How much should a meal cost? It’s an important question to ask. In regular operation, chefs and restaurant operators review the price of ingredients with each new menu item. But with the pandemic forcing many businesses into temporary closure it’s allowed for industry leaders to review, revise, and adapt practices, and many are wondering if a COVID surcharge would help recoup revenue lost to lockdowns and social distancing requirements.
Now could be the perfect opportunity for change, and savvy businesses are considering their own ideas on menu pricing. But asking people for more money is always a little tricky. Here are a couple things to think of when reviewing your meal prices:
1) Find out why
Don’t just up your prices because that’s what we told you to do, it’s good to have a legitimate reason first. Maybe you’ve been able to renovate during lockdown, adding to the overall dine-in experience. Perhaps you’ve hired a bomb head chef who’s completely revamped the menu. Whatever the reason is, it’s smart to identify it before communicating any changes to patrons.
2) Avoid copying the competition
They say it’s wise to keep a close eye on the competition, but they never said copy everything they do. Trying to price match all neighbouring venues might seem like a good idea in a competitive sense, but for those playing the long game this is a less than ideal approach. The price point should reflect the quality of the food. So, lowering your prices may in fact just be lowering expectations.
3) Communication is key
Communicating an increase to your price point can be a delicate procedure and should be met with some careful planning and consideration. To do this right you’ll want to ask yourself some questions first such as is it worth making an announcement or will an updated menu suffice? Who needs to know, is it everyone in the online database or just our most loyal regulars? When is the best time to announce this?
4) Have staff that are in the know
Keeping your staff looped into decisions like this is an important part of the process. Explain to them why the change is being made, along with how you expect customers to react. With any luck this will help in communicating the message to your customers clearly and will bring the team together towards a common goal.
If you have experienced any major changes to the way you operate due to COVID-19, we want to help! Head over to our Facebook page for all of our products, giveaways and industry news. Or send us a message today if there’s anything that we can do to assist!