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Three Creative Menu Upsell Strategies

As any successful restaurateur knows, restaurant marketing doesn’t end when customers walk through your door. From posters and table tents to waiters/waitresses and music, everything about your restaurant should work to create a comfortable environment in which to splurge. Your menu is a crucial component for creating upsells that excite your guests and promises to tantalize their taste buds and fill their bellies as well as your pockets.

Here are three creative menu upsell strategies you can employ:

1. Showcase your menu items

At least one in every 10 menu items should be showcased in some way. Include a photo or highlight your items with icons or creative, mouthwatering, descriptive names. Instead of labeling your menu items something stagnant such as “beef,” go with something more appetizing such as “hot of the grill” or “from the BBQ pit.” You can give some menu items special status such as “Voted House Favorite!” or “Customer’s Rave About …” If you’ve won any local food awards, make sure you include it.

You can also showcase your menu items by customer type instead of food type. Vegetarians, meat lovers, vegans, heart healthy, low fat, low sodium, active, and all other types of people and diets can provide inspiration for a customer-friendly menu layout.

2. Placement is everything

Your menu should not look like a garbled list of food item names and prices. Separate items with a clean design that showcases some items and leaves plenty of white space. Include short lists by category instead of a long list, and separate long lists such as appetizers into two or three columns to break up the monotony. Remember that first two and last two items in a short list are most easily remembered, so place your profit producers in those locations. If you have a two- or three-panel foldout menu, place these items either in the center or the top right to grab attention.

3. Include special offers

Place special offers on your menu. If you have a bar and grill and sell specialty shots, give away a free shot glass for downing the “shot of the month.” If you’re trying to attract more customers, tell your current customers to bring in a friend for a buy one, get one free special. All they have to do is produce their receipt from this visit to cash in!

A good menu can increase restaurant revenue – and profit – dramatically. To inspire trust and confidence in your menu suggestions, make sure you print your menus full color on high-quality paper stock such as 100-pound gloss text or 70-pound matte text stock. For durability, have your menus laminated by an online printing company such as PsPrint, which offers instant menu printing pricing.

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