Bundle Your Menu Items To Create Appealing “Deals” For Customers

Restaurant Menu Food Bundle Strategy

Offering a menu bundle encourages customers to try something new.

Your restaurant customers appreciate value. How can you give it to them without breaking the bank? Offer them a bundle or a meal deal. You can make two or more menu items more appealing by bundling them together.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to bundle your menu items to create appealing deals for customers. With these tips, you can upsell items, encourage diners to order more and give your customers what they want – the meal deal.

Bundling Benefits You

When you create meal bundles, you are helping your restaurant in a number of ways. First, when you offer the bundled items, you make it simpler to prepare the meal. You know that on every Friday when you offer a bundled meal consisting of burgers, fries and a beer that is what most people will order. It makes life in the kitchen much easier.

Second, the bundling method is advantageous for you because you are putting menu items together and selling them for a slight discount. It may not seem like this benefits you, but it does because customers are actually spending more money than they normally would and more money overall.

As you start thinking about what items to bundle to create appealing deals for your customers, think about your pricing strategy at the same time. Keep your bundles simple, yet feel free to add menu items that your customer might not have ordered. This encourages them to try something new, and of course, order more food.

Bundling Benefits the Customer

The customer also wins with the meal deal. They get to enjoy more food and perhaps taste something new because you’ve bundled complementary items together. Additionally, they’re getting the bundled items for less than they would have paid if they’d ordered them individually.

How To Stay Profitable

Offering the meal bundle can help you stay competitive in a tight market. (tweet this) But, cashing in on it without hampering your bottom line can be tricky.

The best way is with a very well-crafted and strategically priced meal deal. The NPD Group tells us that meal deals are a huge way restaurants are increasing traffic.

By offering strategic meal bundles, you can cater to diners looking for a discount without having to actually lower your prices. These bundles in turn drive larger orders that can increase your profits.

What Makes a Good Deal?

Your first task is to create the discount. You want to promote the benefits – the meal deal costs less than individual items. You are creating the perception of value.

Second, you need to pay attention to your margin and food cost so you don’t sacrifice your profits. To make money you want to bundle your high-margin items with a limited amount of expensive items such as meats, seafood and out of season fruits and vegetables.

Third, plan a strategy. What is your goal with your bundled items? Are you trying to drive Tuesday traffic or pick up some extra Sunday night business? Consider happy hour bundles for the late night or after work crowd and family pizza night deals on weeknights.

You can also design your bundle to capitalize on your busiest times to create an uptick on already busy nights.

Lastly, promote your meal bundle everywhere – in your restaurant, on your website, in your email campaigns and throughout your social media.

Bundle Your Menu Items

There are many strategic ways to bundle menu items.

Examples of Meal Bundling

  • You don’t have to offer a deal all the time. How about offering a deal one day a week. You could even go so far as to offer a different deal every day of the week. A popular one – especially during football season – is the Six Pack of Beer and Eight Wings Meal Deal on Sundays.
  • Outback Steakhouse offers a four course menu bundle that includes soup, salad, entrée and dessert for $15 per person. A great deal in a steak restaurant.
  • Chili’s at one time offered a promotional deal on social media for $35 that included a meal for two that included two entrees and Corona-Ritas.
  • Meal deals have been popular for years in fast food restaurants – think McDonalds – just order the Number 1. These are great for McDonald’s because they capitalize on the perceived value because who really knows what they all cost individually? This doesn’t much matter though because it’s the Meal Deal, so it must involve cost-saving!
  • Applebee’s has capitalized on its two for $20 deal. According to Applebee’s, they use it as a tactic to introduce new products. Two people can share an appetizer and each have an entree for $20. It gets guests to try new things.
  • Longhorn Steakhouse used the menu bundle to make their restaurant more affordable. By advertising a dinner for two with salad, entrée appetizer or dessert for just $29.99, they got more people in the door trying their food. This also appealed to families trying to eat out on a budget.
  • Another way to bundle is by offering choices within the bundle. This type of menu bundle is especially popular with the millennial crowd. Instead of offering a beer with wings and fries, give them a little bit of choice. Try offering a craft beer with their choice of hot, mild or fried wings with either fries, soup or salad. You’ll accomplish the same thing while meeting their needs in the process.

The Take Away

The best part of the meal bundle is its ability to give a sense of value without sounding cheap. (tweet this) While menu bundling (or fixed-price meal) is hardly new, it is increasing in popularity in today’s ultra-competitive restaurant marketplace.

The five star restaurants have been offering a form of bundling for years in the format of the fixed-price meal. As the fixed-price meal made its way into casual dining and fast food service, it became the meal deal or Saturday special. Meal bundling has certainly proved a great marketing approach for increasing business and lifting sales.

Restaurants can increase business without lowering profits by bundling items together. By making these items appealing to customers, they in turn engender a loyal following.

Do you bundle your menu items to create appealing deals for your customers? Has it increased profits and restaurant traffic? We’d love to hear about your experience with menu bundling. Please share below.

Images: Flickr and Ayleen Gaspar

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