Enticing Customers With Sensory Marketing


11 mins read

You need to entice customers back to your business, this may require marketing, menu changes and creating an environment to inspire walk-in customers.

Sensory marketing is a range of techniques used by successful foodservice players to reach customer’s senses and influence their behaviour.

Sight – looking at your business through the customers eyes

It is no secret that customers will initially  assess a dining venue with their eyes before committing to purchase,  therefore, visuals are of vital importance. 

Not only will they be attracted by lighting and design elements, but, of utmost importance, is the visual cues that say: This is a safe place to eat!

Keep your front of house, kitchen and rest rooms spotlessly clean.

Sterilise public areas frequently and visibly so patrons are able to see and value the efforts being made.

Provide hand sanitiser for public use near cash registers.

Work on restoring consumer confidence in dining-in through stringent health, hygiene and food safety actions that can be clearly communicated online, in and outside of venues.

Customers have a new appreciation for personal space and are aware of the behaviour of others – ensure that you space your tables to accommodate personal space.

Actually seeing food being cooked can put a customers mind at ease and create a sense of anticipation.

Smell – “Unlike other senses, smell skips the rational filter in the brain”

Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation - Chicago

Aromatic cues can play a large role in enticing customers into a restaurant or café. They also create a signature brand scent that will imprint into the memories of your customers to drive future behaviour. 

Cinnabon, for instance, strategically places its ovens at the front of the store and heats up additional brown sugar and cinnamon to attract the noses of potential customers in the surrounding area. 

Grind fresh coffee beans every hour or so and place them close to the door.
Or have a “show oven” in a front of house location with regular bakes for a constant fresh-baked aroma.

Change out your baking times to emit the aroma of fresh baked goods at times you are most likely to attract customers.

The aromas that are most irresistible to passing customers are – Freshly baked bread, muffins, pies or cookies, freshly brewed coffee, sizzling bacon, caramelised onions, melted chocolate, BBQ meat, wood-fired pizza, roasted nuts or freshly made waffle cones.


Smell and taste are closely linked because flavour engages them both. To complete the equation – try linking deliberate aromas in  your outlet with a sampling offer to  prospective guest.  

How your food tastes is obviously important, but using marketing techniques such as sampling can give customers this sensory information before they decide on a purchase and leave customers wanting more. 

Ensure that food safety procedures are employed when sampling.

Choose a dish which could be perceived as your speciality and ensure that it has a broad appeal for all potential customers.

Staff offering samples need to be friendly yet not too pushy to avoid annoying potential customers.

Train you staff up to answer any questions the customer may have, including dietary considerations.


Auditory elements are also important to consider. Music choices can set the pace of the environment and influence customer behaviour. In this time of difficulty, it is important to remember that customers are eating out a distraction from their daily realities and are 

looking for an upbeat experience. Keep in mind that background music, like interior design, affects people’s moods. Music can either  attract guests or make them want to leave as fast as possible.

If an open kitchen is part of your strategy, sounds of cooking will generate excitement.

Bringing food to the table that makes a sound, such as sizzling fajitas, also creates added entertainment.

Calming music will encourage guests to relax, eat slowly, enjoy every bite and maybe even order that extra coffee.

Use background music that links in with your menu and environment to create a cohesive brand.

We are all social beings so ensure that background music is loud enough to create a vibe but not too loud to prevent conversations.

Related Articles


Inside the social food movement

Customers always eat with their eyes first – and now a staggering number also eat with their smartphones and social media accounts before picking up their fork.

Cream and its many uses

A quality culinary cream can work its magic in a variety of ways – here’s just a few of them for you to try.

Butter vs Margarine: A tale of two fats

You no doubt already know your customers are keen to eat natural foods these days - and they’d be hard-pressed to find one as pure as butter.

Dairy UHT cream vs non-dairy UHT cream

UHT (ultra heat treated) cream or long-life cream is exposed to high temperatures for a short period of time, before it’s packed into sterilised Tetra Pak cartons and delivered to your kitchen.

Helping customers choose your establishment

Consumers have never had so much choice when it comes to dining out. So how do you convince them to choose your establishment?

