If you’re a restaurant owner, operator, manager, highly motivated employee, or anyone in the restaurant or bar business, you’ve landed in the right place. Today I’m going to share with you the top 7 profit exploding, menu engineering tips that you could put into play immediately on your menu to increase profits.
To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.
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Hey everybody, Ryan gromfin here, author speaker chef, restaurateur and founder of The Restaurant Boss as well as Restaurant Coaching Club. If you’re a restaurant owner, operator, manager, highly motivated employee, or anyone in the restaurant or bar business, you’ve landed in the right place. Today I’m going to share with you the top 7 profit exploding, menu engineering tips that you could put into play immediately on your menu to increase profits. I’m going to show you how to do it right here.
So What is menu engineering?
It’s the art and science of maximizing profits through design and item placement on a menu. What does all that mean? It’s basically our way of influencing customers to purchase what you want them to purchase. There’s no Jedi ninja mind tricks here or anything unethical or that’s not above board, but we basically wanna influence your diners to order the items you want them to order. Whether it’s the easiest to prepare or the highest profit, whatever works best for you.
An example of the power of menu engineering:
Here’s a case study for a client who came to me the end of the year, just a few months ago. He said I want to take my wife on vacation, but I can’t afford one. Well, to give you an idea, this is not a high grossing restaurant as you’ll see when we go through these examples and all this client wanted was a little extra money to take his wife on vacation. Let me show you how we created the income to do that.
So on this person’s old menu, they were doing on average $5,718.87 per week. For an average of 709 covers, which is an $8.06 per person or check average. A month later, after we implemented the changes I’m going to share with you today, the sales went up to $6,794.52 in a week for 745 customers which was the average, that created a $9.12 per person average, that’s what we’re interested in here. That’s a $1.06 increase in check average. That $1.06 increase, this goes straight to the bottom line, there’s no extra labor here, he didn’t have to buy any extra food, there was no added expenses other than the $40 or $50 to reprint his menus, but he added$1.06 cents per customer who walked into his restaurant, let’s look at what this will look like.
On an average of 709 covers, remember, I’m using the lower of the two averages here, so on an average of 709 covers, that’s $751.54 in increased sales per week, which is $39,080.08 over the period of 52 weeks, or 1 year.
I think it’s safe to say that this restaurant owner can take his wife on a very nice vacation at the end of the year, and still have a lot of money left over. As you saw going through those examples, this restaurant was only doing 6 to 7 thousand dollars in sales a week, this is not a high volume, huge grossing restaurant. Imagine these same statistics in your restaurant, how many covers do you do in your restaurant, how much can a little change make, let me share these tips with you.
These are tips any restaurant owner can do, you don’t need to know the cost of your menu items, most restaurant owners don’t know the cost of their menu items. I highly suggest that you do, but if you don’t that’s okay. We were still able to have a dramatic impact. The previous restaurant owner didn’t know the cost of his menu items.
Tip 1: Don’t put dollar signs anywhere on your menu at all.
Tip 2: Hide the price in the text. I’m going to show you a visual example of this in a second.
Tip 3: Don’t bold the prices, we don’t want to draw attention to the prices, we don’t want to hide them, but don’t want people to make their first decision based on the price
Tip 4: Is to use a smaller font for numbers, numbers have a way of looking larger than letters do, bump your font down 1 or 2 points to make them look more even, more the same.
Tip 5: Don’t use even dollars on your menu. I mean the 16 or 17 dollars, unless you’re ultra fine dining, if you’re high end fine dining, and you’re in that 22, 24, 28 dollar, 30, 40, 50 dollar range, then the even numbers work better, but I’m going to explain to you why we don’t want to do that here.
Let’s take a look, I know this is small, but here’s an example of a menu that draws attention right to the price, see all these dashed and dotted lines, they’re drawing your attention right to the price. The first thing you’re going to do is make a decision, your finger’s gonna scroll down this menu and see something you can afford or you want spend, $9.95 is the cheapest thing I’ve seen, I’ll have those.
Rather than reading the description first and making your decision that way. Let me show you a better example of this, even though we’re using even prices, which I don’t recommend, it’ll explain why in a second, this was a perfect mistake. The person, who was formatting this menu, did bold prices in one section, and non bold prices in the other section. When I saw it, I said what a great example, you see it on the same page, but if you notice how this first section with the bold prices, even though they’re buried in the text, your eyes go directly to those prices, and then you come over here to see what it is. Whereas down here, where the price is buried, my eye naturally doesn’t find the price right away, and I start reading the description, so I might decide wow, duck mole in a sour red orange sauce, and then I see the price. But I already decided I want that duck rather than scanning down and seeing 24 dollars and seeing 18 dollars, and saying I’ll have that cheaper item.
Tip 6: This is a little more advanced, if you know how much your items cost, position is everything, you want to find the sweet spot, let’s go over this quickly here. On a one panel menu, the sweet spot is usually a little to the right, and higher than center, and then your eye goes up over and down. On a 2 panel menu, same things you find yourself over in the right, maybe upper right of the menu, it follows this pattern of zing zagging back and forth, this was done in studies in the 70s and 80s, where they had some kind of camera behind a menu, and they would track where people’s eyes went on the menu. On the 3 panel menu, this is your prime potion, or your sweet spot, it follows the same pattern as the 2 panel menu. I wanted to give you guys a quick one on positioning.
Tip 7: This would require you to know how much your items cost, use boxes, borders, colors, bold text or photos to draw your guests attention to high profit items. Here’s an example of a menu. Not only is this a single panel menu, if you notice, not only did they box the sweet spot here which is where your eye goes, it really draws your attention, this quite obviously are the items that this restaurant wants to sell more of. These are most likely their highest profit items on the menu.
I know we went through this quickly, if you need any more answers to questions you have, or if you have any questions, go ahead, wherever you’re watching this, whether you’re watching it on my website or on YouTube or someone forwarded it to you, there will definitely be place for you to leave a question or comment below, you’ll be able to find my email address at the http://www.TheRestaurantBoss.com, if you head to http://www.TherRestarurantBoss.com, I have a 7 video series for you that’s completely free, you can come over and check that out, if you’re watching this on YouTube, click on this red button yes, click on it, the big red button is an active link that will subscribe you to my channel so you get more updates like this every week, I hope you guys enjoyed what you saw. This was a brief overview, reach out to me somehow if you have more questions or want to share your menu, I’ll give you a free consultation, see if we can get you results, like we did for the gentleman in the case study today. An extra $40,000 might help your life or restaurant a little bit.
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