How to simplify a large and complex menu

Challenge: Take an extensive menu offering in a multiple page book style menu (with every item pictured with lengthy descriptors) and strategically reduce it to maximize operational efficiencies, customer satisfaction and store margin. Do this in an environment where operators and franchisees were unwilling to take anything off the menu in fear of loosing guests.

Solution: Utilize consumer quantitative research with both current users and competitive users to identify the best portfolio of menu offerings to maximize reach. Include all of current system-wide menu offerings, regional or local offerings, new items under development and menu items being considered for promotional purposes. Design a simplified menu that sorts out the research-identified menu offerings in a clean, easy-to-read fashion. Eliminate slow sellers, emphasize strong menu offerings, add new exciting menu options and present things clearly in words and pictures.

Rationale: Following consumer research learning, we designed a simple “spread” menu vs. a “book” approach which allowed guests to be directed to the best offerings (and the most profitable) and enhanced operational execution by serving fewer items more often.

Results: A well-received menu that enhanced operational performance and overall guest satisfaction, reducing the cost of system-wide menu production and printing, and improving overall store margin.

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