Your Restaurant Menu. Does Size Matter
When is a menu to much.
I stopped for lunch at a restaurant last week which is a regional chain that is trying to grow its franchise locations. It was a convenient location to meet a friend who lived nearby. He chose the location because of a special he saw while looking at Facebook. Yes social media drove his decision to eat there. Lunch for two was $36.00 chalk that up to the power of social media.
We chose to eat in the bar area because of the multitude on TV's and the ability to catch highlights of yesterdays games. At the bar, the server brought us our menus. Oh, the choices we got:
- A sixteen page menu 4 color menu on synthetic paper (expensive)
- A two side specials menu
- A craft beer menu.
In total we had twenty pages of menu items to look at. To be honest, I did not even look at the specials menu. The person I had lunch with's only comment was "the burgers are good here" and he has eaten there often.
Is a twenty page menu effective? I suspect many customers only order what they are familiar with and do not look or read that big of a menu.I think that a product mix report the might show that only a handful of menu items sell. It's also interesting to note that some of the items on the menu did not have the ability for cross utilization. Many industry observes are of the belief that a smaller menu is better. I hold that opinion as well and product mix reports seem to bear that out.
Well,this blog is about the impact on me as a consumer. On top of the menu choices, the server messed up the order and the quality could be better. A few hours later I looked at the Yelp scores for the restaurant and they were 2.5 stars. Could there be a correlation between all of this? Menus, food cost, server performance, Yelp scores, each of these elements impact the profits of the restaurant and their ability to sell franchises. The concept is a proven one, but the basics need to be worked on in my opinion. Opportunities abound!
At CORE Restaurant Marketing, we have helped many restaurants design and execute a performance improvement strategies. Our goal is simple, how do we help restaurants succeed. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or schedule a time to speak with one of our restaurant marketing coaches.