How to beat the January blues?


January is commonly known as a depressing month, everybody is short of cash, the nights are long, the festivities are over and it’s cold outside! How do you beat the blues, bring in the customers and keep your spirit (and profits) high.

Think of a promotion it could be 2 for 1, a free glass of wine with a main meal or kids eat free. Whatever the deal the right kind of POS is needed to make sure your efforts aren’t wasted and your promotion is a roaring success.


Printed PVC banners are a great way to shout your offer from the hill tops! Not only are they economic, bright and colourful but they can be displayed outside on a wall or fence and seen from a distance.


Chalkboards and blackboards are a necessity all year round, but really come into their own during a promotion.

Blackboards are available in a variety of forms including wall mounted and counter standing, for internal and external use, you will be sure to find one that suits your needs.

Chalkboards have the edge on posters, they can be wiped clean in seconds and re-used as and when needed, you can change your offers as demand dictates. If you run out of Leek & Potato Soup you can offer the Duck Pate!

Snap Frames

Snap frames can be wall mounted almost anywhere, are economic and are available in a variety of colours.

For additional advertising display your offers on the back of toilet doors, in your entrance and behind the bar!

Leaflet and Menu Holders

Promote your message from early December to encourage your Christmas visitors to return in January.

Display your leaflets in a simple acrylic holder, these can be positioned on the tables, at the bar and on the wall of the entrance.

Don’t forget to place in rooms if you have a hotel or guest house. Multi-faceted holders are perfect for displaying promotions and provide a cost effective solution for all business.

Blackboard & Chalk Board Paint – Let’s You Create A Chalkboard Anywhere!

Video Transcript

How to make a chalkboard anywhere
Welcome to BHMA. Today we are going to show you ‘How to’ make a chalkboard anywhere, using Blackfriar paint supplied by BHMA. WE have chosen a wallpapered wall to show a blackboard can literally be anywhere.

Patrick Shows the tools necessary. Some blackboard paint, some masking tape, used to form the outline, and a roller and tray. Sponge rollers are best, they give a nice even texture to the paint.

The wall is being measured to ensure the blackboard will be the right size and nice and level.

Apply the masking tape to form a square, or indeed any other shape you fancy.

Pour some of the blackboard paint into the roller tray, making sure not to drip onto anything that might matter. Wipe the edge of the tin with a cloth, paper is best, and then dispose of that.

Prime the roller with the blackboard paint, and off you go! Perhaps not quite so quick as this ‘speedy version’. Once the whole area is covered, even out the paint with some even light pressure strokes in both directions. Once you are happy it looks good, remove the masking tape whilst the paint is still wet.

Watching paint dry can be boring so, whilst that is happening in the background we will paint a heart on a wine bottle, that can be used as a table number in a restaurant.

Firstly cover the area with some masking tape, and draw on a shape with a pen.

Use a sharp craft knife to cut out your shape, and then simply apply the paint with your roller.

Pull off the masking tape to leave your blackboard shape, and leave that to dry.

To make your shape stand out, you can outline it with a blackboard pen.

Add a table number, and not its ready to start its life as a table number in a restaurant, perhaps with a candle in the top.

Our chalkboard on the wall is now dry. Watch how simple it is to plan a message using a chinese white pencil from BHMA.

Using a waterproof posterman pen, write over your pre-planned text, add a shadow for effect, and perhaps a few more touches dependent on your taste.

Once the pens are dry, wipe over the text with a damp cloth. The planning lines will wipe away, and the lettering ‘scribed’ with your blackboard pen will stay on. There are 42 colours to choose from on the BHMA website.

Thanks for watching. Now you can literally put a chalkboard anywhere!

Please follow these links if  you would like blackboard pens, a Chinese white pencil and blackboard paint.

Patrick Huggins, Director for BHMA Limited.

The History of the Blackboard Chalk Board

Blackboards-Chalkboards of different sizes

The blackboard was invented by James Pillans, headmaster of the Royal High School in Scotland. He used it with colored chalk to teach geography.

