The restaurant industry is a busy and cluttered space. There is no dearth of restaurants and lounges around, and innovation along with top-notch customer service is a must to stand out from the crowd. As the competition becomes extreme in the restaurant space, cafes and lounges come up with out-of-the-box ideas and themes to attract customers and increase their sales. Now, the mere thematic ambience of the restaurant is not enough. The theme of the pub needs to be reflected in the menu and the price as well. Among other things, price and menu innovation becomes a must for restaurants to attract customers and increase sales.
Introducing changes in the price, without disconcerting the customer is a humongous task to achieve. Price innovation usually includes a new discount, or a combo meal, and that can be difficult on the restaurant’s revenues. However, restro-pubs are now coming up with new innovative pricing strategies that are profitable for the restaurant, as well as pocket-friendly for the customers. Plus, the something-new factor brings in new business as well.
Bar Bar Pune, has come up with an innovative pricing strategy. The customers pay less for more drinks. Termed as a wholesale bar, Bar Bar charges its customers less if they order drinks in bulk. The bar has been receiving much attention on the social media lately, as customers are intrigued by the idea of paying less for a whole lot of drinks.
Another interesting pricing model is the economies of the scale model, where the price of drinks are decided on the basis of the number of people drinking them. Lounges such as the Bar Stock Exchange in Mumbai, Café Dalal Street in Delhi among others have been offering drinks at dynamic prices. The prices of their drinks fluctuate, based on the supply and demand of the drinks, much like an actual stock exchange. While this is a great way to earn profits, it also works wonderfully well to attract customers.
The Buy One Get One offers on pizza, and Happy Hours price on the drinks in bars and pubs are some of the most popular examples of menu innovation and dynamic pricing to attract customers.
Big chains like KFC and McDonalds, Dominos etc are constantly introducing new elements in their menu, or rehash their old menu to attract customers.
Last year Dominos had tied up with celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna and launched the special Chef’s Inspiration range of Exotic Italian Pizzas. Recently, KFC launched their 5-in-1 meal box at Rs 149 only. Even though they didn’t introduce any new dishes in the meal box, the box was catchy enough to attract customers.
As the customers become used to eating the same things at all restaurants and food outlets, improvising and innovation seem to be the only ways to stand out from the crowd.
Introducing a seasonal menu is also a great tactic to increase restaurant profits. The Pizza Express has introduced a special summer menu with refreshing drinks to beat the summer blues. A seasonal menu works very well as-
- The addition of something new to the menu adds to the curiosity of the customers and propels them to try out the new items.
- Seasonal menus make use of the ingredients easily available in the season and hence help reduce the overall food costs.
- A seasonal menu also instills the sense of urgency in the customers’ mind that the dishes would only be available in the current season, and should not be missed.
Achieving the ideal balance between customer-friendly and profitable price is a difficult task to achieve. The restaurants that offer food and drinks cheaper than their counterparts are often only able to sustain the business because of the large footfall achieved because of low prices. Therefore, choosing a sustainable pricing model that is also appealing to the customers, and an appetizing menu becomes imperative.