Menu pricing thoughts and suggestions

Good afternoon TT,

Just thought I would share this menu pricing best practice as I receive several messages per week related to menu design, profitability, bundling, and pricing. This simple consideration can be applied to virtually any menu without causing significant issues among current customers.

Keep in mind, a restaurant that sells 2,500 (of any item) per week can increase sales by $5,000+ per year – just by changing rates from $X.95 to $X.99.

Basic Price Rounding Strategy

-Items less than $5 should feature increments of ($.29, $.59, $.79, $.99)

-Items more than $5 should feature increments of ($.49, $.99)

Incremental price increases move items to the next highest price point, ie., $7.49 to $7.99. At the psychological level, the customer is unlikely to notice the increased price when managed in this incremental format. A more noticeable change (and bad example) would be listing prices at $7.50 and $8.25. This type of price increase can function as a red flag for most savvy customers.

If you want to read the full article I posted about this, you can check it out here.

I hope this information is useful. You can reach me via PM or at the office if you need help with your direct marketing / menu strategy.


A few years back the trend in menu pricing seemed to be leaving off the $ sign, and having only a “dollar” pricing, no cents. As in, Hambuger 5

are you not seeing this trend continue, and rather see more folks trending back to the dollars & cents approach?

I originally did it with just the number, no dollar sign… and people didn’t get it. “Oh, that’s the price?” After hearing that 20-30 times, I just put a dollar sign next to the number.

Great question - In pricing your menu the idea is to shift the focus “off of the prices” and onto “the food” “the deal” or “the benefits” associated with ordering right now.

There are several ways to do this (or you can combine these methods):

  1. Remove the dollar signs and do not use a “list” format. See the example below:

Baked Lasagna …$9.99

Our Classic Baked Lasagna
Authentic lasagna hand-made from top-grade ground beef, onions, Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses, tomato sauce and lasagna noodles. 9.99

  1. Use full-color food photography and graphics that draw attention away from prices.

  2. Present pricing as a “benefit”. See the examples below:
    [list]Only $9.99
    $9.99 (Includes FREE Salad!)
    Chef’s Favorite! Only $9.99[/list]


Chris Barr
Marketing Director
Taradel, LLC
Ph: 800-481-1656 x122