The chalkboard/blackboard was in use in Indian schools in the 11th century as per Alberuni’s Indica (Tarikh Al-Hind), written in the early 11th century. They used black slate tablets for the children in the schools, and wrote on them like we writon on our books today. They used calcium sulphate (chalk) as we would have done before the explosion of the chalkboard pen.

The term “blackboard” dates from around 1815 to 1825 while the newer and predominantly American term, “chalkboard” dates from 1935 to 1940.

The chalkboard was introduced into the US education system in 1801.

Compared to Whiteboards chalkboards have a variety of advantages:

  • Chalk requires no special care; whiteboard markers must be capped or else they dry out.
  • Chalk is much cheaper than whiteboard markers.
  • It is easier to draw lines of different thicknesses with chalk than it is with whiteboard markers.
  • Chalk has a no smell, whereas whiteboard markers often have a pungent odour.
  • Chalk writing often provides better contrast than whiteboard markers, which helps people read at a distance.

Patrick Huggins – Director

How often should we be changing our menus?

Having done some research on Menus recently, I am intrigued as to how often restaurants, pubs and hoteliers change their menus.

Specials Menu Clipboard

Specials Menu Clipboard

I can think of one Italian high street restaurant in particular, that I frequent with my family at least once a month, and I can honestly say I have never had the same plate of food twice, and that is without ordering from the specials. So is it best to have loads on the menu to start with and never have to change them, thus saving on time and paper. Or is it better to have a very basic menu holder and loads of specials that are written up on lovely chalkboards?

If you use chalkboards, do you have a sign writer to do them for you, or is it a working document that gets re-written after every service? The options for menus and advertising your wares are vast!

Alphanumeric Stencil For Chalkboards

Alphanumeric Stencil For Chalkboards

If you are changing the menu fairly often, let’s say weekly, do you use menu covers and then re-print your dishes on pretty card to insert? The added advantage of this is if they get covered in chocolate pudding, the menu covers are wipe clean and the inserts can be replaced.

Classic Brown Menu Cover

Classic Brown Menu Cover

Chalkboards, I always think are a lovely addition to any venue serving food. To me, it shows that the menu is being refreshed on a regular basis…using a specials board shows the ingredients are fresh.. Once they’ve gone, they’ve gone! Once the fish or pie of the day has gone, I can imagine the satisfaction of the chef telling his waitress to strike it off the ‘specials’ board! Do you make the menus all look the same; with clean lines and smudge-free using stencils and waterproof pens? Coloured chalk or the good old fashioned white stuff? Chalkboard Pens or proper chunky chalk?

Table Specials Chalkboard

Table Specials Chalkboard

Should menus be changed with The Seasons? quarterly – therefore encouraging chefs to use the freshest ingredients, giving them time to cost up and taste every dish before they present them to the public?

Do you keep a tally of best sellers, so you know which ones to keep and which ones to change?

Do you only change the menu when there is a price change on ingredients, or do you have inspiring young chefs that you allow to put one dish forward each month?

All these questions that go into deciding how often to change the menu… Who would have thought that writing out what we as customers can eat, would be such a challenge?

Patrick Huggins – Director

Drive Sales with a Wine Bottle Shaped Chalkboard

Wine Bottle ChalkboardBHMA Limited, are pleased to be able to launch a new flexible product to assist sales in the declining pub industry. It’s a new wine bottle shaped chalkboard, made from our EaziWipe chalkboard, which is guaranteed against staining for 5 years, and never needs painting. The size is the same as a real wine bottle, 300mm tall and 75mm wide. It can be positioned on a wall, with Velcro (supplied) on its own or in groups to make a real impact, perhaps to show the range of wines with their tasting notes and price.

This same Wine Bottle shaped chalkboard can also be supplied with a varnished hardwood base to hold it vertically, which will assist in selling wines from the bar top or wherever its placed. A third option is to have the Wine Bottle shaped Chalkboard with the base on the side of the bottle to hold it horizontally. In having the bottle in this orientation, it allows for the chalkboard to be included in back bar displays to promote any wine you choose.

The price of this item is extremely good value with the Velcro style being the lowest price at just £4.50. Already we are hearing of sales of wines rising because of the higher visibility of wine being given with this new product.

This video explains how to get the most out of the wine bottle chalkboard.