How to boost a takeaways profit?
By Kevin Moyse
If you own or run a takeaway business, the word ‘business’ is as important as anything else that you do - perhaps for different reasons, but crucial nonetheless. As much as you might pride yourself on your impressive printed takeaway menu, on the quality of your takeaway food and the service you provide to your customers - that’s only a part of your takeaway business. Your takeaway may be a labour of love, and as much as you and your staff might enjoy and take pride in what you do, but in the end you are running a business. So to keep running your takeaway business, providing great takeaway food (chosen from fantastic takeaway menus), great service and having a marvellous time doing it, the bottom line – as with any business – is profit. Before you can boost your profits you need to know that you’re actually making a profit. Click here for an explanation and breakdown of how you should calculate your profits How to make a Takeaway profitable and successful?
Many takeaways fade into history because they ignore the fact that profit isn’t a by-product of talent, hope and good intentions. Profit has to be carefully earned; and profit making is something of a science. Don’t let that scare you though. All we mean by that is that you can’t trust it to luck. There are methods you can utilise which will not only bring in profit for your takeaway but boost it!
Let’s start with something we’re proven experts in at Cheap Takeaway Menus…menu printing and menu design.
We can’t stress enough how vital a well-designed and printed professional takeaway menu is. It will make you money. Your takeaways marketing is the most important tool at your disposal and the best way to market your takeaway is through the design and printing of great takeaway menus. They are perhaps the only evidence some customers will see of your takeaway business. Your menus will get people ordering your food. Although it’s true that the quality of your food is what will keep them coming back (so it needs to be first rate), you need them to actually choose you before you can wow them with your product. So wow them with your takeaway menus first!
Good design comprises a mixture of simplicity and detail. Creative use of colour, font and texture together with an awareness of how a customer views a takeaway menu (that’s a bit sciencey, at least until you realise that it’s also common sense) can put you ahead of your competitors. You need to think carefully about how your menu will be used, how it will be held, and how it will showcase your products and prices.
First and foremost it is important to understand that what you leave off your takeaway menu is as useful as what you include. The space you leave around the text and images will allow the customer to discern one item from another and will provide a visual work area which allows you, through the design and arrangement of everything else on the menu, to lead the customer’s eye through your product information and hold their attention.
Similarly, paring down your information to its bare minimum avoids confusion as the human eye scans the document. Too much information can be jarring and can put a customer off. Reducing the information will remove this obstacle and, as a bonus, it has a subconscious psychological effect on the customer, as it illustrates the confidence you have in your products. You may be able to create twice the number of dishes on the menu, but if that’s the case then create a series of menus or inserts or one off flyers to promote this. Don’t sacrifice good menu design for the sake of culinary over- ambition. Less is most definitely more here, and the quality of your takeaway food will shine through on a leaner menu.
Try to build the design of your takeaway menu such that it directs the reader’s eye to where you want it to go. In the same way that an artist uses shapes and perspective to push your view towards a certain section of a painting, so the clever positioning of larger or smaller text, images, boxes and shapes will guide the customer through the menu smoothly. Before they know it, the order is placed and the takeaway food is on its way. Everybody’s happy!
As we said, the science of this is actually common sense, and it will boost your profits if done correctly. After all, boosting your profits happens when more people order and they order more. A great menu will deliver this for you by design. For more details on what constitutes good takeaway menu design click here What is good menu design?
Imagine your takeaway menu is your food. You want it to be of high quality, to reflect your skill, your pride in what you do, and your respect for your customers. Your takeaway menu is a ‘visual dish’, so to speak. So you want it to look good and to ‘taste’ delicious. When it comes to printing your takeaway menus, it pays dividends to stand out from the multitude of other leaflets, flyers and takeaway menus which drop on to your customers’ doormats. To that end, the more professionally produced your takeaway menu is the more your takeaway will be viewed as a quality establishment and an attractive prospect for tonight’s dinner. To get the high quality full colour printed menus which project the image you want your takeaway to have out in the world can be done for much less than you think. Take a look here for an in depth rundown of how our menus are printed and you’ll see that the effort and expertise which goes into them is more than worth the low cost to you when you order. How are takeaway menus printed? A takeaway menu may have a long life on a fridge door or in a kitchen drawer, performing its duty when called upon. The business it generates – the profits it makes for you – will be all the more if it’s as classy and robust on the twentieth occasion it is plucked from the fridge door as the day it was pushed through the letterbox.
Good menu design and professional printing go hand in hand to boost your profits.
We’ve talked about distributing takeaway menus before and in great detail here How to distribute Takeaway Menus? and here What are the benefits of distributing takeaway menus? Suffice to say that a clever and well thought out strategy for delivering those beautiful takeaway menus you’ve spent a lot of time and effort creating will bring business your way. It will also reduce wastage; it will increase the efficient running of your takeaway, and build you a steady and reliable client base. From those three aspects there is profit to be made, and where there is profit to be made there is profit to be increased upon. Everything is connected!
Okay, so the takeaway menu is expertly designed and professionally printed. It has been delivered according to a strategy of optimum return. The food is ready to go. All the profit boosting methods up to this point have been employed. How about boosting it a little bit more? How about turning a small order into a larger one, or a large order into an even larger one?
Up-selling and cross-selling
Put simply, up-selling is the process of suggesting a higher priced item to a customer who is ordering or even just considering an order. The most blatant instance of this, which has almost become shorthand for the practice, is ‘would you like to super-size that order?” Extra fries or a drink for a nominal extra charge is a great deal for the customer who wasn’t looking for any kind of deal in the first place.
Cross-selling is a similar approach which consists of selling something extra and/or related. ‘Would you like fries with that?’ or ‘Any naan bread?’ are simple enough questions and what they do is remind a customer of something they haven’t actually thought of. Its clever psychology put to use in an everyday setting.
These methods are a proven way of boosting your profits at the point of sale and the questions are easily asked. All that is required of you is comprehensive knowledge of your takeaway’s products. If, without even having to think about it, you know what you can offer, what goes with what, what can be suggested as additional items, you can add value to the order for the customer and increase the takings in the till at the same time.
We have seen these approaches work as recently as earlier today. It’s amazing to witness, and if the customer says no, what’s the damage? There is no downside to this way of generating more profit.
Start a conversation with the customer. Developing a relationship with your customer is a sure-fire way of both keeping their custom and increasing it. The more you get to know them the easier they will become to ‘read’ and the more you will be able to successfully offer them.
Can you do a favour for the customer, or even just appear that you are? If you can make your customer feel like they are getting special treatment, or just that little bit extra from you for no extra charge, they’ll be back for more.
If profit is the name of the game (and it really is) then boosting your profit is how you win. There are numerous ways to grow your profits – see some more here How to build a successful takeaway business? – and like everything in the takeaway business all it requires is the willingness to think it through and put in the effort. You’re in the right place to make the perfect start.