In the past several years, customizing your own meal has become all the rage. Look no further than the success that QSR restaurants like Chipotle, Subway, and even Starbucks have seen as a result of this exploding trend. It’s only natural that you’d want to get in on it.
Let’s start by taking a look at an example by comparing two seperate coffee-ordering scenarios.
In our first scenario, a customer walks into a coffee shop. They order their usual: a large iced coffee, with cream. No sugar. A fairly standard coffee order. This scenario is quick, easy, and it works. The customer got what they came for, and the coffee shop made a sale.
In our second scenario, our customer walks into a very similar coffee shop, but is presented with a special “Customize Your Coffee” menu. If they’re in a hurry, or want that very specific large iced coffee, with cream – they’re free to ignore the menu. They can just tell the barista that they want the usual.
But today, something about that little menu catches their eye. The customer picks it up and sees a delicious selection of add-ons that they never even knew they could order! They decide to add on a shot of espresso, a dash of caramel sweetener, and a little whipped cream to top things off.
These additions are all perfectly reasonable of course. The espresso shot is a buck extra, while the whipped cream and caramel sweetener are only fifty cents each. When it all adds up however, the iced coffee which was initially $3 in the first place, just went up to $5!
That’s the beauty of having a menu that presents options. Allowing a customer to customize their order is an easy way to get them spending more than they ever would on that order to begin with.
It’s because when a customer customizes their food (or beverage in this case) they’re taking ownership of that order. There’s a real sense of personal investment. They created their meal – even though they didn’t actually cook it.
As I’ve already suggested, coffee isn’t the only way to push menu customization? Here’s a few common examples that you might be familiar with.
- Make-your-own burger
- Frozen yogurt bars
- Mix-and-match breakfasts
Anything that has a topping can be customized. You can monetize this to your advantage.
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What can customers customize in your restaurant? Let us know in the comments!