We charge customers for extra sides of salad dressing, buffalo sauce, etc. My philosophy, which may or may not be right is that I build menu pricing off of food and paper costs…so if somebody wants extra…they pay for extra…same as I do.
Curious how others handle such requests? Some customers get it and others don’t.
I give away free red pepper and parm packets. I give free xtr sauce on pizza. everything else is charged. except when a customer has already paid, and then ask for a ranch cup, we just give it to them.
We don’t charge for them. We ask everybody who purchases a slice if they want a side of ranch or blue cheese for free. We are in a mall food court and it’s pretty competitive. It’s one way we build customer loyalty. It’s only maybe $0.10, we fill the cups ourselves. We want customers to eat our food every day and make a little less profit rather than go somewhere else for lunch the next day. Figure we will make the profit back when they have a larger order.
We charge for extra sauces, we definitely have customers who always ask after theyve paid, as if they actually forgot, they just dont want to pay for it.
The positive note for us is this a few years ago bleu cheese dressing was always being asked for after the fact, our most expensive dressing by far. Now Ranch is the most asked for and my least expensive
We charge for extra of something that comes with the order, like salad dressing; but if someone ask for a side of ranch or blue ch with something we just give it to them. IMO, It’s really not worth pissing off a customer to save $.50.
How do you guys handle the request for paper plates, napkins and cups? We do a lot of BOGO pizzas or very aggressive pricing on Large 1-Toppings. I’ve had people request a plate per slice or just an arbitrary number like 80 paper plates etc.
I give plates, cups, napkins, forks, knives out for free if the customers asks for them. They are inexpensive. If someone is asking for 80 of something then they have probably purchase a lot of food which would make up for the cost. They also are getting the cheapest product I can find. The only thing I splurge on is the knives and forks, I get medium weight instead of light weight. You can also add them to you food cost on the aggressive priced items to see what it will cost you.
This is what we do too. The red sauce is free as xtra sauce, but the pesto and alfredo sauces are already charged as an extra topping due to their high cost, and those two are not available as an extra side anyways. What gets asked for typically are the red sauce, ranch and blue cheese. I typically find if they order a Hawaiian, they want a side of ranch. So, I try to ask just like when we ask if they want a ‘drink’ with that, we need to ask if they need any sides of sauces… that typically fleshes out the need for sauce – the challenge for me is I don’t always remember.
Another thing I try to do is if I’ve forgotten to ask if they need a side of sauce, and they come back and ask after the transaction has closed. I give them a 2 oz cup of sauce. If they purchase a side sauce, they will get it in a 4 oz cup. (Keep in mind, those cups really hold 1.5 oz and 3.oz respectively. I would have to fill them up to the top, and in order to put the lid on displaces some of the actual 2 oz and 4 oz those cups are supposed to be… I was curious one day how much was actually going out and that is when I realized sure the cup will hold that much, but it only does do so flush with the top edge and no lid–none of the sauces go out that way. I it was reassuring I wasn’t putting out as much. Another reason I went to the hand over a 2 oz for free after the fact is whenever I would sell a 4 oz side sauce they always left about half, never using it all up… Maybe my experience may be helpful for those who may wonder what’s best.
PS/ I’ll have to add that our Pizza mentor - the people we purchased our restaurant from, – we got 6 months ‘good will’ advice from them when we first bought the place and launched. They heard grumblings from a customer (who knew the previous owner) complain to them that we were charging for side sauce… tell us of the complaint and if we charged for sauces we’ll lose customers that way… We’ve stuck to our guns and most of our regulars are understanding and willing to pay.
I agree with your strategy of giving away something of value for free to gain customers or influence; I assume it has worked well for you. We budget 10 dollars per new customer, but if we can win them over instead by standing out by offering something of value for free. Then well do that almost anytime. It has won us a lot of sales in our industry and can work great in virtually any.