Be A Menu Engineer

Here’s a fella that strikes me as owning his niche. American Gregg Rapp says he’s specialised for two decades in helping eateries make more money purely from altering the presentation of their menu.

In the video clip accessed from his website you see the power of his experience.  In one restaurant he presents half the diners with his ideally designed menu, the other half with the most basic of old-school style listing.  The difference in order values was that his wisdom earned 15% more over the typical worst-case menu design.

What’s the difference between a menu and a proposal?  It feels like similarities exist.  Anyone that needs to present options with prices could do with a  touch of ‘quote engineering’ I bet.  Especially if you’ve a Plof (price list order form) or sell modular options with add-on component choices for instance, as it’s not Marketing that have to create them, it’s you the rep.

About The Price

The video link from the menu engineer’s website opens the lid on basic errors.  The biggest is in terms of displaying prices.  Never have leader dots showing all the prices neatly aligned, as the diner will choose the price first, then skip back left-wards to check the corresponding dish.  Instead, bury the price underneath the food, and banish the currency symbol to soften the price.

Decoys, Display & Descriptions

Other tips include having very expensive items as decoys. They then make other options that might normally be considered pricey seem more reasonable.  People are more inclined to buy the second-most expensive. You should heed too where the eye most often settles, so place your most profitable items in the double-page’s upper-right slot.  Also, you can apparently raise spend by 30% from mouth-watering descriptions that evoke an attractive taste sensation (the flavours and textures) – one example of dish title successfully changed included mere crab cakes to Maryland-style Crab Cakes.

More Hints

I recall a rare training day near the start of my sales career, where the tutor implored us to avoid making our quotes look like invoices.   A good place to begin your own quote engineering.  As well as adapting the aforementioned tactics, substitute the culinary terms for your own sales jargon and other ploys the menu guru discloses that can undoubtedly help are;

  • make the items that can often be taken as cheaper alternatives harder to find,
  • give yourself every chance to sell lucrative yet possibly small price-tagged add-ons,
  • mix-up the order of dishes so that even when prices are not visually aligned they’re not shown in order of value,
  • put essential extras in a box or different colours,
  • use unusual titles and avoid both generic and hypberbolic description,
  • list the same thing in three ways and the middle one will sell the best.

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