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Menu-ing is Marketing

menu board

Notice how products on a restaurant chain's menu come and go, change, move around, are bolded or written small? None of that is by chance. Successful restaurants understand that the most valuable advertising real-estate is their menu. It helps suggest choices, guide decisions, pair loss leaders with higher margin products, and it builds anticipation and desire.

Even the placement of where a product is listed, or the decision to use dollar signs, whole dollars, or even cents are all strategically planned for successful restaurants that are trying to manage how items are shopped. Colors, style, images, its all a part of your marketing and while many smaller or newer food and bev. business are putting their menu's together through the operations team, a product or marketing specialist that understands consumer decision making and the power of messaging and placement is really the ideal person or team to be managing your menu task.

The Four P's of Marketing

In marketing there are the four big p's that a good marketer works on. They are Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. A strong and effective menu can utilize the principles of the 4 p's to help get the best ROI possible. Your Head of Marketing should understand how the product performs and how its naming, listing on the menu, price point, are affecting its performance. Is a good margin product that you offer not performing simply because it is not liked or is it placed in the least looked at spot on your menu? Is it paired well with a loss leader to off set the sales of a poor margin item? Is your price point in alignment to the rest of your offerings? Is the promotion for the sale strong?

Hiring a strategic and experienced marketing leaders such as a fractional CMO is able to analyze these concerns and a strong menu can improve overall sales through natural upselling and an improved overall margin by adjusting consumer focus and suggestive selling.

Menu Marketing isn't just for Restaurants or Bars

There are many businesses that utilize menu's and can benefit from this same type of analysis. Many companies or businesses utilize a menu including membership based businesses, retail businesses, and automotive companies. For example, in a multi-tiered car wash membership model can use a very similar process for menu building. From identifying a "recipe" of water, chemicals, and accessories to identify a cost, to the layout of a menu board or brochure, and understanding the psychology of consumer decision making can help you provide a competitive and margin-strong menu.

The four P's are so much more than just a product created or a price based on cost or margin percentage, or placement, or general promotion. There are human factors, psychological factors that an experienced marketing professional is trained and educated to understand and look for. To be competitive and build market share, increase guest check averages, and improve margins, it starts at a quality, well planned menu - the item your guests (new or old) are most likely to look at with intent and study.

If you think that you can benefit from partnering with a fractional CMO who can help you strategize your marketing efforts including menu-ing, schedule a free call today.

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