your window stand out from the crowd, there is nothing more enticing than a festive display. Make it eye-catching, inspire people and link it to your overall promotion. Traditional snowy scenes always work best, we all want a white Christmas at heart!

3. Promote your offers and activities on Facebook & Twitter. If you have a café or restaurant this is the perfect place for showcasing your festive menu. Don’t forget to encourage them to book, let them know your tables are going fast!

4. If your eatery is located near the shopping area, open early and catch the exhausted shoppers. It’s a great time to offer a free mince pie with a hot drink and advertise your Christmas events.

5. Encourage your customers to join your mailing list and provide them with a voucher in return. January is often an anti-climax, everybody is partied out and spent too much and this offers them the perfect opportunity to dispel the January blues, it also gives you a chance to turn them into loyal customers!

6. Don’t forget your website, online shopping is increasing year on year. Create categories that are gift specific, for example a page focused at the perfect gift for him. This may sound simple but it is a tactic that works. Not only will it help a busy and stressed shopper it will display all your relevant products in one place, which may encourage them to buy more!

7. Teach them to share! Social media is an important part of marketing. Invite your customers to share their online deals and in return email them a promotional code to spend on their next purchase.

Christmas is a season that is jam packed with advertising, the golden rules are not to rely on advertising alone but to combine it with perfect presentation, outstanding customer service and a reciprocal gesture.

But most of all enjoy yourself and have a merry old Christmas.

Why do the clocks go back?

clocks go back

October 25th at 2am will see the end to our British Summer Time, this means you will have a shorter clubbing session but on the positive side you will get an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning to push out the zeds, but why do we do this?

William Willett originally came up with the idea in 1907. He wanted to stop people from wasting too much time in bed on a summer morning and published a leaflet called, The Waste of Daylight. William devoted much of his life to trying to convince people that it was a good scheme but sadly died of influenza in 1915, aged 58 before his idea took off.

It was the Germans who finally adopted the plan on April 30, 1916, when they set their clocks forward an hour to 11pm and Britain was quick to follow and brought Daylight Saving into effect just a month later on May 21.

Now, the clocks change at 2am as it is considered the least disruptive time of day, but what else does the clock change bring? Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas & New Year!

It’s not all doom and gloom it’s a first class time for marketing! Everybody loves the first time the woolly pully goes on, the first real fire, the first hot chocolate of the season, it’s a comforting time; make sure your business is promoting the good things in life.

Holler about your Halloween event, chalk up your blackboards and start advertising. This day and age it is never too soon to start chatting about Christmas; make sure your promotions can be seen, locate a table top chalkboard near the fireplace (it’s always a good focal point) make sure you stand an easel and blackboard near the entrance (how can it not be noticed!).

Don’t forget your outside advertising; hang printed banners to promote your seasonal events and proudly display your a-board, remember this is one time of the year you don’t need to concern yourself with what the weather is doing!

Fear not if you are a hot blooded summer lover at heart, the clocks go forward again at 1am on Sunday, March 27, 2016!

Are you ready for the dark nights?

dark nights illuminated menu cases

Autumn is officially here! That means cooler temperatures and darker nights are just around the corner. Are you ready for this time of year or could your business be missing a trick?

It is well known that the summer nights increase trade due to longer, lighter evenings but that doesn’t mean your business has to hibernate in the winter, careful customer and business analysis will ensure your business keeps it’s cool!

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Is your business inviting? The first thing that lets the world know you are open and welcoming is lighting. Make sure your signage is illuminated either by means of the latest LED illuminated letters or simple spot or trough lighting.

Can anybody see your menu in the dark? If not you really need to address this problem, you will never sell what nobody can see. An excellent idea is to light up your menu, invest in a menu case or menu box, these are not as pricey as you may think and are a definite asset to your business.

Once inside, your premises need to be warm; there’s nothing worse than sitting in a cold corner and freezing, I can guarantee this will not bring returning visits. If you are lucky enough to have a fire (natural or man-mad) make the most of it! Make sure it is lit and looks neat and tidy, why not add a few ‘homely’ items such as a companion or fireside set.  A fire not only make your guests feel at home but creates a cosy ambience too.

Make sure your menu reflects the season, why do you think the larger brands have dark and light night menu changes? It’s because they have done their homework. Do you really fancy a Chicken Caeser when it’s snowing outside or would a Sausage, Chorizo & Bean Casserole fit the bill a little better? Think winter warmers and you’re on to a winner!

Last but not least, make sure you add a few specials to your drinks list. Offer a Baileys or Cognac with coffee, serve a gourmet hot chocolate and remember to add a little taster on the side, maybe a brandy snap or a ginger biscuit, you will have them eating out of your hand and coming back for more! Good Luck 🙂

Are you displaying your signs correctly?

beware of the dog

Did you know it is an offence to intentionally mislead the public with your signage? For example the sign above can only be displayed if there is a dog in residence or attendance, you cannot display this sign to put off potential trespassers if there isn’t a dog around.

