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5 Tips to Build a Million Dollar Menu: A Guide for the Lazy

By
Supplyve Team
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
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Blog

5 Tips to Build a Million Dollar Menu: A Guide for the Lazy

Supplyve Team
October 29, 2023
4 Mins
Read

90% of Restaurants fail. What are the 10% doing right? Like any business success, it's not magic; it's science! Successful restaurants borrow from the world of behavioral economics and marketing to to craft a menu that makes both your customers and cash register happy.

Why Bother with Menu Science?

Your menu is your silent salesperson. Imagine you're at a restaurant, flipping through pages of dishes. Some make your mouth water, while others, meh. That's menu psychology at play! A well-designed menu nudges customers to spend more without them realizing it.

1. The Eye-Catching Zone

Menus aren't novels; diners don't read them cover-to-cover. The top and bottom of menus often get the most attention. So, if you've got a killer lobster bisque or a decadent chocolate lava cake, that's where they should be making their debut.

Example: Remember the last time you dined out and your eyes landed on the "Chef's Special Steak" at the top of the menu? Yep, that's the power of the eye-catching zone.

2. The Power of Words

Descriptive labels can be the difference between a dish that gathers dust and one that flies out of the kitchen. Instead of "chicken soup," imagine "Grandma's rustic chicken broth, simmered for hours and infused with aromatic garden herbs." Some studies even claim that such flavorful descriptions can lead to a sales boost of up to 27%.

3. Goodbye, Dollar Signs!

Ever noticed how upscale restaurants often ditch the dollar signs? There's science behind it! One Cornell study showed that diners tend to spend more when the dollar sign is dropped. So, instead of "$15," just go with "15."

Example: Compare "$25 Grilled Salmon" with "25 Grilled Salmon on a Cedar Plank." The latter feels less like a transaction and more like a treat.

4. Price Anchoring: The Mind Trick

"Price anchoring" is a savvy tactic where you place a few premium-priced items on your menu. This makes the other dishes seem more affordable. For instance, having a $50 lobster dish can make a $30 steak feel like a steal. This concept is well-documented in William Poundstone's book, Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

5. No Straight Lines, Please!

Listing prices in a straight line? Big no-no. This can lead diners to skim through the prices and opt for cheaper items. Instead, embed the price subtly within the description.

Example:

Instead of:
- Grilled Tuna............$20
- Veggie Pasta..........$15

Go with:
- Grilled Tuna, seasoned to perfection: 20
- Veggie Pasta, tossed in a zesty tomato sauce: 15

6. Bonus: Digital Menu Do's and Don'ts

The digital age calls for digital menus! Embrace the change but stick to the basics. Use contrasting fonts and colors for star dishes. But, always ensure the design is clean and easy to navigate.

Example: Highlighting your "Weekend Specials" in a different color or font can make them stand out on a digital tablet or screen.


Alright, kitchen kings and queens, armed with these juicy insights, you're all set to give your menu the makeover it deserves. Remember, every dish tells a story; it's up to you to make it a bestseller! Happy cooking (and selling)! 🍝🍰🍷

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5 Tips to Build a Million Dollar Menu: A Guide for the Lazy

Published
October 29, 2023
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90% of Restaurants fail. What are the 10% doing right? Like any business success, it's not magic; it's science! Successful restaurants borrow from the world of behavioral economics and marketing to to craft a menu that makes both your customers and cash register happy.

Why Bother with Menu Science?

Your menu is your silent salesperson. Imagine you're at a restaurant, flipping through pages of dishes. Some make your mouth water, while others, meh. That's menu psychology at play! A well-designed menu nudges customers to spend more without them realizing it.

1. The Eye-Catching Zone

Menus aren't novels; diners don't read them cover-to-cover. The top and bottom of menus often get the most attention. So, if you've got a killer lobster bisque or a decadent chocolate lava cake, that's where they should be making their debut.

Example: Remember the last time you dined out and your eyes landed on the "Chef's Special Steak" at the top of the menu? Yep, that's the power of the eye-catching zone.

2. The Power of Words

Descriptive labels can be the difference between a dish that gathers dust and one that flies out of the kitchen. Instead of "chicken soup," imagine "Grandma's rustic chicken broth, simmered for hours and infused with aromatic garden herbs." Some studies even claim that such flavorful descriptions can lead to a sales boost of up to 27%.

3. Goodbye, Dollar Signs!

Ever noticed how upscale restaurants often ditch the dollar signs? There's science behind it! One Cornell study showed that diners tend to spend more when the dollar sign is dropped. So, instead of "$15," just go with "15."

Example: Compare "$25 Grilled Salmon" with "25 Grilled Salmon on a Cedar Plank." The latter feels less like a transaction and more like a treat.

4. Price Anchoring: The Mind Trick

"Price anchoring" is a savvy tactic where you place a few premium-priced items on your menu. This makes the other dishes seem more affordable. For instance, having a $50 lobster dish can make a $30 steak feel like a steal. This concept is well-documented in William Poundstone's book, Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

5. No Straight Lines, Please!

Listing prices in a straight line? Big no-no. This can lead diners to skim through the prices and opt for cheaper items. Instead, embed the price subtly within the description.

Example:

Instead of:
- Grilled Tuna............$20
- Veggie Pasta..........$15

Go with:
- Grilled Tuna, seasoned to perfection: 20
- Veggie Pasta, tossed in a zesty tomato sauce: 15

6. Bonus: Digital Menu Do's and Don'ts

The digital age calls for digital menus! Embrace the change but stick to the basics. Use contrasting fonts and colors for star dishes. But, always ensure the design is clean and easy to navigate.

Example: Highlighting your "Weekend Specials" in a different color or font can make them stand out on a digital tablet or screen.


Alright, kitchen kings and queens, armed with these juicy insights, you're all set to give your menu the makeover it deserves. Remember, every dish tells a story; it's up to you to make it a bestseller! Happy cooking (and selling)! 🍝🍰🍷

Ready to save some time on manual tasks?

You didn't get into this business to do boring data tasks.

That probably sounds obvious. But stores can put so much effort into crafting world-busting menus and items, that they forget the soul-crushing, manual upkeep involved in tracking their finances or updating their point of sale. We'll do the boring work for you.

Ready to try a better way? Book a demo with us to see if we can help.
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