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Squeeze More Profit Out of Your Menu

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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.

Squeeze More Profit Out Of Your Menu

  1. Price Point JustificationPut the menu items price at the end of each menu item description to reduce price shopping by diners.  This technique will move the menu item price around the menu making it harder to shop.
  2. Item PlacementPeople most often buy the first or last item in each category. Place your menu items with the highest gross profit in these spots on the menuDo not list your menu items in order of lowest price menu item to highest price menu item.
  3. BoxingBoxing (or basically any clever method to draw attention to) a menu item can increase that items’ sales 10% to 15%. Box one out of every 7-10 menu items in each menu category.
  4. Page PositioningOn a three-page layout, people most often look to the center page first, and then move counter clockwise. 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 IconsStars, hearts and food symbol icons draw a diner’s attention. Use this technique to increase sales of the menu items you’d prefer to sell.
  6. Hold the HyperboleStudies show that less than one-third of the menu is actually read so keep the food descriptions short and use powerful adjectives in the descriptions vs. a list of ingredients. (Fresh, slow roasted, piled high, thick, perfection, smothered, dripping, flavorful, homemade, tasty, delicious, to die for, specially seasoned, hand picked, crispy, juicy, etc.)
  7. ShowcasingHighlight food items and/or menu categories using headings such as Baked Fresh, House Specialties, Comfort Foods, Dishes that made us Famous, Sweet Street, Angus Ranch, Appiteasers, Mom’s Favorites, Mean & Lean Greens, Why do aliens visit our Planet?...  our Sandwiches, vs. the standard Appetizers, Desserts, Seafood, Entrees etc.
  8. Remove the $ SymbolsDon’t remind diner’s they are spending money, remove the $$.
  9. Round Menu Item Pricing to 99Don’t end a menu items price with 5 or 0. Four cents won’t scare diners away. Every 100,000 items you sell, generates $4,000 in additional revenue.
  10. UpgradesStop relying on your servers to mention upgrade opportunities. Print upgrades on the menu. IE: Make it a club for 1, garlic mashed 2.99, top it off with fresh mushrooms for only 1.99, SUB Onion Rings, Sweet Fries for only 1.99, make it a basket for 1.99 etc.
  11. Avoid column pricingIE: All wrap sandwiches are 7.99. The cost of these items varies, their prices should vary.  If priced the same, guests will start to think “value” and are more likely to choose what they perceive as their best value when all the wraps are 7.99. Understand, your guests best value is your smallest profit margin. Don’t encourage this scenario by pricing all your items the same… move that price up and down.
  12. Menu InsertsOffer 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.


We are providers of Digital Dining, restaurant point-of-sale software that 
can really make a difference for the Independent Restaurant Operator.

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Dr. Radut Consulting