What’s so special about specials?

Expansion Advance reports close to $2 billion dollars are spent on average per day at restaurants across the county. Yet more than half of these businesses fail or change ownership within the first three years. That’s because the food/service industry makes a lot of money—and loses a lot of money. But restaurants have a better chance at staying afloat when they offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and drink specials.

Menu specials work for a variety of reasons. From an insiders’ perspective, it allows the chef to move a surplus of food that may otherwise go to waste and cost the company money. From the customers’ point of view, specials are good deals—and who doesn’t like to think they’re getting more for their money? The trick is getting specials to stand out.

Think inside the box

According to Planting Money Seeds, attention should be spent on the layout and design of the menu since that’s where patrons focus their attention. By putting a border or shaded box around a special item, it has a better chance of being seen and can potentially boost sales by 25%. In fact, just the word “special” can increase orders by up to 20%.

The writings’s on the wall

When specials change too frequently to include in a printed menu, many establishments write them on chalkboards that hang in full view in the restaurant. In addition to making handy adhesive chalkboards, Whiteyboard makes a Midnight dry-erase product that can be written on with dry-erase neon pink and orange markers that guarantee specials stand out.

From the horse’s mouth
Another way to relay daily, weekly or monthly specials is by having the wait staff to tell customers. To ensure servers speak with conviction, they must be well trained and informed of specials via staff meetings where they taste the food so they can accurately describe how special each special is.

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