Menu Optimization

What Menu Items Will Optimize Profits?

Whether a restaurant chain or small boutique brand, expanding or eliminating menu items can be a challenge. Understanding the optimal menu assortment is critical. When a menu is too broad, service slows and resources are taxed; too limited, and sales and add-on opportunities are missed. An unbiased and strategic research approach is needed to “menu-engineer” the best selection of items that will maximize profitability.

Decision Insight’s DiningIQ-Menu Optimization studies reveal:

  1. What items must remain on the menu?
  2. What items could be discontinued?
  3. What new items should be added to the line?

To answer these questions, many research companies recommend TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach & Frequency) analysis. However, Reach alone, is not a viable metric. You also need to understand issues such as: How will each item impact the volume of items diners will order? How will the addition or removal of a certain item impact diner loyalty?

Decision Insight has created an alternative research approach that considers more factors than just reach and frequency – such as volume and passion. Our Menu Optimization methodology uses advanced analytics to efficiently evaluate literally hundreds of existing and proposed items and combinations to engineer your optimal menu. From this analysis we are able to develop a set of completed menus that can then be tested in our proprietary DiningIQ virtual restaurant environment to understand which strategy maximizes product mix and average ticket price.

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DiningIQ Solutions

DiningIQ Solutions

During our 30+ years of research for restaurants and food service, we have discovered a multitude of factors that affect how and what customers order. Ultimately that impacts product mix (proportion of orders across menu items) and average ticket price.

Strategies for Food Service

There are three primary strategies to growing sales in the restaurant world: 1) Attracting new customers, 2) Enticing current customers to visit more often and 3) Motivating current customers to spend more during each visit.

Best-in-Class Restaurant Research

While traditional research can address new and repeat business, a DiningIQ menu-order exercise also measures behavior to gauge the effectiveness of strategies on average ticket price.