After menu engineering research on Chinese restaurants across America, a small business marketing firm reveals a big opportunity to improve sales.
(PRUnderground) September 30th, 2020
Cornerstore Strategy specializes in making restaurant, bar and coffee shop menus more profitable through the use of marketing psychology and menu engineering. In September the company set out to better understand Chinese takeout menus and find opportunities to improve their profitability without changing the underlying dishes served by the restaurants. What they found was surprising.
“In our research, we found the typical Chinese restaurant’s take-out menu contains between 180 and 250 priced items. That’s a lot of items, or more importantly, a lot of choices for a customer to make,” said Brad Mason, the company’s founder. But most of these choices are just variations of a smaller set of entrees. The extremely long menus are manageable for the kitchen staff, but as an abundance of psychology studies related to choice and marketing have shown, these choices place a burden on customers. Counterintuitively, more choices seems to increase the likelihood customers will order less or not at all.
The company identified a useful trend toward menu simplification being used by major brands in recent years to improve customer experience and increase sales of key items, without completely removing any items. Cornerstore Strategy’s analysis found that most Chinese restaurants could reduce the number of priced items on their menus by up to 61% simply by consolidating each entree’s variations into a single, more detailed and descriptive listing. That equates to ‘eliminating’ 110 items from the average menu without fundamentally changing the availability of any dishes.
“We focused this research on Chinese takeout menus because they are remarkably similar from one independently owned restaurant to the next and there are over 45,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States. But this guidance could easily be applied to restaurants of any type. It’s so important to keep the menu simple and concise,” said Brad.
You can find more details on the findings along with simple steps for how to put them into action on Cornerstore Strategy’s blog.
About Cornerstore Strategy
Cornerstore Strategy is a marketing consultancy based in Columbus, Ohio. We seek to make corporate marketing best practices accessible to independent restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Cornerstore Strategy offers a wide range of marketing services including menu engineering, pricing analysis, market research, trends analysis, and PR/publicity.
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