Healthy Cafe Menu Choices and Measuring Their Sales Success
Café dining patrons have a growing expectation to find healthful food and beverage choices on the menu. Whether managing diabetes or a heart condition through diet, or just being more conscientious of healthy eating practices, guests are now better informed about nutritional value and take into account how each meal or snack choice will fit into their overall nutritional goals.
As a result of this consumer awareness and growing demand, virtually every Café has a selection of healthy menu items in each service of their menu rotation. These healthy choices don’t necessarily replace popular menu favorites like Chicken Fried Steak, Pizza, or Macaroni and Cheese, but instead provide a range of healthy alternatives to café guests. Whether the guest selects a grilled chicken salad labeled as heart healthy, or decides to indulge in a grilled cheese sandwich with fries, the choice is left up to the guest.
So how do you measure the performance of healthy menu items, and determine which ones should remain in rotation, and which ones should be replaced with more appealing choices? Although the long line out the door whenever the Sushi Chef prepares fresh California Rolls at lunchtime is the only clue you will need to measure the popularity of the Sushi Bar, other items will require a review of historical sales data to evaluate their performance.
To track healthy meal sales, all menu items within the inventory file of the Café’s POS System should be added to an appropriate department, and then sorted further into a sub department or sub category. Label one of your sub departments “Healthy” to track healthy sales. For example, an egg white omelet could be added to the breakfast department, then further sorted into the sub department of Healthy. A turkey and vegetable wrap may be added to the lunch department, then added to the sub department Healthy. As a result of this categorization, both the egg white omelet and the turkey wrap will appear in the “Healthy” sub department, which will make tracking and comparing their historical sales information an easy process. Depending upon your POS system’s reporting abilities, an alternative approach is to create a Healthy Department, then create sub departments of breakfast, lunch, etc. and then create reports using the Healthy Department as a sorting method. With either approach, sales history reporting is available to track the Café’s Healthy item sales.
Upon a review of the sales performance data, healthy menu items which are not selling well could be discounted to help market the items and improve their sales. Review sales history data again after promoting the discount so that the effectiveness of this marketing strategy can be measured.
Tell us about the success of your Healthy menu selections, and what has helped promote their sales.