Years ago, a restaurant client of mine asked for help in reviewing his menu. We gathered a lot of info, listed the most ordered dishes, and did a cost analysis of menu items.
I found that one item’s cost was way over the normal acceptance % – it was at almost 85% cost! He was losing money every time it was served. When I suggested to owner that he do away with the item, wait a while, then either add it back or offer as a special at higher more cost-efficient price, because he was losing money whenever it was ordered, he said…….and this is priceless – I CAN’T DO THAT — LESS PEOPLE WILL ORDER IT AND IT’S MY MOST POPULAR ITEM!
After trying not to LAUGH out loud, I said, with a semi-straight face… so you want a lot customers to order an item that you lose the most money on??? So you can lose more money??
He looked at me like I was crazy, then the “light” went on and he looked shocked! Needless to say we went over the menu more carefully, and adjusted the item to keep it popular but not a loser.
Reviewing a menu and knowing what the data means, then correctly using the info to make changes, is really important! Having an outside eye look at it sometimes can shed a different prospective. Just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s good….for business.