Menu Engineering encourages you to take the desserts off the menu...

Menu Engineering encourages you to take the desserts off the menu...

Ever noticed that customers often choose a starter OR a dessert? Menu Engineering suggests you can convince them to get both by using a simple technique.

It may be favourable to keep your menu tidy and printed all as one - but what if you were to find out you're losing dessert sales because of this?

All too often a customer reads the full menu and has this inner monologue:

" That starter looks brilliant, and I definitely want that for my main. . . now that dessert also sounds incredible, maybe I'll get that instead of the starter.. "

Giving the customer the foresight of all three courses can force an early decision to abandon a course in favour of another.

So what's the trick?

It's simple. 
Remove the dessert section from your menu altogether. 

Once the customer has finished their main, your server will clear the empty plates and present the separate dessert menu unprompted. It's important not to ask if customers want to see this menu, give your sweet treats that extra chance to flourish and up-sell themselves through their names and descriptions. 

Go on...

Like being tempted for that treat the customer wants to convince themselves they deserve, why not go on and give this tactic a bash. We're confident it'll increase the sales of 3 courses, when all 3 courses aren't presented on the same menu. 

For more information and top tips, read our Menu Engineering series:

Bonus tip : this or that?

As a quick aside, by giving the dessert menu instead of asking: ' Would you like to see the dessert menu? ' is very simple but powerful. It's almost as if you're putting the idea in their head that they're going to have dessert, or that the norm in your establishment is also to have dessert. 

We once heard a clever up-selling trick whereby the server change their script for new customers without a drink yet from:

"Can I get you something to drink?" 


"Can I get you something to drink, a gin and tonic or a glass of champagne perhaps?"

Apparently a G&T is still considered rather classy, so there's an element of telling the customer that you think they're an important sophisticated person and as such, you'll only suggest the best for them.  Very often, the compliment of this presumption can push the customer to changing their order to live up to that expectation - as if they don't want to shatter the perception of grandeur and style.

If you're looking to sell more desserts, perhaps give this strategy a test by having your servers suggest two of your star items you want to push. Let us know how you get on!
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