Menu pricing for a new restaurant can make or break the business. There are a few guidelines for pricing your menu based on location, ingredients, and the restaurant's target audience, but the right numbers are specific to each restaurant. Nonetheless, the tips below can help guide you in pricing your items correctly.
Use Variable Pricing
One of the most important restaurant pricing tricks is to use variable pricing throughout the menu. Each member of a dining party may have slightly different quotas on how much they're willing to spend for dinner, so having some high priced items and some low priced dishes will help your menu appeal to a wider audience.
Consider Your Audience
You also need to consider the intended audience when pricing your meals. For instance, you may be able to price each dish higher at a family style restaurant if you also increase the portion sizes to be sharable. At a restaurant that caters to young, budget friendly diners, you may need to price the items lower but you can get away with placing more cost-friendly items on the plate.
Give Additional Options
Another trick of the trade is to make your items customizable for price. For instance, you may offer a base price that appeals to some diners, while others will choose to upgrade to add meat or other special toppings. This way, you can maintain the appearance of affordability while also upselling to get the higher price.
When You're Unsure How to Price Your Menu
If you aren't sure where to set your price points, there are a few resources you can turn to. One good thing to do is to visit similar restaurants within your budget range and see how they price various items on the menu. You may be able to ask waitstaff what the most popular items are to see what's selling.
Another step to take is to use a focus group. If you offer a free sample of your menu to a set of customers and ask them how much they're willing to pay for each item, you can collect valuable market insights.
Finally, don't be afraid to reach out to the menu pros. You can find great food service management services with expertise in pricing menus. These professionals will conduct data analysis, menu analysis, and market studies to determine the best starting prices for your menu items. With a decision as important as menu pricing, it's crucial to reach out for the help you need to get a good start.