Do you want to increase your menu’s prices without ticking off your regular customers? The following are the top strategies to boost your revenue without screwing it up.
Yes, I know – raising prices at your restaurant without affecting your business seems like mission impossible. But you know what? That’s all a matter of perception.
The following example will help you understand how your client thinks.
Imagine that a friend and you are sitting in the sun on a tropical beach, and would do anything to find a cold beer. In that moment, your friend says that they fancy an ice cream, and asks if you want him to get you something.
You take the opportunity to ask for that beer you’re craving, and since you know that he will buy it at the only grocery store nearby, you give him $3, and are sure that will be more than enough.
Now, imagine you are at the same tropical beach, but this time in a luxury resort. Your friend says to you that he fancies an ice cream, and asks: “Shall I get you something?”
You kindly ask him to bring you back a cold beer. But this time, you know that the only place where he can go to get your drink is in the bar of the luxury hotel.
In this case, you put your hand into your pocket and pull out $10.
You don’t care about it, just like most people.
Richard Thaler – a US economist responsible for the “experiment” I’ve just described above – showed that humans are willing to pay up to 70% more for the same beer when they buy it at what we perceive to be a luxury hotel.
In short, our perception influences our price limit.
Therefore, it seems logical to assume that to raise prices at your restaurant, you have to work on the perception of your products and services.
Stop right away, because I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking that working on customers’ perception means guaranteeing the following:
- The quality and deliciousness of your food.
- The courteous and professional service of your staff.
- A wide range of choices in your menu.
- The right value for money.
Absolutely NOT. This will neither make you different from your competitors nor justify an increase in prices.
FALSE. If your restaurant features high-quality dishes and service, people will queue up and be willing to pay more.
Unfortunately, this is false. This could have been true 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
In this ruthless and contemporary world, “providing good food and service” gives no added value to any of your customers.
Because if you ensure that customers eat well and your service is great, you’re doing the same things as your competitors. Nothing more, nothing less: you are not different from others.
Conversely, if they eat poorly or your service is pitiful, people will think that you should fail (and they would be right).
TRUE. People take for granted that you provide quality food and service. It is not added value.
Essentially, your customers assume that you know how to do your job well.
You can differentiate yourself from the competition and make other perceive you as the best by working on your communication.
Basically, you have to exploit the infinite power of copywriting. You are probably wondering: “What the hell is that and why should I care about it?”
Let’s see how to harness the art of copywriting and raise menu prices.
How to harness the art of copywriting and raise menu prices
Copywriting is the art of writing to sell. And it is that “something” that will allow you to increase by 70% the price of each of your menu dishes without ticking off your regular customers.
And let me tell you clearly: you can’t even imagine in your most beautiful dreams what the copywriting can do for your business.
What I told you that good copywriting could raise the price of a pepperoni pizza by 70% without any complaint from your customers?
How about if I said you could turn your menu into a real machine to acquire and retain your customers?
And, again, what if I told you that you could increase the effectiveness of each of your marketing campaigns by 300%?
What would you do? I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to understand that you must learn the principle of copywriting to improve restaurant profits.
This is only a very small part of what copywriting can do for your restaurant, and furthermore I will show you practical examples of how this is possible.
But before plunging into the matter, I would like to bring to your attention the following consideration: is it not true that all that revolves around you, your business and your restaurant, is made up of words?
Think about it: your job is all about “talking”.
You deal with suppliers by talking. You greet your customers by formulating phrases composed of words. All your staff interacts with your customers by speaking. Not only are menus, brochures, flyers, posters, and advertisements, but even your website sections are made up of vowels and consonants. Everything features words.
It’s trivial, right?
Yet the choice of each of those words, their order, their concatenation, and the fluidity of the text will make the difference between “something that sells a lot” and “something that sells nothing.”
In fact, the more those words are persuasive, the more you’ll grow your revenue.
How can copywriting raise my restaurant prices?
Copywriting is not only used to create a tearjerker video on YouTube, I assure you. Indeed, it is perhaps the last of its applications. You can use the art of writing to sell in at least two areas within your restaurant: your menu and advertisement material.
