Sponsored by RO*TEL
With your gameday menu in full swing, you’ll want to stay on top of emerging trends and customer preferences in order to adapt to changing tastes. Conversations with your guests are vital in this regard, but only as a microcosm. To get ahead of the curve, you’ll want to take a look at things on a larger scale.
Analyzing statistics from outside your doors can clue you into the next big thing in the industry before it even hits your area. Consider it a way to buy in on the ground floor. If you could hop in a time machine and go back to 2005 to be the first restaurant in your city to put sriracha on your menu, you’d take that kind of buzz in a heartbeat. Sadly, you can’t do that, but with market research you can discover what’s coming next.
We’ve compiled a few data points to help reach new guests and retain the old ones in this infographic. Each idea can be used as a jumping-off point which can be custom-tailored to your needs.
Make Your Signature Items Synonymous with Your Restaurant
Word of mouth and visual stimuli are powerful marketing tools. When your potential customers have a positive preconceived opinion about a menu item, the attraction of that item alone can get them in the door. Think about how many items immediately bring your mind to a restaurant: Baby Back Ribs, Bloomin’ Onion, Popcorn Chicken, etc. Your brain likely named the establishments without having to read them.
And this is backed by research conducted by Statista that found that almost 15% of restaurant guests order a restaurant’s specialty or most popular item. Meanwhile 13% of guests order an item they’ve seen in advertisements.
So how do you leverage this? For one, you need to know what your restaurant’s specialty item is. Then your guests need to know what your signature item is.
There is one caveat, of course — the item itself MUST to be great. For example, to make your gameday nachos synonymous with your restaurant you have to start with the best ingredients. It also helps that quality comes in the form of national brand like RO*TEL. Their tomato and queso products make a consistent and beloved base for any nachos.
Once you’re sure the product is right, then blast them all over social media. That way, when anyone within a 50-mile radius of you thinks about tortilla chips, your name pops into their head. Same can goes for your burger, or wings. The specific item is less important than its quality and the connection you’ll build.
Make Your Gameday Menu an Enticing Deal…
Advertising your gameday menu at an attractive price is a gamble that will often pay off. According to a Statista study, 47% of restaurant guests had their visit or takeout order influenced by a price point menu.
You may sacrifice a bit of profit margin, but you can make it up in higher sales volume. You don’t have to drop yourself down to a dollar menu to take advantage of competitive pricing. Get creative, maybe an app and entree for $15. Big plate nachos, quarter wing deals, and “buck a shuck” oysters are other ways to use consumer value as a promotion.
…But Never Sacrifice Quality in Your Gameday Menus
Customer retention is key when it comes to building a dedicated gameday crowd. You want the same people in your seats week after week. This gives your business the stability and consistency that makes your job easier.
Regardless of what the overall environment of your establishment is, diners are always looking for improvements on your menu. A report by Statista showed that enhanced food & menu quality were the best ways of retaining guests in both family dining and casual dining atmospheres.
Quality can only be delivered when you are using great products to build a menu item. Whether your leveraging a nationally recognized brand for your chicken wings or relying on base products like tomatoes or queso from RO*TEL, consistency is a key element of a great menu item. That means something as simple as using a higher quality cheese on a dish or even a change of presentation shows your customers that you’re listening to them and are constantly striving to put out the best meals possible.
Don’t Forget About the Beers!
The rise in brewpubs and taprooms can be attributed to the sheer number of small breweries around the country. They may never dethrone the Budweisers and Millers, but the widespread availability of different choices has made today’s beer drinkers more adventurous and open to change. And sports bars and sports-themed restaurants should take note.
According to a Nielsen report, 55% of brewpub visitors cite the ability to “sample a variety of offerings” as their main reason for doing so. A diverse beer menu of bottles, cans, and drafts can set you apart from other eateries. So, when building your perfect gameday menu, make sure you have a solid variety of quality beers to wash down that amazing food your kitchen is putting out.