Buffet prices

Any of you have a pizza buffet? Looking for prices. I am in a little town 4000 people and run a buffet with a soup bar, salad bar and hot buffet that is broaster chicken, pizza mashed potatoes, veggie and 2 specials. I am currently at 8.95 and looking to raise my price but I think it might hurt me in the long run. I have not raised my prices in 4 years and I know it’s time but I don’t know if people want to pay that much in my area.

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Don’t be afraid. Charge what you need to charge to keep quality the same. We don’t have a buffet but we have lunch specials. We raise them almost yearly

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Every time I raise prices I’m scared we will lose customers. It’s currently been 2 years since we raised our pizza prices and I know an increase is due, but scared of the repercussions. I also know that every single time I’ve raised prices i the 22 years I’ve done this, almost nobody has batted an eye. I always justify the raise by convincing myself that if I raise prices 10% and lose 10% of my customers, I’m still basically in the same situation, maybe saving a few dollars in labor costs. But once the price change goes into effect, I find I only lose a few customers and our company is sitting in a much more stable financial position.

In other words, It’s probably in your best interest to raise the price and don’t look back.

We charge $9.99 for our Pizza Buffet & Salad/Appetizer Bar. Teas & Soft Drinks are $1.99 w/free refills. 16 oz. Draft Beer is $4.99. This is in Indiana. Pizza Ranch, which has more extensive offerings like you do, seems to be charging in the $10 - $11 range: https://pizzaranch.com/all-locations

Two bits of pricing advice I’ve been given or read over the years:

  1. “Raise your prices every year, even if you don’t need to.”
  2. “A little bit of price resistance is a good thing.”

You want to hit that sweet spot where a few customers grumble, but the vast majority don’t change their ordering behavior. If no one’s complaining, then you’re not charging enough! You’ll know you’re dialed in when you receive occasional reviews that say, “a bit pricey” but then go on to praise your product and people and give 4/5 stars.

Side thought: I saw a research study that said customers take the most from the first 3 items presented to them in a buffet format. So if you don’t already, have your lowest food cost items arranged at the start of the line. We have breadsticks, monkey bread & our salad bar placed first. If someone skips those to hit the pizza buffet, they are presented with cheese sticks, cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza in front of our heavier topped signature pizzas.