If you use publicly traded restaurant groups as a barometer for business you had to have noticed that MacDonald’s reported an 8% plus increase in per store sales last quarter. Very impressive numbers for an organization that seldom raises prices. However, through category bundle buys and promotion- Big Mac’s interpretation of Prix Fixe- sales are o the rise.
There is a message here: No matter how often they get knocked for continuing to unhealthy obesity and cholesterol enhancing fats, the fast food group of drive through burger barons has developed a culinary kingdom that continues to increase in popularity.
The reasoning behind this is simple. The economy is trending down, foreclosures are up, mortgage rates are in a flux and the stock market resembles a ride on the Cyclone at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
It may be time to examine your menu and offer an entrée or two that appeal to a more reasonable crowd. I have had this discussion or years with a few high end operators who refuse to place a reasonably priced entrée on the menu for fear there customer base will only order the cheap stuff. That’s foolish
I know many a wealthy executive who still has a taste for a burger on a Tuesday night. I also know many a restaurant that has rocketed to fame while serving great burgers and expensive martinis.
The trend in restaurants today is leaning towards reasonable priced entrees in order to attract a crowd nightly. The high priced menu works for special occasions but anything less than two turns a night is merely a bad hobby. And many expense restaurants sit empty nightly with the exception of bust Friday and Saturday evenings. In order to make a profit and a living, you need to turn those tables.
Analyze your menu. Develop entrees that will appeal to your customer, your kitchen and your accountant. If you are hesitant to add an entrée try it out as a special to begin and see how it works. Or, develop a menu of weekly specials and make sure o promote them to your regulars so that the word spreads.
When customers begin to watch their finances, it is time to reposition your dining room. Don’t wait to do this, start thinking about it now. You’ll be surprised how fast you’ll fill up on Tuesday night if your menu prices shout “welcome”.