If a sign is erected at the point of access on a public right of way by a landowner there are laws which govern the words that can be used. They must be accurate and not misleading in any way and if you choose to disregard this rule you could be reported and find yourself in hot water.

Many people believe that you can add a sign to your land without any consequences, unfortunately this isn’t true and the guidelines are quite strict; only small signs and notices not exceeding 0.3 of a square metre in area, are allowed to be displayed without application being made to the planning authority. When I say ‘small signs and notices’ this has to be either a means of identification, warning or direction, such as the number or name of your house, a field sign saying ‘Please shut the gate’, a private sign saying ‘No parking please’ or the ‘Beware of the dog’ sign as above. Small notices are not allowed to be illuminated without prior consent.

And that’s not everything! Outdoor advertisements must also comply with five ‘standard conditions’.

They must:

  • Be kept clean and tidy.
  • Be kept in a safe condition.
  • Have the permission of the owner of the site on which they are displayed (this includes the Highway Authority if the sign is to be placed on highway land).
  • Not obscure, or hinder the interpretation of, official road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs, or otherwise make hazardous the use of these types of transport.
  • Be removed carefully where so required by the planning authority.

Before you install your sign and to make sure you stay on the right side of the law visit the link below for further information.


How to increase your coffee sales?

coffee merchandising

This really is a no-brainer! We all know how much it costs to make a cup of coffee and how much we pay to drink one in a bar, café or restaurant. You really are missing a trick if you are not promoting your coffees, this has a high profit margin and Europeans are now the worlds biggest coffee drinkers!

The easiest way to increase sales is to market your product well, by well I mean provide clear communication. There are a number of ways this can be achieved but the easiest (and most economic) is to use what you already have!

Most establishments will have coffee beans, chalkboards, maybe even a grinder, all you need to add for the perfect result is a little time and inclination!

Have a look at our examples above, the first has been created with and old fashioned grinder, a bottle of Jamesons, coffee beans, and a fake Irish coffee (created with instant coffee and white flour), all that is needed to make this display complete is a chalkboard with a simple promotional message to tantalise the taste buds.

The centre photo shows a coffee menu displayed on a chalkboard that can be hung on the walls as a piece of art, gently persuading your customers to enjoy their favourite cuppa.

The third is simply coffee beans, chopping boards, a couple of mugs, a little bit of artistic talent and a lot of patience!

As you can see the opportunities are endless to create a simple display with little or no outlay simply using what you have. Remember to change your designs, promotions and offers, if your customers sees the same thing month in month out it will become part of the furniture and stop working, you need to jazz it up a little and come up with new ideas. How about offering a Baileys Latte at Christmas, an Espresso Martini in the summer and a Calypso Coffee for Bonfire night! (All recipes below). coffees1

Baileys Latte – This really isn’t just for Christmas and it’s so easy! Pour steaming milk into a coffee glass, add a shot of espresso and pour in the Baileys, finish with a sprinkling of crumbled chocolate or cocoa powder.

  • 50ml Baileys with a hint of Coffee Flavour
  • 20ml or one shot of espresso
  • Milk, enough to fill your coffee glass
  • Crumbled chocolate or cocoa powder (for decoration)

Espresso Martini – Ok, you’ll need an espresso machine and a shaker for this one. It sounds complicated but it’s just a matter of mixing booze with coffee. Shake the Kahlúa, Absolut Vodka and espresso together with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass to get rid of all the small ice chips.

  • 1 Part Kahlúa
  • 2 parts Absolut Vodka
  • 1 part Espresso

Optional: Add simple syrup to taste

Calypso Coffee – This one’s easy simply pour the rum and liqueur into a mug and top with hot coffee. Simples!

  • 30ml Rum
  • 30ml Creme de Cacao liqueur
  • 225ml hot filter coffee

As you can see all the above is achievable with a little thought, time and dedication, want to improve your sales? What are you waiting for? And if you have any photos or recipes please send them my way, I’m always tempted with a cheeky chai!

Introducing the Sign with a Difference! Our New Multi Board.


Our brand new Multi Board™ is the true multi-functional board, it has endless connection possibilities and can be used in a number of ways.
You can use one single board suspended from the ceiling or mounted on a wall for the perfect chalkboard sign; add feet and voila, a free-standing double sided sign is created!
You can make a triangle, square or hexagon, which are perfect for placing around a tree or hiding an ugly rubbish bin and gives you 360° visual communication.
If you fancy an alternative design to the traditional café barrier simply make one long line of boards, using a collection of multi boards and feet. The list goes on and the opportunities are endless.
The Multi Board™ connect system is strong and very simple to use, resistant to all weather conditions and engineered to last. Use our waterproof chalkpens designed for outdoor weather conditions to create your sign; start connecting today with the Multi Board™ and provide intelligent communication to your customers with ease.
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