The vast majority of restaurant menus are poorly designed. From my experience, I would say at least 90% are poorly designed.
One of the first jobs I do when I get hired to improve a restaurant is changing the menu. And there are two reasons why I start with the menu.
The restaurant menu is the most powerful weapon you have to influence customers.
He is your best salespeople, and by far. In fact, customers long ago have stopped trusting restaurant employees. But still trust the menu.
Changing the menu has almost no costs.
Most of the changes I make, don’t cost any money. They are little secrets, easy to apply, but not known by most restaurant owners.
But results are excellent. An increase in sales, and customers satisfied with the meal. And satisfied customers come back again.
In this article, I’ll explain one of the many ways to increase sales with the help of your restaurant menu – don’ let the customer choose only by price.
Don’t “let” customers choose the lowest price.
Many restaurants make the mistake of helping customers to choose menu items by price. What these restaurants do is put prices in a column, one below the others, as in the following example:
Only in this case, for the customer who cares about the price, it’s easier for him to see which price is cheaper, and choose that item. In the case above, would be the sandwich at 5.90€
When we look at a menu like this, we immediately see the prices. It’s impossible not to see the prices. And our choice will be influenced by price.
But there are many customers that – even if the price is important for them – they may choose another dish, if it’s more appealing. These are customers who might choose more expensive products.
What technique can we use?
One of the techniques to solve this problem is to put prices, not in column, but immediately after the description. This way, prices get mixed with the description, and it’s not so easy for the customer to see which is the cheapest.
Of course there will be customers who will keep choosing the lowest price, and this technique won’t prevent them from doing it (in reality, no technique will).
But there will be many more, in which this technique makes them choose the products they like the most, instead of the cheapest ones.
This is an advantage for the restaurant, of course, which sells more. But also for the customer, because this way, he eats and drinks products that he likes best, instead of products that are not so good, but just cheaper.
And satisfied customers, they tend to come back again, and may write positive reviews.
So we should use this technique when we don’t want customers to choose by the price.
Here’s an example menu that uses this technique. Notice how prices no longer draw so much attention. Customer first looks at the name and description of items.
Example – Increase sales with the help of your restaurant menu
Here’s a little story that proves this technique is good for the restaurant, but also for the customer.
Peter met his friend Daniel on the street. They had not seen each other for some time. Peter asked if Daniel had already had lunch, to which Daniel replied: no, but I don’t have much time, I have to visit a client in an hour.
Peter suggested they go to a nearby restaurant, and eat a sandwich. It’s quick and cheap.
So, they went to lunch.
Daniel usually buys food at the grocery store, and eats at his office. This saves him money. He’s getting married in a few months, so he wants to save money.
When he looked at the menu, he noticed that there was chicken sandwich with mayonnaise, his favorite sandwich. There were other sandwiches a bit cheaper, but the difference was only $2 for the cheaper sandwiches.
He ordered the chicken sandwich with mayonnaise, and was pleased with the choice. And with the good company of the friend, it turned out to be a better meal than eating at the office.
Book “The secrets of the menus that sell”
This technique is part of the book, “The Secrets of the Menus That Sell”. There, you’ll find many more secrets to increase sales with the help of your restaurant menu.