Start with a menu matrix. It’s how every restaurant menu should work.
If you have never been through a Menu Matrix review with a professional menu engineering team, it’s time you did. It’s how every restaurant menu should work. And it’s how HotOperator builds all of their menus. When we break your menu down by category, we find ways to make you more money. On average, we find between 7 and 12% in added income for our clients. This is money you are losing.
Research shows that most people hate losing even more than they like winning. (Especially Money)
Maybe that’s you. Maybe you hate the idea that you are losing money every day you are open. Think about it, you could be losing nearly $300.00 per day. And if you are making your own menu and just winging it, it’s probably a lot higher than that. A short, 15 minute phone call could change all that.
There are basically four moving parts to a menu: Product Positioning, Highlighting, Mental Anchoring and Strategic Pricing.
Regardless of the restaurant menu design you use, these four elements have the biggest impact on how a consumer will navigate your restaurant menu, and they have the largest impact on what your guests will order. Keep in mind, nothing is 100% in marketing, so what we’re looking for is a measurable increase in sales of specific items over time. To know best how to use product positioning, highlighting, mental anchoring and strategic pricing, you need to first look at what’s happening in your restaurant to begin with.
And by the way, if you’re just opening up your restaurant, you will not have any sales history to analyze, which doesn’t mean the menu isn’t as important. On the contrary, there is only one time to make a great first impression. And if you start your restaurant with a well-engineered menu, you will enjoy higher profits right from the start.
Here’s how every restaurant menu should work.
Product Positioning: Where a product is placed on a menu will make a huge difference as to how well it sells. Make sure the items you want to sell more of also make you the most money to the bank (and don’t worry as much about food cost percentages).
Highlighting: Your guest want ot know what you think. They want you to tell them what to order. It is your duty to tell the what you think is better (and if that’s happens to make you a little something extra, all the better).
Mental Anchoring: People comparison shop on your menu. They look at the prices, and they decide what to order based on the high point and low point. Mostly, they fall somewhere about 2/3rds of the way to the highest price point. Which means that if you find a higher priced item on your menu, the overall amount will go up, too,
Strategic Pricing: The price points you choose are very important to the overall success of your business. The restaurant menu pricing should be partially based on the food cost and mostly based on the products relative value.
M+K Laux dba HotOperator is a farm to table marketing consulting firm. Mark and Kelly are a marketing team and managing partners of HotOperator. They have been working in the food business since 1989. Either can be contacted through the HotOperator website, or by calling 800-316-3198.