Embrace The Suck Blog

Is Your Menu a Cannibal?

menu design profitability Dec 26, 2017

Menu items that are very similar fight or cannibalize each other for sales. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the first thing he did was ask his team one simple question, "What products would you recommend to a friend?" When he did not get a very clear answer he reduced the number of Apple products from 350 to just 10!

Think about your menu. What items are your "hits"? Those dishes that your team just knocks out of the ball every time? That is what your menu should consist of! Too many items leads to what psychologists call "the paradox of choice" is when too many choices leads to anxiety about our choices. So when your menu has too many items, guests get frustrated and tend to go for the "safe" choice. The bad news is that your safe choice might not be a big profit maker.

Sometimes what you do NOT put on your menu is more important then what you do.

Here are some key questions to ask about your menu:

  • Why do I drive to your restaurant?
  • What do we do better than anyone?
  • Is...
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The Big 4 Thieves of Food Costs

operations profitability Dec 12, 2017

If restaurants had water coolers to hang around and talk all day about the gossip of the moment, it would be about food cost. This topic is the thorn in the side of many a restaurant owner, operator and chef, each trying to walk that fine line between creativity and profitability.

In the classic 1972 book, "Cooking for Profit" by Robert Petrie, the author outlined the original "40 Thieves of Food Costs." This concept of food cost thieves has been circulating around ever since. There are many variables as to why your food cost may have gone astray. The number one concern most restaurants struggle with today is controlling those costs. Let’s take a look at the four big ones and help you dial in the food cost monster.

Not costing out your menu

You would think this is a no-brainer but you would be totally shocked and appalled at how many operators do not know what it costs to put out each plate in the restaurant. Do you think for one second that Apple does not know how much it...

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4 Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales Without Upselling

The upsell.

How many restaurants have you been to where the server comes over and automatically starts into the canned sales script they are told to recite with the energy of a sloth? Enough already. Upselling is dead. That's right, today's customer is far too overstimulated with about a 1,000 other sales pitches every day from their mobile phones, email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+… they are everywhere!

So, how does a restaurant increase sales if upselling is a dead end? Simple. We need to change our mindset and focus to build better rapport. Here are 4 ways to get you down a better path to profits.

4 Alternative Ways to Increase Profits

1. Be Guest-Centric

Very few things are as frustrating as someone trying to get you to buy something you have no interest in. The canned “welcome” scripts at most restaurants are truly stale and delivered in a way that would not inspire most customers to buy the item being pitched. The reason they have lost their effectiveness is...

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