Inexpensive Tools to Improve the In-store Experience

Retailers often think major remodels are the only way to update their store and the customers’ in-store experience. For alternative ideas, Steven Cohen, GSP’s Vice President of Design Services, and Lester Morrow, Industrial Design Creative Director, recently visited various stores to look for merchandising areas with room for improvement. As a result of these store visits, they provided some simple and easy-to-implement solutions to improve the in-store experience and create impact. Here are their recommendations.


Create a system to communicate your offer. Customers only have so much time to find and purchase the item they’re looking for. Make it easy for them to navigate the store space by creating focus—and establishing visually appealing destinations for the main store categories, such as coffee, fountain and foodservice. Consider using a “graphics system” for identifying key areas (see the image on the left above) rather than creating widely varying graphics for each area. A simpler, uniform system will often make it easier for consumers to make purchasing decisions and shop.


Create visually appealing category destinations—organization is key for an improved in-store experience. Equipment is often different heights which creates a visual disturbance or “skyline effect” as shown in the image to the left. By arranging the equipment so that they line up at the top, and by also creating centralized storage for condiments and utensils, you will ensure your category destination areas look neat and organized.


Create your own “Wall of Value.” Make sure that bulk displays do not detract from the overall presentation of the store. For example, in the image on the left, the multiple stacks of packaged drinks result in visual clutter. A moveable platform solution with packaged drinks grouped together with branded background signage can help market and bring focus to your products.

Industrial Design Spotlight: Easy Change Modular Menu System

Easy to change menu system customized to your brand

4-8 magnetic sign panelsGSP’s modular menu system is composed of 4-8 magnetic sign panels and has tremendous flexibility in terms of design application, and ideal for highlighting foodservice menu offerings.

Photos of foodservice items are printed at the base of each panel under each window flap to illustrate the offering as well as act as filler when a pricing special does not exist.

The panels are completely changeable, and the pricing graphic panels, with easy to read type design, can be printed at the store level and simply slip into position. The magnetic strips seal everything in place.

This menu system can be customized to work with a variety of colors and materials, such as wood or brushed aluminum, to match your store décor and brand. Also any shape can be printed or added to the top or bottom of the system to add additional branding components or special promotions.

Easy Change Modular Menu System Features:
• 8.5″ x 11″ inserts for easy store price changes
• Modular for multiple configurations, and with any number of panels
• Can be finished in a variety of different material finishes to match store décor
• Custom configurations available in different panel sizes

In the below designs, the first menu system incorporates 2 four-panel menuboards and a strong centered brand identifier. The additional designs show varying configurations of the same modular elements.

GSP Cafe Fresh

GSP’s modular menu system, equipped with easy to change magnetic menu panels, is ideal for busy foodservice retailers to enable quick price adjustments at the store level. The system can be customized to match store brand colors and materials and is modular enough to even incorporate on store kiosks throughout the store.

The Day Part Menu

Make the Most of Your Menu

Let GSP’s menu boards give you the edge over the competition with yet another great reason to shop your store. Show your customers that there’s just no need to hit the drive thru when you’ve got a value menu chock full of tasty food choices.

Win them over first thing in the morning with a rise-and-shine breakfast menu. Then keep ’em comin’ back for more with a value lunch menu printed on the other side. With a simple flip of a wrist, you’re good to go.

3 great reasons to try The Day Part Menu

• Boost sales – Give your customer what he wants – the ease of grab-and-go, fresh food right when he wants it.
• Test drive value menu promotions with the ease of a quick-change artist. Fast-flipping inserts showcase one great offer on one side and hide another on the back. Food promotions are the key to growing sales in 2011.
• Want to really tempt ’em? Our mouthwatering food service photography puts your menu in the best light.

“The Day Part Menu is a great way to showcase a variety of enticing food items and pricing specials throughout the day to drive sales,” says Kevin Farley, GSP’s VP of Marketing. “It’s quick, easy and ideal for menu changes right before each of the busy meal time windows.”

What We're Working On...

Menu System

Menus, large or small, drive food service traffic and help build your food service brand. Menu systems must be easy to install, modular to fit various locations and easy to maintain in the stores. GSP’s Creative Services team has a series of menu systems that fit into any retailer’s space and budget. Working on the premise that no two stores are exactly the same, the menu systems are modular to allow for each location to have customized menu sizes and graphics – improving the consumers experience and helping to build your brand.


Menu System

Modular Window Sign

Always looking for new ways to display regular merchandise with frequent price changes, the team created a sleek design to showcase products in a window or hanging from the ceiling. This unit is a double sided with spirals for pricing. It is constructed of an inner piece that is an .080 skin on each side glued to a .375″ inner core. It has routed openings for the spiral pricing to fit in. It is all housed with a metal frame that it inner core slides into. The graphics then slide in on each side of inner core and are easily changeable. The sign is also changeable, the structure provides a good carrier for graphics that can change the look whenever needed.


Modular Window Sign

Shelf Sign

The sign is simple and functional. The unit is 1.25″ high x 12″ wide, channel with accordion numerals and accordion brand graphics. It has a data channel turned upside down and taped on the back so it can slide in to existing data channel on cooler shelves. It can work on any rack with existing data strip type channel.


Shelf Sign


Driving Food Service Profit

One menuboard at a time

Food service is everywhere now – and if you aren’t currently doing it, you are likely considering it and its impact to your overall business. In order to drive your message to the consumer, you need to have the mainstay of a good food service program, the menuboard.

There are many options available in all shapes and sizes. It is critical to ensure you have the “right” one however, as it will improve sales (typically 10-15% increase) and dramatically improve product awareness (and trial).

Without doubt, there are many challenges as you approach the implementation and rollout of a menuboard project. QSR magazine suggests 7 rules to great menuboard design:

1) Conduct sales analysis – know what sells and your profits per item
2) Allocate menuboard space based on sales – best sellers should be visually more impactful
3) Leverage hot spots – consumers look at one area first – focus on it
4) Optimize navigation – think like your customer. What will they order next?
5) Analyze hardware – can you easily change dayparts?
6) Strive for graphic excellence – your customer has to be able to read it
7) Analyze results and continually improve – make changes as required

Retailers must work to ensure that the design of the menuboard is flexible enough to accommodate the various size spaces – from the largest to the smallest areas across the chain. Modular designs help to ensure that costs can be kept to a minimum while providing maximum graphic and daypart flexibility.

Many consider a digital menuboard a way to increase sales yet there no empirical evidence that digital menuboards improve sales over a traditional, well designed menuboard system.

Driving food service profits rely on several factors from product selection, service levels and overall program quality. Once these are in place and working, you need a place to shout out to your consumers about your product selection and value. A well designed, cost efficient menuboard will help you communicate this and build consumer loyalty over the long term. Bon appétit!