Why our creams are better

Anchor™ Food Professionals has a range of creams to suit your business needs and satisfy your customers’ tastes.

Choosing the right type of cream

Cream is one of the most versatile ingredients for all foodservice bakeries and kitchens.

Fonterra Releases 2021 Sustainability Report

Fonterra’s 2021 Sustainability Performance Report indicates promising headway and momentum in the right direction.

Ready to reopen

In our COVID-19 world, social distancing is the new normal for so many of us. But keeping six feet of space between each other may take some getting used to – especially in busy restaurants! Although reopening guidelines come from a number of sources and differ geographically, there are a few common themes that have been tried and tested.

Finding their recipe for success in the kitchen

At Anchor Food Professionals, our people are at the heart of our success. We are committed to supporting a diverse range of talented chefs who work hard to ensure our customers’ thrive. We are proud to celebrate our female chefs who are paving the way for future generations.

Delivering excellence every time

Foodservice delivery was already taking off before 2020 ... and then COVID happened. While a shock, it made many businesses pivot to find new ways of setting up fast, convenient delivery models. And that meant new ways of thinking around pricing and cost management, updated menus, websites, communicating with customers, staff management plus extra food safety and hygiene measures.

Choosing the right type of cream

Cream is one of the most versatile ingredients your bakery or kitchen can stock – you can pour it, whip it, and add it to everything from drinks and desserts to pasta sauces and soups.

Butter, Naturally Pure

A meal that tastes good is just as important to your customers as one that’s good for them - and butter has a deliciously unique flavour that will easily elevate your menu.

Artichoke Basil Pizza

Artichoke Basil Pizza

Recipes with our award-winning mozzarella

Anchor Food Professionals has taken out some top awards at the 2022 International Cheese & Dairy Awards.

Anchor Food Professionals Performance at International Cheese Awards

Anchor Food Professionals collects eight medals and one trophy at this year’s International Cheese and Dairy Awards.

March 2022 Trend Report – Cheese, Spice & All Things Nice

Anchor Food Professionals have curated some of the latest trends to help deliver you some menu inspiration!

Regal Shake Recipe

A refreshing and deliciously creamy shake. Made with crumbled regal biscuits, topped with a decadent cream cheese topping.

Lychee Dragon Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Brighten your day. A perfectly balanced blend of mild tropical dragon fruit and sweet aromatic lychee topped with a deliciously rich cream cheese topping.

And that’s a wrap on Bakery China 2023!

Last week we were at Asia Pacific’s biggest bakery event - Bakery China in Shanghai.

It’s not just our Chefs who are world class.

As proud sponsors of the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2024, we’re excited to introduce another star of the show – Anchor Chef’s Classic Whipping Cream!

Tarte à la mangue

This Tarte à la mangue is a baked mango tart with mango mousse and vanilla cream using our Anchor Whipping Cream.

Collaborating to grow our Chinese market

Two of our New Zealand team recently travelled to China to learn more about the UHT Cream market there, and how we can develop great new products for our customers.

Anchor Food Professionals wins big at the International Cheese and Dairy Awards 2023!

We recently entered some of our Anchor Food Professionals products in the International Cheese and Dairy Awards – the world’s biggest platform to champion world class producers of cheese and dairy products.

Orange Blossom Malabi Custard

Orange Blossom Malabi Custard

Tomato Bisque

Tomato Bisque

Whipped goats cheese tortellini

Whipped goats cheese tortellini, vintage cheddar & toasted pine nut cream sauce.

Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Cajun Cream Tortellini

Cajun Cream Tortellini

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream.

Spicy red cream sauce with roast eggplant & spaghetti

Spicy red cream sauce with roast eggplant & spaghetti.

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream.

Rosemary & garlic roast chicken with pappardelle, goat's cheese & avocado

Rosemary & garlic roast chicken with pappardelle, goat's cheese & avocado.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

A delicious creamy soup for fall. Made with fresh mushrooms and Anchor Extra Yield Cooking Cream.


A Korean dish with a twist! Deep fried chicken, pizza topping flavours, and a hit of spice - all balanced out with our smooth Mozzarella cheese. Try out this Korean-inspired dish that will delight all the senses!