Also, I suggest you take a look at how to write for the web.
1. In your menu
Please note that your restaurant menu represents your corporate image. If your menu is appealing, consistent with your vision and makes people buy, you have created a real “machine” to acquire and retain customers.
If your menu is the same as all the other restaurants, or worse yet, it has a poor style, in plastic sheets, dirty and written by someone who doesn’t have any idea of how to do it, I can guarantee that you are presenting yourself in the worst way possible.
I’ll give you an example of what copywriting can do for your menu.
Let’s say you are the owner of an Italian pizzeria and, as such, you offer the famous “Pepperoni” pizza – in Italy known as “Diavola.”
Most restaurateurs would add this pizza in their menu as follows:
Pepperoni: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, spicy salami. $5.00
Of course, you write it like this on your menu because everybody has always done so, and you don’t have a great desire to change it. Now, you know I don’t like to pass for the bad insensitive guy that makes you notice all this micro-crap.
But let me tell you that the reaction the average customer would have in front of such a menu is as follows:
“So you’re telling me that a pepperoni pizza comes with tomato, mozzarella, and spicy salami… like in any other pizzeria in town.”
You would not be communicating anything new. You’d simply be telling your customer that in your Diavola you put spicy salami, tomato and mozzarella. You would be saying nothing that they didn’t already know.
I therefore ask you, could you do something about it? For example, what if you resort to our friend Copywriting to make it sexier with something like:
The pig on fire: homemade tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes from Sicily PDO, buffalo mozzarella for the ancient Neapolitan dairy “La fattoria”, “Soppressata” Italian spicy dry salami seasoned for 90 days, and basil from the garden. $8.90
It is clear that you should not say that you use ingredients that you don’t actually use. You don’t have to cheat your client.
The act of writing something of real value on your menu should also be an incentive to use products of excellence without worrying too much about cost, since in any case they never rise by 70% (while earnings do).
Writing using the concepts of copywriting, as well as writing to sell, is all about telling the truth in a good way.
This also implies that you cannot say that you’re using certain products if it is not the truth.
In this way, someone may argue that I’ve simply told the truth in the right way. But that someone would be wrong. I’ve haven’t simply told the truth in the right way. I did something else, which is:
I increased the perceived value of my pepperoni pizza by 70% by giving my client real added value and a real reason to return to my restaurant.
In fact, while in the first version of that pizza was simply the umpteenth common “Pepperoni” pizza, in the second version there is much more. There is a story! There is the “Pig on fire,” there is a pizza prepared only in your restaurant, and there is a smiling customer with a superfine culinary masterpiece on their plate.
And that’s what makes copywriting: it helps you sell more and better, at a higher price, and increase the perceived value. And you know what’s nice? That can be used for all the dishes you have on your menu.
2) In all your advertising material
Seriously, how much did you earn in your last campaign for your restaurant? Let me guess – not enough to cover the expenses.
But where does all this arrogance come from? How can I be sure that you could earn more money? Well, I am sure that your campaign could be worth more money, as you didn’t know about copywriting yet.
Every single word of your advertisement must be well thought out and follow the rule of copywriting. Your final goal must be to bring customers to your restaurant, not circulate your name.
Moreover, a campaign that follows precise copywriting rules – nothing creative, only science – could increase its effectiveness by up to 300%.
This means that if you spend X for an advertising campaign, setting it according to the dictates of copywriting means you could increase revenues by 3 times.
Pay X. 3X revenues. Invest 100, will return 300.
Not bad, right?
If you want to learn more about copywriting to create menus that sell more and advertisements able to hook customers, I recommend the following reading:
- Everybody Writes: The Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content — By Ann Handley
- Persuasive Writing: How to Harness the Power of Words — Peter Frederick Page
- Writer Better Copy – Glenn Fisher (complete course)
Conclusion: to raise prices at your restaurant you should create an image of exclusivity that customers associate with quality and value through the use of words.
Finally, do not forget that having higher prices will generate greater income that can be invested in advertising in order to attract new customers and retain those you already have.