Of the many challenges restaurants face in a growing competitive market place, the need to identify and maximize your opportunities to increase revenues must receive a high priority. As you will see below, many times you needn’t look any further than your own menu layout for some of those opportunities.

Ways you can improve your menu

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1. Price point Justification. 

Place menu item prices at the end of their descriptions to reduce price shopping by diners.

2. Item Placement. 

People most often buy the first or last item in each category. Place your menu items with the highest gross profit in these areas on the menu.

3. Boxing.

Boxing a menu item can increase that items’ sales 10% to 15%. As a general rule box one out of every 7-10 menu items and box the higher-margin items.

4. Page Positioning.

On a three-page layout, people most often look to the center page first and then move counterclockwise. On two page layouts, people most often look at the top right-hand side first. Consider placing the highest profit sections of your menu in these areas.

5. Hospitality Symbols and Icons. 

Stars, hearts and food symbol icons draw a diner’s attention. Use this technique to increase sales of the items you’d prefer to sell.

6. Hold the Hyperbole. 

Studies show that less than one-third of the menu is actually read so keep the food descriptions short.

7. Showcasing.

Highlight menu categories using headings such as “Baked Fresh”, “Our Specialties”, “Comfort Foods”, “The dish that made us Famous”, “Sweet Street”, and “Angus Ranch”. Try these over the standard Appetizers, Desserts, Beef, Entrees, etc.

8. Menu Inserts. 

Brand your restaurant by offering a daily features insert that creates a sense of “You can only get it here”. Menu inserts offer opportunities for servers to engage diners in conversation. Inserts can also be an effective way to try new menu items that you are considering adding to the regular menu.

9. Round item pricing to 99 versus 95.

The four cents won’t scare any diners away but for every 100,000 items, you sell it will generate $4000 in additional revenue.

10. Upgrades.

Don’t rely on your servers to declare upgrade opportunities. List them on the menu. IE: Entrée upgrades typically average $2, if you average 700 entrees per week and manage to sell an upgrade with 10% of them, that’s $7,280 annually. WOW!

11. Avoid column pricing.

IE: All wrap sandwiches are $6.99. Since the cost of these items is different, their prices should be different. If allowed, many diners will pick out what they perceive as their best value when all the wraps are priced at $6.99. Their best value is your smallest margin. Don’t encourage this by pricing all your items the same… move that price up and down.