In her recent study titled Consumption Effects Of Bundling, Professor Kathryn Sharpe of the University of Virginia, discovered some interesting facts about how people prefer food combo meals over single menu items, irrespective of their value or size.
Commenting on the findings of the study, she is reported to have said, “We were very much surprised that people chose the combo meal option even when there was no price discount. When a bundled meal is offered, these menu items are made more salient to the customer. Consequently, it is more appealing and more comfortable to select a ‘No.3’ rather than choosing them individually.”
While we take a while to register that, restaurants are already pushing towards making more combos and pushing them to their menus. Restaurant managers play with their menus to create beautiful combos now and then. The food combos add to the variety of the menu by not adding any new menu item at all!
Here are some tips that you can follow to introduce food combos to your menu!
- Ensure that your guests know that they have saved money. Have a comparison for your food items and combos on your menu to enhance your combo sales.
- Allow guests to build their combo meal, and recommend adding a drink to their meal.
- Your combo meals menu should have upgraded items from your regular menu. For instance, you can offer an XXL serving of your favorite juice with a large portion of fries.
- Have smaller combo meals for customers who do not want to spend more.
- Offer more savings on the purchase of two or more combos. Especially when it comes to families, you must offer them a large combo meal with a special gift for children. Families love that!
- Your combo meals need to be precise and understandable, both visually and verbally. Many times customers might not order since they are not too clear about the offers you have for them.
- Use your website and multiple social network platforms to let the guests know about the kind of offers you have for them!
How To Create Engaging Food Combo Meals At Your Restaurant
Deciding to create food combos is one step forward in achieving maximum customer satisfaction. Several restaurants have a variety of combos, but they are not as appealing to customers. Introducing these different food combos to your menu gives you a kickstart for your sales. Here’s how!
i) ½ and ½ make a complete 2!
A top-rated offer that works fo most restaurants is ½ and ½. For instance, if you generally sell a sandwich and a salad, both for Rs. 100 each, you can sell half a sandwich with a small salad for Rs. 120, (which is 50 for half a sandwich and 50 for a small plate of salad) and still make more money!
This way, you can sell two half dishes, and make profits on it as a whole! Have a variety of combos that interest different types of customers. Also, you can let the customers choose their own combo!
ii) Add Drinks To Make Your Food Combo More Appealing
Adding drinks to the combo is something that most restaurants do! Especially when it comes to QSR chains or fast food takeaways. Since people are more likely to order a drink anyway, you might just offer them the best deal by adding their favorite drink along with their combo meal. Just like Mc Donalds does!
iii) Combine the High’s and Low’s
Always try making your combos in a way that your high performing items and low performing items are sold together, at an attractive price. This can also be done by putting a high-cost ingredient in a low-cost meal. This way, you can increase sales of your low-performing menu items.
iv) Vary your Combos With The Seasons!
Different seasons call for different food combos altogether. What you could do to enhance your sales is to bring up new combos every season. This would keep your menu exciting, as well as give you an understanding of what works for each season.
For instance, in winters, you could make a combo of hot coffee with a sandwich, whereas in summers, you could replace coffee with a cold drink.
v) Categorize Your Food Combos!
Having separate categories for your food combos, like breakfast combos, or lunch combos, makes it easier for customers to choose what they want to order. Confusing your customers with too many options is the last thing you want to do! Keep a limited set of combos, in different categories, to please all sorts of customers. Be open to trying a few new combos from time to time.
vi) Add a time Limit To Your Food Combo!
It is generally observed that creating urgency when it comes to offers and discounts results in better sales of a product. Especially when it comes to food combos, people generally order more if they know that their favorite fries and combo meals are soon to be discontinued.
Let’s say you sell a veg burger for INR 50, and a cheeseburger for INR 70. You want to increase the sales of your veg burger in the coming week. Making a combo around your veg burger with fries and an added coke for only a week or so would fetch you much more profit. Since people are more likely to buy a combo of these three together, your veg burgers are likely to sell more during this time. This combo can change according to seasons and occasions.
vii) Highlight Your Food Combos On The Menu
The customers that come to dine-in at your restaurant have no idea about your new food combo. You can either introduce it into your menu or ask your restaurant staff to talk about their best selling combos to upsell orders.
viii) Promotion Of Combo Menu
Promoting your combos on different advertisements, or social media platforms, or your restaurant website is necessary as it tells your customers about them. You could target a specific audience on one platform while a separate audience on a different platform, whichever works.
Along with these, a couple of marketing campaigns can also be run to let people know about the combo offers. Many restaurants and QSR chains use SMS or email marketing to let customers know, in case there is a new combo introduced in their menu!
ix) Use Your Creativity To Name Your Food Combos
Unlike what Shakespeare said, It is all in the name! Your customers are attracted to your food combos by the way you present them on the menu. Use a few tricks while engineering your menu to ensure that people see what you want them to see.
Add your best selling and most priced food combos at the Golden Triangle of your menu. These spots are the ones that a customer generally observes first. Use creative names that match with the vibe of your place, and have a story behind it. At times, the customers might order a combo because they like the story behind it.
All in all, introducing multiple food combos into your restaurant can boost your sales. Especially for restaurants that have just had their share of offset days, introducing food combos is a great idea!