Pizza Menu Engineering 101 – Costs, Sales, & Profitability
Before designing a pizza menu, every restaurant owner should take a crash course in "Pizza Menu Engineering 101" in order to balance costs, sales, and profitability. Unfortunately, this is one area of the restaurant that many owners fail to realize the value of. Your pizza menu is meant to do more than itemize your dishes and prices, it is meant to sell and help you realize the maximum potential of your business.
In many cases, this means upselling foods to higher priced items, or tantalizing the customer so that they add extras to the ticket that they would not otherwise have purchased. Learn some tips from the pros so that your menu will do what it is meant to do – sell those high profit dishes!
The first concept to learn is that a menu does not need to be set in stone. With the reasonable prices of printing full color menus these days, it is totally unnecessary to simply do an annual cost analysis in order to keep prices current with market value. When you see profits dwindling away, it's time to analyze cost, sales and profitability.
As you know, market fluctuations are a lot more regular than that, and a profitable menu may need to change quarterly. For example, the cost of a gallon of milk may be $ 2.08 this week, but in a month that same gallon will cost you close to $ 4! Keep tabs on what you are paying for your inventory so that when you see your profit marginlining you know it's time to engineer a new menu.
Use all the marketing tactics available to you when designing the layout of your menu. Feature dishes with the highest profitability in places that are proven to be a focal point on the page. The upper left hand corner is the first place a customer will look, so place high profit items or those amazing 'upselling' appetizers in that area. You do not think they got there by accident!
Many people believe that appetizers are placed there because they come out before the dinner. That could not be further from the truth. Appetizers are placed strategically so that they add dollars to the bottom line of the ticket. Another tip for using location is to add high quality photos of your best selling dishes so that they literally tempt the customer to order that item.
What could have been a $ 25 pizza ticket for a family of four might just turn into a $ 60 or $ 70 meal ticket complete with an appetizer or two! But, upselling is not all there is to it. A well engineered pizza table is a fluid entity that changes as the need arises so that you can continue to realize a profit.
Keep in mind that most items will probably remain fairly constant. Only those dishes that are not profitable will need to be repriced. By changing too many prices too often, customers may become frustrated or angered. Most people understand that changing costs necessitate occasional changes, but repricing every item on the menu is uncalled for.
Find a printer with a great pizza menu template online, and it is reliably easy to make periodic changes. Talk to the printer to see if they will keep your layout on file so that you can simply make corrections as needed without spending hours on a totally new design. After all, full color printing is cheaper than ever, and certainly more cost effective than losing money on menu items.
Tip: Never correct prices by hand on a menu. It looks unprofessional and makes it blatantly obvious that you have increased the price. With low cost printing, this should NEVER be necessary.