Restaurant menu prices play a critical role in the kind of patrons that an establishment receives. When the average patron peruses through the menu and makes a selection they also take note of the prices of the dishes and how they will affect their bill. It is important for restaurant managers and business owners to set prices with thought and a fair amount of calculation.
How to Estimate the Cost
Experts say that when you create an estimate for the price of a dish you have to take into account several factors. This includes the raw materials utilized to create the food. Hence the more exotic the dish, the more expensive the price. You will need to calculate the cost of raw materials used per serving.
Next, you will need to make a note of the preparation time and the average cost of the process. Remember to add the wages of the staff who are involved in this process to your total cost. The cooking time and approximate cost of the process requires to be calculated. And finally, add the cost of plating the dish and the cleanup that is required once it has left the kitchen.
Once you have added all these costs and numbers you will have the base cost of your dish. The same process will need to be repeated for each dish that you wish to place on the menu. Once you have all your base prices ready, double the number and this is a good place to start.
Many high end establishments may opt for a higher markup but you will have to make a decision based on the reputation of your restaurant, clientele and location. For certain items on the menu such as coffee and for indulgent dishes the markup could be higher. Do keep in mind the price barrier beyond which the average patron is unlikely to pay for a dish. In the USA the price barrier is approximately $20.
How to Make Restaurant Prices Attractive
Some design and marketing experts recommend that the menu should only feature the price and the dollar sign should be eliminated. Another suggestion is to keep the cost close to the next whole dollar. So if a dish costs $9.95 the customer focuses on the whole number and finds the cost more attractive than if it were priced at $10.
One could design the menu in a manner to focus on special offers that are below a certain price. If you want to increase the sales of a certain dish you could consider a ‘Buy 1 and get 50% off on the next” offer. Everyone loves a great deal, especially if it is also delicious.