Proven Menu Engineering Tips to Raise Profits Without Raising Prices

menu engineering

Did you know that the placement of items on your menu has an impact on how frequently they are chosen by your customers? With a few changes to your menu design, you can get customers to purchase what you want them to purchase and increase your profits without raising prices. It’s called menu engineering, and in this blog, we’ll cover a few tips on how to make it work for your restaurant.

Menu Engineering & Design Tips

Guests will only scan your menu for a few minutes. By capitalizing on menu psychology your customers will choose the items you want them to order without having to give it much thought.

  1. Don’t put dollar signs on your menu.
    You don’t want your customer to think about spending money. Dollar sign immediately trigger customers to be more conservative in their spending.
  2. Include the price, but don’t draw attention to it.
    The price of your dishes should be included in line with the description. Don’t use a dash or dots to draw the eye to the price. Don’t use bold or italics.
  3. Don’t use even numbers for prices.
    It’s much easier to increase pricing incrementally when you don’t use even numbers. Instead of having to raise the price of a dish an entire dollar, you can raise it 10-20% without it being very noticeable.
  4. Place your high-profit menu items in the sweet spot on your menu.
    On a standard two-panel menu, most diners will focus on the right page, over the left. Eye tracking studies have found that the right side of a menu, just above the middle of the page is the sweet spot.
  5. Use boxes, borders, color or bold text to highlight high-profit dishes.
    If you know the food cost of dishes on your menu, drawing attention to the most profitable is actually quite easy. Any additional styling you add to that menu item will make it jump off the page. The key is to keep the rest of the formatting simple.
  6. Don’t skimp on the descriptions.
    Use descriptive language to explain the dishes on your menu. If you can make your customer envision the food and get their mouthwatering, you have them sold, no matter how much it costs.

With the right menu engineering and design, you’ll see your profits rising in no time. If you have questions on how to determine food cost or need assistance with menu planning and design, contact us at McDonald Wholesale. In addition to providing customers with high-quality wholesale foods, we also offer a variety of services for restaurant owners in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.


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