Local Store Marketing 4 Walls Promotion – Profitable vs. Popular
When you plan to promote a menu item, make sure you’re also promoting your most profitable item. You’ll have a popular item, or maybe two – they already sells themselves. It’s important to recognize that PROFITABLE and POPULAR are two different things.
As a child I remember helping to make little cheese sandwhiches on ‘party rye bread’ for the famiy business. My grandmother wouldn’t allow me to put mayo on them – because she was going to sell them super cheap and those low cost little sandwiches were going to make her customers thirsty and they would buy more high profit beer. And boy did they!
Your best selling items will most likely NOT be your most profitable and, because they’re already popular, won’t need your efforts to promote. Instead, focus your marketing efforts and dollars on an item with high profitability.
Don’t worry that your bestselling items won’t do well if you aren’t actively promoting them – after all they’re already your bestselling items! Focus your efforts instead on promoting the items that are the most profitable.
So once you understand that, take a look at your menu and see which things have a high profit margin but don’t necessarily sell well.
Highlight your profitable items by:
- Reorganizing your menu so the high profit items are in the spaces on the menu where they will get the most attention (i.e. upper right hand corner of the menu.)
- Using them as the DAY’S SPECIAL
- Doing a menu insert and/or table tent – make it bright and exciting
- Make the special a BOUNCE BACK. Offer it as a 2 for 1 the next time they come in – within a month
- Use it as a BIRTHDAY SPECIAL. Offer it FREE on a customer’s birthday
- Offering a FREE item like a cup of chowder of soup in exchange for an email address
- Or FREE homemade hummus dip at happy hour
- Having your servers use SUGGESTIVE SELLING – make a CONTEST for your servers to compete for the most ‘specials’ sold in a week or month. Make sure they taste the special so they can talk it up!
And remember – a promotion is meant to create sales and word of mouth advertising. It should be BUZZ worthy – something that makes your customers want to tell others, or at the very least come back for more! The more ridiculously good the offer is – the more they’ll talk!