Something caught my eye the other day when I was rolling through the McDonald’s drive-through to snag a delicious yogurt parfait for lunch. I was taking a look at the menu and noticed something that I hadn’t seen before.

It was a new section on their menu called “Signature Crafted Recipes” which featured three burgers: Garlic White Cheddar, Sweet BBQ Bacon, and Pico Guacamole. All three burgers looked unlike any other burger I’d ever seen at McDonald’s. You can get a full look at these burgers over at the McDonald’s website here.

Customizable with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken or Artisan Grilled Chicken, these burgers are also slightly more expensive than comparative offerings like the Big Mac or the Quarter Pounder. Between the descriptions, the pricing, the branding, and the food’s imagery, there’s a premium flair that you wouldn’t typically expect from fast food.

Now I can’t speak to the quality of these burgers – I haven’t tried them yet (I would like to though). What’s important to note here is that McDonald’s took a stab at a new demographic by offering up a new brand of “premium” offerings.

This is the type of thing your restaurant can do too. Adding on a new section to your menu – featuring new premium-style dishes – is an awesome way to spice up some renewed interest in your restaurant. As McDonald’s has demonstrated, it doesn’t even need to be a major addition to your menu. They only added three new variations of burgers.

Here’s a few key ways to make sure you get your premium menu options right.

Ingredients: You don’t just want to capitalize on quality ingredients. You’ll want to capitalize on popular ingredients. Stuff that’s in the mainstream right now. The best way to do this is to examine what trends are popular in the business right now. Then ask yourself which are best for your restaurant.

Descriptions and Imagery: Much like the rest of your menu, the descriptions and imagery need to be top-notch. For your premium offerings, make the most of out the ingredients you’re using. Does your dish have guacamole in it? Make sure you can see it in the picture. Is your dish slathered in delicious, melted cheddar cheese? Make good use of those adjectives.

Branding: Branding drives the whole thing home. It’s how you signify that these dishes are different. They’re your premium, upscale offerings. Just look at the McDonald’s page I linked to and see how they did it. The Signature Crafted Recipes logo appears in the marketing, signifying that these options are catering to a new segment.


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What premium offerings have you tried in your restaurant? Let us know in the comments!