Whats on the menu

How many times have we looked at the right hand side of the menu card before ordering a dish? A recent observation during one of my trips to a restaurant is that we tend to look at the price tag associated with what we order (even though very not very conscious about it). And then this idea came up.

A concept restaurant where the menu has items segregated in categories. There is a minimum price tag associated with each category and a maximum. Exact cost of the dish that you order is not given on the menu.

Open your heart and order your meal and worry about the bill when it comes up.

To add some more spice to this, the cost of each item shall not be fixed. It varies in real time depending upon the demand for that dish. If an item is ordered by many the cost goes up (as it shows that it is a popular dish here, it could be our speciality too).

As technology advances and we have digital menu, we can give the customers the listing of the items in the menu according to this statistic helping you to choose what most people ordered.

What do u say? A business idea worth implementing?

Here are my comments about it
1. Upper middle class might not worry too much about the cost. So they wont oppose to such a menu.
2. People paying with cash might have an issue as they would have tighter budgets. An alternative for them is to provide the total cost after the order is finalised.
3. Restaurant owners might object to the idea because of variable cost involved in the preparing the dish. But I guess unless it is a road-side dhaba, the cost of the cheapest dish on the menu would most probably be less that the preparation cost of the costliest dish on the menu. So the category pricing might just affect the profit a little. But may be we can do more statistical analysis to figure out the category pricing from the distribution of the orders of each item.

Comments

Abhi said…
I am not sure about this: "If an item is ordered by many the cost goes up"
If there is something popular at your place, it should be affordable.
As the total sale would account for the profit. It also brings in customers who would try other stuff and that can be a driving point for your restaurant.
VG said…
But as one looks for ratings and stuff on web for what is the best that you can order in a restaurant, this is a way of telling your customers what is the best of all

Now whether you want to price it less or more depends upon the profit. And if an item is good, people wont mind paying more for it even though the ingredients are cheap. And that compensates for the lower pricing of the items for which ingredients are costly

Whether the price goes up or down can also be analysed statistically seeing the order pattern
WB said…
You would be interested in this
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/dining/23menus.html?_r=1
Amal said…
idea is good..
first thing first.. the core ..food should be (very) good price etc comes later.
though it should be value for money (inexpensive not cheap)
people do look for novelty ( including whats on menu card)
success depends on how well one markets it
Anonymous said…
I think its a flawed concept. You are trying to create demand supply constraint which actually doesn't exist. If people like some dish, you should be able to provide that at the same price. If I need to pay a higher price for that dish just because many other people are also ordering the same, I may choose to go to some other restaurant. Moreover, choices for dishes are pretty limited, so there be a few dishes at so high a price. Surprise component is also not enticing.

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