Want More Napkins? Fax Us

Maybe every linen supply company does this, and I’ve never noticed it, but I thought this was pretty clever. They put their fax number on every napkin:

Fax Number on Napkin

This ensures that, even if a restaurant fires its entire staff and hires new people, it’ll be easy for the new floor manager to order more napkins. The lesson here is an obvious one, I suppose: make it expectantly simple for your customers to contact you.


  1. Do you think it’s a fax number rather than a URL because:

    – The company finds customers use faxes more?

    – The napkins are so old they pre-date widespread use of the Web?

    – The fax number fits easier?

  2. Well, if I were speculating, there’s probably two reasons:

    * This is Malta, and most restaurants don’t have web access.

    * More practically, if they do mostly handle orders by fax, it’s an extra step to visit the website to find the fax number.

  3. One of the most well-known eCommerce cases within Information Systems is a very early case (70s, I think) about a hospital supply company.

    Near the back of each of the boxes they delivered to hospitals they put a punch card that had information about the product number, customer number, etc. That made it easy for hospital staff to re-order supplies; they’d just drop off the punch card at the supply clerk’s desk.

    They effectively eliminated orders to competing companies because reordering was so much easier than ordering with any other company.

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