Particularly in this day and age, a lot of people are focusing on belt tightening and making a more efficient budget. While raising your restaurant menu prices might seem like a decision which would alienate and repel customers, it can in fact have the opposite effect. Raising your restaurant menu prices can actually improve the overall customer experience and bring more business to your establishment.
Does it sound too good to be true? It’s not! However, it’s important to recognize that for raised prices to actually benefit your restaurant, you’ll have to put in some time and effort to make the prices worthwhile. Here, we’ll discuss six reasons why you should raise your restaurant prices, and how and why it will help you reap long-term benefits for your business.
- Show a sense of confidence in your offerings. On the one hand, you might think that customers would be psyched about rock-bottom prices on a restaurant menu. But actually, research shows the opposite: too-low restaurant prices make customers suspicious, wondering “what’s wrong with it?”. Higher prices actually help instill confidence.
Raising your prices shows that you have great confidence in your offerings. You know that the food you are offering is good, and that it commands the price you are asking. This in turn makes your customers feel far more confident that they are ordering quality food from your menu.
- Boost the overall customer experience. Guess what? People actually feel better about their dining experience when they spend a little more on their meal.
Raised prices raise the perception of value, so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy when customers are served. When a customer spends $12 on an appetizer versus $8, they are expecting a delicious culinary experience, and are mentally prepared to enjoy the item. If you actually deliver with a great culinary experience, their satisfaction will be greater than if they spent the smaller amount.
Just to clarify, this doesn’t mean to imply that you should charge ridiculous amounts for the items on your menu just because. But do know that raising the prices within reason can indeed heighten the customer experience.
- You can afford better quality ingredients. Raising your restaurant prices isn’t just about increasing profits. You have to “walk the walk” as it were, and deliver high quality food to your customer that is worth what they are paying.
One of the ways in which raising your prices will allow you to do this is that you’ll be able to afford better quality ingredients. This might mean you’ll be able to purchase organic microgreens versus bags of iceberg lettuce, or fresh, locally sourced tomatoes versus conventionally grown and less flavorful varieties. Better food does come with a higher price, and this means that you can command a higher price on your menu.
When your food quality is that much better, people will be much more willing to spend a few extra dollars on your cuisine, because it will be memorable and meaningful to them.
- It allows you to offer a “fair” wage. When you charge more for the items on your menu, the overall income of your restaurant goes up. This means that it becomes far easier and more accessible to pay your employees a fair or “living” wage.
Your restaurant employees are not just cogs in a machine: they are the heart and soul of your business. They offer the customer’s first contact with your establishment. They are the ones who create the cuisine, and then serve it to the customers. They order, create, cook, clean, and basically provide all of the services necessary to keep your restaurant running. As such, they deserve to be paid appropriately.
Paying your employees a fair wage is a way to reduce employee turnover and to show appreciation for their hard work. Charging prices for your food that allow you to pay your employees fairly will vastly improve the quality of life of your employees, and chances are, you’ll see that reflected in an overall improved quality of life in the workplace. This, in turn, leads to higher customer satisfaction.
- Develop and improve your business. If you raise the prices of your menu items, your restaurant profits will increase. This means that you will make more money. When you have more money, you not only improve the quality of life for yourself and for your employees, but you have more capital to invest in the future of your restaurant.
There are many ways that you can use this money to help develop and improve your business, but here are just a few:
- Purchasing new signage to make your restaurant more prominent both indoors and out
- Hire a social media professional to help increase your web and mobile presence
- Purchasing advertising in the local paper or elsewhere in the community
- Investing in designing and printing new menus
- Exceed customer expectations. As previously discussed, raising restaurant prices allows you to obtain better ingredients, which means better cuisine. The added funds allow you to offer a fair, working wage to your employees, which means a better quality of life for them, which can translate into more satisfaction in the workplace. The added funds can also allow you to invest in a better, more beautiful menu and more professional signage and decor. You’ll have better cuisine, happier employees, and a more beautiful restaurant.
When customers come to your restaurant, the prices that they pay for their meal don’t remain as memorable as these other things. By offering them a truly delicious, thoughtful experience, you will not only meet, but exceed, customer expectations. Ultimately, this is what will keep customers coming back to your establishment.
Conclusion: Everybody loves a bargain. But keeping your restaurant prices too low can actually keep you from being able to offer your customers a valuable dining experience. While it can be scary to raise your prices, the benefits far outweigh the detriments. A better dining experience, happier staff, and improved profits await you. So what are you waiting for? Adjust those prices and let your restaurant realize its full potential for you and your customers.
Have you ever considered raising your restaurant prices?