Butterfield’s Pancake House

What Makes a Star

If you’ve read my articles in the past, you’ll know that stars in a restaurant are made up of items with an above-average popularity combined with an above-average profitability. I had a client a number of years ago who summed this up perfectly when he would say: “Any fool can get more money for what he sells, just take the price up. And any idiot can get higher sales, just take the price down. But it takes real genius to get a higher price and sell more at the same time.”

With the right amount of effort and some creativity, you can create stars in your business. But to do that, you first need to understand value and how to create value in the minds of your restaurant customers.

When you first think of value as an idea, and because there is so much effort placed on low-priced options by larger retailers, it’s easy to get confused about what value means. And while value is about price, it’s also about function. And consumers can be convinced that the quality of an item is of a higher value than another by offering more function to help support a higher price.

Here is an example: Let’s say I have a Rolex watch, and I tell you the price is $19.95. Your immediate thought is a Rolex is worth more than 20 bucks, so there must be a catch. Maybe it’s stolen, or a fake, but the function of a Rolex, with its exclusivity and build quality, dictates a higher price.

On the other hand, let’s say I have a Nokia watch for $12,500.00. Again, there is a value problem, because the Nokia brand cannot function at that price. In other words, the product function is not valuable enough at that price point to support a sale.

So when you go about making restaurant products that you hope will become stars, keep in mind that the price you sell an item for is restricted by its function. And to get the price to move up, you will need to offer a higher functional value to your guests. To increase the function, you’ll need a little creativity.

Talking Up Stars

When communicating with guests in print, make points that create a difference customers can understand.


December 26, 2014


Business, Menu Design, Restaurant Marketing