5 Easy Menu Changes to Make More Money in the New Year

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Menu, Operations

By David Scott Peters

As you plan for the year ahead, there are many tools you can use to influence purchasing behavior of customers in your restaurant.

Here are 5 easy things you can do to your menu today to increase profitability:

1. Place high-profit items where your customers are most likely to look first on your menu. There have been studies that show where a customer looks first and then the path they take with their eyes. These studies show eye movement for a one, two and three panel menu.

2. Don’t let your menu be a price list. Price list menus have an item name and then to the far right it lists the price all by itself. Stick that price at the end of the item description without a dollar sign and in a smaller font size. Let your guests read the description and want the item first, rather than shop the price they want to pay and then pick the food they will order.

3. If you have categories, such as appetizers, that have 10 items or more in them, understand that the first, second and last items will sell the most in that category. So place your priority (i.e., most profitable) items in these spots to move them and make the most money.

4. Make an item stand out with a box, highlight, star or picture. These items will sell. If you include photos of specific menu items, be prepared to sell a lot of these options. And make sure you profile high-priced, high-profit items since they are most likely to be ordered!

5. Reduce the overall number of items you have on your menu. Fewer menu items mean less money in inventory sitting on your shelves, less waste, less labor and overall more consistent food. Having too much on your menu can cost you a lot of money.

Take any or all of these actions and you will see results like lowered food costs and increased sales. Heck, maybe you’ll experience both!

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, speaker and founder of TheRestaurantExpert.com. He specializes in teaching independent restaurant owners how to use systems for increased sales and increased profits. He is the nationally acclaimed restaurant coach whose unique “SMART Systems” approach to boosting profits has earned him the title of, “The man who can walk into any restaurant in America and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door – Guaranteed!” Learn more tips, tricks and secrets in David’s free weekly e-newsletter, “Instant Action Systems.” Simply sign up to receive the e-newsletter at TheRestaurantExpert.com.

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