Mental Anchoring, Do It And Get Higher Check Averages


A number of years ago I came across some research done by American Demographics. And at first blush it seemed more amusing than anything. According to the research, the one time people are most likely to spend the most money at a restaurant is the day they buy their home. The thinking is: “I’m already $300,000.00 in debt. What’s another hundred bucks?” So they order a more expensive food item to celebrate.

All by itself, that bit of information may not seem all that impressive. Plus, it’s not very often that people buy homes even in good times, not to mention our current economy. However, when you couple that bit of information with the fact, and it is a fact, that the hardest item to sell on any menu is the most expensive item ... then it becomes valuable. So if the steak and lobster is your highest-priced item, it sells less than many of the other items on the menu. And in many cases, it sells dead last.

Here’s the rub, though. It’s probably the single item in your restaurant that offers the best plate contribution. Plate contribution being the total dollars a given item offers the bank. Many restaurant operators get hung up on food cost percentages, and while that’s somewhat important, in the big picture, what really matters is increasing your revenue per available plate sold.

Now here’s how this can help you: just by offering an arbitrary item on your menu that is more expensive than the currently most expensive item, you will get a substantial lift in sales of the most expensive item on your menu. So if you just take the most expensive item and double the order for twice the money, the single order will suddenly start to sell. And the cool thing for you is the most expensive item on your menu is, in all likelihood, your best potential to increase your profit potential.

Victoria house didn’t embrace the idea either, so I used the center-cut pork T-bone and BBQ ribs to help mental anchor. Victoria House had two sizes of ribs to begin with, and they already offered single and double pork chops, so by adding a rack and a half of ribs for 31.99, and triple pork chops for 27.99, we were able to take some of the down-pressure off the higher price points.

Views: 4

Tags: developement, marketing, matrix, menu, pricing, restaurant

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Mark on January 20, 2010 at 8:27am
Thanks Paul - it does work on its own, but you're exactly right, it also helps to have the servers promote it, too.

Non-Operator
Comment by Paul Paz on January 20, 2010 at 4:20am
Interesting strategy.
This would require educating the staff on this strategy... unless of course it works all by itself. Restaurant FOH marketing and sales training is notably absent in most restaurants other than making sure the SOP steps of service include the banal ivitations to alcoholic beverages, appetizers, and desserts.
Again, interesting strategy.
Paul

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Read the latest

Read the latest food and beverage coverage by SmartBrief in SmartBrief Originals: -More

Kids LiveWell turns 3 with 42,000 participating eateries

NRA's Kids LiveWell program has grown from 19 restaurant brands to 150, with 42,000 U.S.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

Restaurants, Inc. announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to expand its presence throughout the Lone Star State, naming El Paso and Houston as target markets for future franchise development.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

Takeout Orders to Hotels Jumped 125% in Popularity in Last Three Years

For many Americans, hotel room service is considered a travel luxury; however, data from PFK Hospitality Research1 suggests that room service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, with some hotels shuttering unprofitable operations altogether.

National Restaurant Association Praises House and Senate Commerce Committee Passage of Travel Promotion Act

Yesterday the National Restaurant Association (NRA) praised the House passage and Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes Brand USA, the nation’s first global marketing campaign, to promote the United States as a destination for international travelers.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service