How Brands Like Olive Garden are Pinching Pennies in Unexpected Ways

musicHow Brands Like Olive Garden are Pinching Pennies in Unexpected Ways

The link below (from ABC News) has lots of interesting information for restaurant owners, managers, and guests.

If you can, please watch all 4 videos and read about the 5 ways that Olive Garden is saving money.

Here are some of the highlights from the article and videos:

Olive Garden is now encouraged to clean carpets once per month instead of twice per month. As the newsperson stated, this may get people to think twice about the 5 second rule (that rule that says you can eat something that fell on the floor if you pick it up within 5 seconds).

Loud, fast paced music makes you chew faster and eat more quickly. Good for restaurants that need a fast table turnover.

Restaurants that play slow soft music want you to settle in and eat a lot.

Restaurants make their most profit on the second cheapest wine on a wine list. Most people don’t know too much about wine. They stay away from the expensive wines on the list. They stay away from the least expensive wines on the list. Restaurants do best by leading people to the second least expensive wine which also has the best markup (if you chose the right wine). If profit is your objective, it works.

Guests that order healthy entrees will eat and spend more on meals.

Where you sit makes a difference. People sitting on uncomfortable chairs or tables eat more.

Menu engineering works. People will pay far more for Grandma’s Cajon Red Beans and Rice then just plain old Red Beans & Rice (even if the food is identical).

Menu descriptions matter. People will pay 30% more for the identical food that has a superior description.

People will spend more money on Burger Twenty-Seven Dollars vs. Burger $27. It is better to write out the words.

People prefer to pay $4.95 for a burger (as opposed to $5). $5.00 is stuffy. $4.95 is more friendly.

…and here is my favorite…

Decoy Items

A good menu (in any type of restaurant at any price) contains Decoy Items.

Lobster $75

Filet of Sole $35

Far more people are going to go for the $35 Filet of Sole which is priced reasonably than the $75 Lobster.

The high prices on decoys make patrons feel like they are getting a bargain by selecting the lower priced items (which may also be overpriced).

To read the entire article and watch the recommended videos go to:

How Brands Like Olive Garden Are Pinching Pennies in Unexpected Ways

To read more about menu engineering go to:

8 Psychological Tricks of Restaurant Menus

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