Naming Menu Items to Increase Sales

Naming Menu Items to Increase Sales

Engineer your Menu to boost sales, there are a huge range of opportunities to tweak your layout, items, pricing and design choices to up-sell items. Today it's all about naming items with Menu Engineering savvy. 

Adjusting price and ordering cleverly are effective menu tactics but that's not all that can be done. We've previously suggested highlighting items to draw attention to them and make them seem more appealing. Putting a star next to the House Special Burger will draw eyes to it, and the name itself already suggests it may be a recommended choice, but there are ways to increase an items ordering likelihood purely by naming it well!

1. Name it after your restaurant

The customer comes to visit ' The Yankee Highlander ' after being intrigued by the Scottish-American fusion in this fictional Boston restaurant. They've never been to your restaurant before and they're in the mood for a burger, after scrolling down the four previously listed choices they suddenly see ' Yankee Highlander Burger '. You've chosen to go to the restaurant, and you want a burger - so it's going to be intuitive to go for what feels like is the restaurants proud suggestion, so good they're putting their name to it and saying 'This choice is us. This choice is ours. This belongs in this restaurant, and you have to be here to try it.' It could be remarkably similar to most other burgers elsewhere in the city, but it's an instant up-sell to name it this way.
Glob photo

2. Name it after your region.

Ideal for one time visitors. Someone has travelled all the way to Nice in the South of France and walked into your restaurant, they can get their own cuisines back home but what's the chance of trying Niçoise specialities elsewhere? Obviously, it needs to have some relevance to the cuisine/local tastes and produce but it's another good up-sell. The Niçoise Burger might just use a locally baked brioche bun, or be topped with a few choice spices or flavours typical of the region - even a subtle nod to the area and you're pleasing curious tourists, whilst appeasing known tastes of the locals.
Fun fact: The popular restaurant chain 'Hard Rock Café', runs the same menu worldwide but have a unique burger for each restaurant. The special tips it's cap to the location of the restaurant, a clever way of appeasing local taste-buds and tourists alike.
map of Winterfell

3. Name it after a local landmark/attraction.

Even easier, the 'Tower of London Burger' doesn't need to involve quintessential English flavours as creativity could suffice. Add an extra patty to stack the burger up taller and your quirky name has a quirky justification making it fun. Nearby and popular inspirations work well.


4. Name it after a trend.

Let's imagine you have 11 burger recipes you're happy with. You could sell all 10 at once and hope for the best - but we see an opportunity to be clever:
  • Split the menu in 3.
  • Put the 2 'safe' choices on all three menus.
  • Split the remaining items accordingly so that only 3 go on each menu.
  • You now have your 3 menu variations of 5 burgers. Let's call them A, B and C.
  • Look at what's popular - perhaps it's a TV show or a public event - name Menu A after this.
    (Example, if it was the start of a series of Game of Thrones, you could have named burgers after characters. With so many avid fans, you'd find people picking their favourite characters or coming along out of curiosity of the theme).
  • Be ready with Menu B, and launch it as soon as you spot a new popular trend. Being current means you're a taking point and can ride on the popularity. The above example of Game of Thrones is now a good example of 'too little too late!', as the series has finished it decreases in relevance and is less likely to trend as well. The launch of Menu B a week after the season ending would give a chance to jump on to the newest big trend and stay relevant/current. Love Island Burgers anyone? With burgers eliminated from the menu as the characters leave the show... now you're thinking!

5. Name it after a classic.

Rotating menus might not be for you, and popular culture can move on quickly, so if you're thinking of using a theme for your item names then make it timeless. Naming your burgers after famous Disney characters certainly wouldn't age, especially with all the remakes and remasters bringing all the children's classics back in to the limelight - it's unlikely any child or adult won't know (or appreciate) the angle you've gone for!

Food for thought?
We hope this Menu Engineering tip has inspired you and will help you produce an expert menu. Taking time to analyse, calculate and plan is vital for engineering the perfect menu for your aims.  

And hey - if you want to make that menu durable, waterproof and premium, give us a shout and use SuperTuffMenus® to upgrade to the best.
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