biz ladiesLife & Business

Biz Ladies: Fast Food Marketing for Your Biz

by Stephanie

Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Laura C. George, a business consultant for artists who teaches the ins and outs of building an income around art. She is the creator of The B Word for Artists, a program that helps artisans lay the foundation of their online presence and marketing so they start off on the right foot. Today Laura is bringing us a new take on packaging together products and services – like a fast food restaurant! Thanks, Laura, for sharing your business know-how with us! – Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

Your customers like what you sell or they wouldn’t be your customers. They flip through your store and discover all sorts of things they’d love to pick up. And then they start prioritizing what is the most important. Even if they have the money, most people feel frivolous buying a lot at once. So they refine their selection down to what they want most – that one piece that perfectly fits their needs, wants, and budget.

But they’re left still wishing, deep down, that they owned everything they loved in your store.

You can overcome their decision to pick just the one best thing by taking a tip from your favorite fast food places. These restaurants, though often unhealthy, are brilliant marketing machines. And the best part is that they don’t make their customers feel guilty for buying more (or buying less for that matter) or force sales on people who truly don’t want more of their food.

Let’s take a look at their menus. A big fast food menu showcases about 10 “combo meals” and then has, off to the side, a menu explaining the one-off dishes you can order. The combo meal is advertised most because it makes the restaurant the most money, even though it gives the customer a discount.

How can that be? It’s all psychology. The customer comes in wanting a burger, but those fries look pretty delicious, and they’re going to need a drink to wash down their meal. By packaging up these three products into one meal and giving the customer a little discount, the customer feels like they’re getting a great deal and jumps on the opportunity to have all three things instead of just the burger and the water bottle sitting in their car.

The combo meal is a great deal for the customer who is getting more of the things they want and feeling happy about it because they didn’t pay full price. And the combo meal is a great deal for the restaurant because the customer would have normally only purchased the hamburger and has now spent more money at the restaurant by buying three things in one.

This has been tested and the restaurant always makes more money when they offer combo meals.

This can easily be adapted for your own business if you know what of your offerings go together. Sell jewelry? Pair a blue necklace with matching blue earrings. Design graphics for corporate customers? Bundle together a website redesign with a logo redesign and a new customer brochure. Coach entrepreneurs? Sell a package that includes your most popular ebooks with your one-on-one coaching service.

Here’s the step by step:

1. To do this well it helps to know what your customers like best, so keep track of which products and services sell frequently. You want to create packages around those items because they are the ones that catch people’s attention. Then add other items to the popular ones to create a package that’s irresistible.

2. Another thing that ensures your packages are a resounding “YES – I have to have this!” is to point out your discount. The fast food restaurants blatantly list the price of the combo meal right next to the price of the “sandwich only” to show you that you’re getting a deal. The same is true with your own customers – they want to know that it’s beneficial to buy all the products at once. So don’t be afraid to tell them that each of the products purchased separately would total X, but together they only total Y. It will only make them feel better about their potential purchase.

3. There’s also a fun side effect of the packaging process – your customers don’t have to choose one service. They get to pick several, which takes them out of the hemming and hawing stage (a place they don’t like to be just as much as you don’t like them to).

4. The last crucial step to selling your packages is to put them front and center, just like your favorite fast food place. Don’t let your 5-page pdf steal the show. Present your customers with the best deal first. They’ll thank you for it because they want a good deal. And your wallet will love it too!

Hop on over to your online shop or services page and take a look at what you’ve been offering. It might surprise you how easy it is to create your own “combo meals” and steal the secrets of the fast food giants.

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  • Love this article. Great comparison to marketing across genres. I love to package things, but I definitely don’t always remember to put the spotlight on my packages. You’ve perfectly described my personal shopping habits. lol

    Will have to work harder to get my promos front and center and make sure to compare them to the regular stuff!

  • Point #2 about putting your packaged product next to the single item so you are pointing out the deal is a great one. And love the idea that we are helping our customers pull themselves out of an uncomfortable purchasing phase by offering packages so they don’t have to choose, as well as making the offer front and center. Great post, Laura!

  • Glad it resonated, Marcy! Sometimes it’s just one more reminder that’s needed before we get it together on a particular strategy. It’s that way for me, for sure!

  • Love it! No more “sandwich only” pricing when I lay it all out. And I love a good social reference (and the fact that I will no longer drive past a fast food place without drilling in on my business sales model!)

  • Great piece Laura! Lots of food for thought and has got me thinking about potential overwhelm for customers when figuring out how to work with me. Thanks for being actionable!

  • This is so true, it really is all psychology. Thank you for making this easy to understand and giving us a great visual.

  • Terrific post! Whatever our business, we all seem to think that there is only one way to market for our industry. Not so, packages (combos) will work for any of us–just have to adapt.

  • YES – Maggie it’s so true. Our customers feel overwhelmed because the problem seems so scary big to them. So they usually don’t even know where to start and having a gazillion options to solve their problems doesn’t help.

    Thanks, Dani!

    So glad the article came at the right time for you, Noelle! Don’t you just love when things align like that?!

  • Funny you should say that BC – Etsy shops are kinda my specialty!

    Ahhh thanks, Melissa! I think we can take lessons from other industries and it actually makes us more innovative, interesting, and successful. When we’re stuck, it’s a lot easier to get unstuck when we look outside of our own field because it spurs our creativity. Totally agree – we just have to adapt.

  • This was great!!! And it’s very true…I’m a sucker for a good deal. :D

    On another note, isn’t it fun noticing cool marketing ideas everywhere? I need to start a Pinterest board with some of the ads that inspire me so I can learn how to apply what they’ve got going on. :)