Increase restaurant profits is every restaurants’ objective. With restaurants opening back up again, here are 3 menu tips to increase restaurant profits.
The hardest part is getting warm bodies to fill empty seats and i’m sure you’re doing a good job at doing that.
Wouldn’t it benefit your restaurant sales if there were a way to increase profits on your menu?
When customers look at the menu, they have no idea what they want.
Customers spend what seems like hours, going over the menu trying to figure out what they want.
It’s a good idea to guide customers to where you want them to go next.
Take some time to consider a few layout changes and product changes to increase restaurant profits.
Emphasize high-margin items
To get customers to at least look at the higher priced items, highlight them on the menu. How? Start by putting a fancy border around it.
This will get your customers’ eyes to look at certain parts of the menu. .
Customers often order one of the first items they see. So make sure to draw their attention to your most profitable items.
To do this, put a decorative box or border around these menu items.
You could also leave extra white space around them or make them a contrasting color. Any of these methods will pull in the customer’s gaze, and encourage them to order these items.
Remember to use this method sporadically or it will lose its effectiveness
Use the Golden Triangle
Another thing to consider is where you place these items on the menu.
Restaurant menu consultants will suggest you to use the “Golden Triangle” when planning your layout.
The eye is first drawn to the center of a menu, before moving to the top right and then the top left.
Keep this in mind when setting up your menu. Include your highest-profit items in the top center to make sure they are seen first.
Pinpoint your pricing
Pricing out your menu entails more than just calculating your food cost and dividing it by your profit margin to get a total.
There are some tricks that you can use to increase customers’ overall spend.
Anchor your menu with more expensive items
The first price that a person sees will influence how they look at the rest of the menu.
This is called anchoring. Customers are more likely to rely on the first piece of information they receive when making a decision.
To use this method, add a more costly item where they’ll see it early in their viewing of the menu.
For example you could include it at the top centre of the menu.
This method will make the rest of the dishes on the menu look more affordable.
The customer will most likely order the lesser priced food. Which means the customer may order a dessert or appetizer
Your customers are aware that in order to eat the food at your restaurant, they have to pay for it. But pricing is a pain point on your menu, so you’ll want to make sure it’s not a focal point.
Increase restaurant profits with less menu items
Attention spans are getting shorter. It stands to reason that a shorter menu length seems like a good idea
A certain famous restaurant chain has a massive menu. At 250 items on over 20 pages, they have something for absolutely everyone.
That certain famous restaurant chain has a very good inventory control system that is updated every minute of the day.
Wish your restaurant had that system? Certainly $150,000 will go a long way in your business but not for inventory tracking software.
Even though it has worked for a famous restaurant chain doesn’t mean it will work for you. Keep in mind that certain restaurant chain has been in business for more than 40 years
Wait staff are required to attend two weeks of classroom training to learn that menu, and cooks have to train for three to four weeks.
That is a lot of training and a huge amount of labor costs that a lot of restaurants cannot afford.
The trend is chopping items from the menu altogether making for a smaller but more profitable menu. Focus on the popular items and drop the slow or under performing menu items.
Some of the benefits of a simple menu?
- It’s easier on your customers
- A menu that is the size of an encyclopedia is not just unwieldy—it’s overwhelming.
Customers want to find something that looks tasty so they can place their order fast. They don’t want to spend 2 millennia reading a menu.
A good rule of thumb is the Rule of 7. Try to keep menu options to no more than seven per category.
That means seven appetizers, seven entrees, seven desserts—or less. People can keep track of seven options much more easily than 20.
It’s easier on your kitchen
A large menu with 50 entrees requires a huge inventory that must be managed. Each dish will require a different variety and quantity of ingredients, ranging from meat and veggies to herbs and spices.
That means more time will be needed for ordering, tracking, and doing inventory each month. And more time means a higher labor budget for you.
The more menu items there are, more training is required.Given the eye watering labor turnover in restaurants, that is unwieldy.
By keeping the menu limited, all of this “behind-the-scenes” kitchen labor can be kept to a reasonable minimum, leaving more cash in your coffers.
- It can lead to more sales.
- People like specialists.
A smaller, more focused menu allows you to position yourself as the expert at one or two things, rather than a dabbler in many.
Your menu is a living, breathing document that can (and should) be updated regularly.
There is no need to start from scratch. But having regular reviews with your team to discuss sales and look at your product mix.
If something that used to sell well has dropped off suddenly, consider a price cut or dropping it altogether.
Just because a dish is your favorite doesn’t mean it should stay on the menu if it’s not pulling its weight. A highly profitable item doesn’t do you much good if no one is ordering it.
When it’s time for a menu reprint, make sure to investigate thoroughly into what’s selling and what isn’t. Experiment with placement, pricing, and length to maximize sales of your most profitable items.
See our post on How does my restaurant stay relevant?
Mathew jazenko is VP of sales at Calvary Marketing and can contacted at email@example.com