Few restaurant customers walk into a restaurant just to browse. In fact, it’s one of the very few businesses that when a customer walks in off the street, you can be sure they will buy something, and probably an entree or sandwich. What’s more, they want help deciding what to eat. Think about that, they want to know what you recommend, which gives you a lot of power in the purchasing process if you choose to engage your customer in the right way. And restaurant menu highlighting is one of the very best ways to help recommend what’s good at your restaurant.
Here are 5 facts about restaurant menu highlights that we use at HotOperator to help point consumers in the right direction on every menu we make.
1 – Figure out what you want to sell – sure, everything is good on your menu, but some things are better. And it’s your job to find out what those things are and then promote them. Focus on items that have a higher than average plate contribution and are already showing signs of becoming a star.
2 – Put a box around it – HotOperator research shows that the very best way to stop a person’s eye is to have a box around the items you want to sell more often. Sure, restaurant operators will often say that boxes look so simple, too simple to actually work. Well, yea, putting a box around an item is simple, and yea, it works every time.
3 – Color is important – Restaurant Menu Highlights work best when there is a background color and then a lighter or whiter color inside the box of the item you want to call attention to. It’s so important, I’ve included several highlighting samples. There is a trend to make menus simpler today, so the tendency is to leave the page white, use simple typefaces and make the menu look like it came out of a laser printer. But doing that will also make the menu less effective and will cost your restaurant a lot of money over a year’s time.
4 – Control Eye-Flow – Not every restaurant menu is looked at the same way. This is because there is a natural eye flow, and then there is the unnatural eye flow that takes place depending on how the restaurant menu is laid out. In other words, the design of the menu has a huge impact on what your restaurant customer sees, and what stands out to them. And you do yourself a disservice in your restaurant by leaving that up to your guests. HotOperator has perfected the art of controlling eye flow and can help you take advantage of these tendencies to attract a higher profit for your restaurant.
5 – It’s worth thousands of dollars to get restaurant menu highlighting right – Our designers at HotOperator have spent the past 25 years experimenting with restaurant menu highlights. And we know from experience that getting the restaurant menu highlights correct can add thousands of dollars in additional income to your restaurant. This is money that your restaurant is already generating, but is being lost because you’re not asking for it. Allow HotOperator to help you find the lost money in your restaurant.
Mark and Kelly Laux have been working in the food industry since the mid-1980s, developing award-winning, profit-generating marketing and advertising programs promoting national brands to foodservice companies and restaurant operators all over the country. Call 800-316-3198 to reach Mark and Kelly.