Menu Optimization: 3 Real-Life Restaurant Success Stories
Here on the ChowNow blog, we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of digital menus and tactics for menu optimization lately. A well-designed digital menu makes a huge difference when it comes to bringing customers in the door, and it’s absolutely critical for your restaurant’s online ordering system.
Whether it’s highlighting popular, profitable items at the top of your digital menu, creating mouthwatering food descriptions, or including sides or beverage upsells to entrée items, there are numerous different strategies that restaurant operators can have in their menu optimization toolbelts.
Want to see how it all comes together? We’re sharing some real-life examples of how digital menu optimization has brought value to three of our US Foods restaurant partners.
Pizzeria Uses Suggestive Upsells to Grow Monthly Sales by 23%
A popular pizza place in Ridgefield, Connecticut, enjoyed a consistent to-go business, but wanted to take their revenue to the next level with their very own online ordering system. Prior to working with ChowNow’s Restaurant Success Team, the restaurant had all of their menu options listed on their online menu, but didn’t include any suggested add-ons or upsells.
ChowNow’s experts knew this was a missed opportunity. They consulted the pizzeria on menu optimization tactics that would make upsells practically automatic. The restaurant decided to include beverage suggestions and popular add-on items like garlic knots and garlic bread on all entrées, salads, and pastas. This simple change encouraged customers to add more items to their order, consequently increasing ticket sizes.
In addition to these upsell tactics, the pizzeria created a category called “Customer Favorites,” which features the four most frequently ordered high-profit items. This turned out to be a very powerful menu optimization tactic when it came to their peak football and basketball seasons.
Thanks to these modifications to their digital menu, the pizzeria’s gross monthly sales increased by an incredible 23%.
Caribbean Restaurant’s Menu Optimizations Boost Sales Volume by 23%
An independent Caribbean restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida is renowned for both their ‘barbi fried’ chicken and their housemade juices. With these strengths in mind, this operator worked with ChowNow’s team to use two key tactics in redesigning their digital menu in a way that would increase their gross monthly volume and average ticket size.
First, they added a call-out underneath their entrées, prompting customers to try their housemade juices. The juice is one of the most profitable and popular items at the restaurant, making this an add-on that benefits the restaurant and pleases customers.
The second change the restaurant made was to create a “Popular Items” category. This includes high-margin items, like their signature specialties: jerk pasta dishes, flavorful seafood entrées and their ever-popular barbi fried chicken. Then they moved this new section to the top of their menu in order to influence customers to purchase these more profitable items.
After implementing these changes, the restaurant not only achieved their goals of boosting sales and tickets; they actually grew their gross monthly volume by 23% from the previous month, and are continuing to see increased sales month-over-month.
Unlock more ways to make your online ordering successful by reading our case study with The Good Pizza. You’ll find out how this restaurant used email marketing and smart promotional techniques to increase their online ordering sales by 138% within a year!
Mexican Restaurant Reorganizes Menu to Increase Ticket Sizes by 35%
This Mexican restaurant in Castle Rock, Colorado, is known for their fajitas—which customers say are the best in the town. While he was proud of his cuisine achievements, the owner wanted to improve profitability and ticket sizes through menu optimization.
The restaurant previously had an “À la Carte” section at the top of the menu, but the owner then noticed that these items were actually some of his least profitable dishes. He decided to move this section further down and feature higher-margin items at the top of the menu instead.
In addition, this operator added a prompt to “Complete Your Meal” with a selection of popular—and profitable—sides, drinks, and desserts on every entrée item.
This simple reorganization and add-on prompt grew the restaurant’s average ticket size from $43.15 to $57.84 in just one month—a 35% increase. Their gross monthly volume increased by 11%, marking an incredible achievement for the restaurant’s bottom line.
These are just a few examples of how menu optimization makes a major difference to restaurants’ profitability. If your restaurant has its own branded online ordering system, the possibilities are endless.
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