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one of the most popular, and most immediately usable presentations at this year's MUFSO conferences was by Nancy Kruse of The Kruse Co.. Nancy is the industry’s foremost authority on what is happening in the world of food, and how our industry translates that into what is on the menu, or menu boards, around the country.
Those of you who have studied marketing sometime since the invention of the automobile are familiar with the Four P’s of Marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Nancy’s presentation focuses on the Four P’s of Menu Value Proposition: protein, portion, premium and push-back. This is just a taste of what Nancy shared at the conference, but it should give you an idea of what is going on in menus.
Menu Value Proposition: The Four P’s
Protein as a condiment--adds value -Thinly sliced prime rib on a burger (Hardee’s) -Shrimp on salmon (Salmon Oscar) · Mac and comfort--familiar and low cost -Premium Bacon Mac n’ Cheese (Pizza Hut) -Cheesy Macaroni Bites (Jack in the Box) · Slow cooking--low cost way for taste and tenderness -Braised beef cannelloni (Maggiano’s)
Mini-mania--peaking, but still wildly popular -Bite sized sandwiches (sliders) -Beyond burgers, includes many other proteins Options--choice of sizes on menus is growing -Right Portion/Right Price menu (Friday’s) -Little Thickburger (Hardee’s) · Snacks and Sides--more interesting choices -Portions Menu (Au Bon Pain) -Lobster Bites (Long John Silver’s)
Better burgers--has not peaked yet -New age burger boosters (Five Guys, The Counter, Habit) -More innovation by the majors, Triple Prime burger (Ruby Tuesday) -42% of all sandwich orders are burgers · Upgrade your signature products -Known for salads? Take them up another notch. · Better beverages -Better teas and coffees, non-alcoholic beverages -New flavors and combinations -Fresh squeezed juices
Grocery RMR (Restaurant Meal Replacement) stealing share -Restaurant share of supper visits peaked in 1999, grocery winning the battle -Reason that customers are eating more at home: cheaper, driving less, cutting expenses, and financial situation. Health and nutrition is a distant second. · Promote quality and freshness -Seasonal LTOs · Tout cooking technique -Iron Grilled sandwiches (Dairy Queen) · Let customers see you sweat -Menu descriptions should let them in on the details of ingredients and technique -This is a point of difference between restaurant and grocery · Don’t let them duplicate -Grocery not comfortable with seafood -Higher skilled menu items · Pamper them -Service is an edge, tableside activities push the envelope · Sample, Sample, Sample -Sample, giveaways, small bites -Especially on a wait, or with a new item