Does Restaurant Advertising Work? Does Restaurant Menu Engineering Work?

The question of menu engineering is the same question surrounding advertising in general: Does it work?

The answer to this question is much easier to ask than it is to answer. And the answers are varied depending on what it is you’re advertising and to whom you are directing your advertising.

But here are a couple of important points to remember from studies that have been done over the years on advertising. According to Kaul and Wittink (UCLA School Of Management), 1995, price advertising increases price sensitivity and leads to lower prices, which explains the price lists effect on menu items and relative check totals dropping as a direct result of leading a menu with a price; conversely, point-of-purchase materials tend to decrease price sensitivity when properly arranged.

All this is dependent on the product itself. According to no less than half a dozen experts on the subject ranging from Olson and Dover, Smith and Seinyard, Tellis, Wright and Lynch, all point out that product usage experience dominates advertising influence on beliefs, attitudes and behavior. So while you can offer a wonderful story about a product along with a photograph, if the actual product doesn’t resemble the description and photo, the patron will not believe you’re telling the truth in future instances.

Think you can write descriptions yourself? Maybe you can, but then again, is it worth the risk? A well-written product description can increase sales of an item by 30%, according to NBC Today. By any measure, this is a lot of potential income for your restaurant that cannot be left to chance.

And while you may think you know your products better than anyone else, and that may even be true, the fact is, you don’t write as many menus as a professional design-engineering firm like HotOperator. With several thousand menus of experience, they have written menus for every restaurant style in more than half a dozen countries, all with a high level of success. Beyond that, the experience has been tested by the results of the success of the menus that have been placed on tables. In those cases, HotOperator menu descriptions, when coupled with proper highlighting and in some instances photography have resulted in significant increases in popularity of purchase.

The results vary from a low end of about 5% to a high end of more than 35%.

Menu Design-Engineering - Marketing Communications - 800-316-3198 X301

Professional Restaurant Menu Design Engineering From HotOperator

The science of our professional menu design and engineering systems is what we call PHAN: Positioning, Highlighting, Anchoring, and Numbers.

1. Positioning.
Eye movement and menus have been studied for decades. At HotOperator, we use the latest techniques to make sure we position your best items in the hottest spots on the menu. Just as your restaurant is all about location, so too are the items on your menu.

2. Highlighting.
When you were in school, and you got the teacher's book and she had some stuff highlighted, did you pay attention? It's the same for the customers in your restaurant. When a patron comes in to your restaurant, he or she is trying to decide what's good to eat at your restaurant. We help by calling attention to certain items over others.

3. Anchoring.
The one time a person is most likely to purchase the most expensive item on a restaurant menu is the day he or she buys a house. The thinking is: "I'm already hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt," so that makes everything on the menu seem inexpensive by comparison. One of our techniques for helping your customers get over their price blocks is by using simple comparisons.

4. Numbers.
There is a lot of research that shows consumer behavior doesn't change unless there is a noticeable effect on price. So $5.29 and $5.49 is essentially the same number to a consumer. Knowing that, we can help you price your menu for maximum plate contribution without upsetting the delicate balance with consumer behavior.

There is a lot that we can do to enhance your menu. Most important from your perspective is the reassurance of knowing that our staff is all trained in these techniques and ready to help you grow your business.

Two Ways to Grow Your Business
There are only two ways to grow a business. One way is to get your current customers to buy more and more often. The other way is to get more customers. HotOperator offers programs to help you do both. Our system is unique in that we start with the engineering process to build your menu and increase foot traffic. We're the only company using your most important information as the basis for building your brand story.

Your Best Five:
Once the menu-engineering is complete, you'll have a better understanding of the items that provide the best plate contribution. HotOperator recommends developing your own point-of-purchase materials to enhance the sale of these important offerings. We'll help you choose your best appetizer, three or four entrées, and a couple of desserts to put on table talkers. These materials can be coordinated to match your brand essence and will stimulate purchase. (Samples)

HotOperator is a menu-engineering and design team that was built out of an advertising agency. Our credentials include more than 20 years of experience building traffic for restaurants, manufacturers, and distributors.

HotOperator Professional Restaurant Menu Design & Engineering 1-800-316-3198

HotOperator Professional Restaurant Menu Design & Engineering 1-800-316-3198

HotOperator Restaurant Menu Engineering Process Video

This is the HotOperator Menu Design and Engineering Process. The HotOperator menu development specialists break it down into 4 parts - Positioning, Highlights, Anchoring and Numbers. Get a sneak peek into the whole process with this video from the trusted name in restaurant marketing, HotOperator.

HotOperator Cafe Menu Cover Assembly Instructions

HotOperator shows you how to stuff a great menu. Many of our customers have asked for any methods we might share on how to get paper to slip into the cafe menu covers. Here is a step-by-step video on how we do it every day at HotOperator. Don't forget, when you buy your printing and covers through HotOperator, the Menu Collating is free!

The Best Way To Stuff A Menu Is To Have Someone Do It For You (Hint).