Create a monthly calendar your employees may use as a guide for when and what to sample or demo. Use customer visit frequency to guide how often to change your featured products.
Use the calendar to track your daily sampling and help you focus on specific products during specific parts of the day, and to help build your labor/shift plans for the specific product focus.
Post the calendar in your back room so that all employees are aware of the weekly sampling focus. And, make sure they sign off when a sampling is complete.
Summer Sampling Saturdays
By standardizing sampling days and times, you build consistency and incorporate it into standard operating procedures. At Starbucks, we implemented Summer Sampling Saturdays. Saturdays mornings are very busy and allowed us to reach a large number of customers.
We allowed the staffing and product allocation to sample during the busiest times of the day. As we moved from morning to afternoon and evening, we changed what we sampled from breakfast items to promotional lattes, and snacks and evening pastries.
Taste Tests & Comparisons
Funny, many brands are afraid to do taste tests. Heaven forbid they accidentally find the customer prefers the other brand. But, we don’t think you should be afraid of them.
If you can share your food, beverage, or product and explain what to look for as they try one vs. the other, comparisons can be very effective.