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Servicing the Service Industry


Small Shop Uses Connections to Gain Business 


By Amber Watson


Part 2 of 2

Part one of this series emphasized the benefits of being linked to a thriving downtown location for print providers servicing the restaurant industry. Another benefit of establishing oneself in a local area is the connections that come with it.


The food and entertainment industry requires a large amount of printed graphics for outfitting a space and for drawing in new customers, so print service providers (PSPs) that form good relationships with these establishments find one job leads to another.


All About Connections

Squid Graphics in Bellmore, NY is a one-man show, run by owner John Kotarski out of a 1,600 square foot space. Kotarski, a gym owner and former nightclub promoter, has not spent one dollar on advertising because of the connections and referrals upon which he continually builds.


“I formed Squid Graphics in 2003 when I noticed there was a niche not being filled in the restaurant/club arena,” shares Kotarski. He began to serve his former nightclub clients in a new, creative way—designing and printing window clings, posters for events and holidays, and large graphics to decorate their establishments. This led to business from waterside restaurants seeking output such as window signage to grab the attention of customers walking by.


“JetVue by Clear Focus Imaging Inc. perforated window films are great because they provide shade and privacy for inside the restaurant, while still allowing guests seated at tables to see out.” Squid Graphics also uses LexJet Corporation Aqueous Perforated Vinyl for its water-resistance qualities and compatibility with aqueous inks. LexJet 8 Mil PolyGloss Banner and LexJet PolyGloss PSA are used regularly in restaurants—and the gyms owned by Kotarski—because the products are tear- and water- resistant, produce quality photographic images, dry instantly, and come with or without adhesive.


24 Hour Turnaround

One factor that attracts clients to Squid Graphics is a guaranteed quick turnaround. “When I receive a job request, I do my best to turn it around in 24 hours,” says Kotarski, who controls all elements of the process in house. “People don’t have to wait for the project to be shipped, and changes can be made and reprinted on the spot, which is especially important for club owners who schedule acts that are subject to cancellations or changes. They do not have the luxury of waiting,” he adds.


Squid Graphics prints on a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Designjet 5500 with UV inks and an HP Designjet L25500 latex printer. “I invested in the latex printer to expand my services to include outside graphics, such as vehicle wraps,” shares Kotarski. “The latex inks are great and the new printer works at top speed.”


He also has a 48-inch electro laminator—the latex saves a step by not having to laminate—and a vinyl cutter.


For the most part, Kotarski remains local, though he sometimes completes jobs referred to him for locations in Los Angeles, CA. He remains competitive with online pricing so his clients’ know they are getting a good deal.


Providing a Solid Service

Though not everyone is lucky enough to begin a print business with contacts in the food and entertainment industry already lined up, it is possible to build these connections over time. PSPs who work at providing quality services in a quick turnaround are sure to become valuable assets for fast-paced restaurant and club owners.


Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Preparing Prints for Food.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Jun2012, Digital Output  DORT1206

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