Over the years we have revamped our menu about every two years. I think this time it went three years. We are adding several new combos and dropping an equal number. The ones I am most excited about are asian inspired pizza. We are introducing Szechuan Duck Pizza and Thai Veggie among others. The new menu goes live for Memorial Day weekend.
Szechuan Sauce, Duck Meat, Fresh Spinach, Red Onion, Green Pepper, Feta and Mozzarella cheese. 12", 14" and 16" sizes. 14" costs $23.50
Thai Peanut Sauce, Red Onion, Green Pepper, Roma Tomatoes, Roasted Unsalted Cashews. 12", 14" and 16" sizes. 14" costs $19.25
Over the years having specialty pies has been great for our business. We have wild boar sausage, elk sausage, mesquite chicken breast and others. Hard to price shop those options against brain damaged national pricing!
We are also doing a new “Pork Wing” which is a mini rib that is just outstanding as well as adding chicken nuggets and swapping out some ice cream and soda flavors.
Now we are going to have some fun on the radio and do some newspaper and direct mail. Looking forward to the next 60 days!
At what point do you ditch an item? Do you look at the sales volume or profit margin? What volume does it take for you to consider a pizza to be worth having on the menu?
Those 2 pies sound absolutely great. And the pork wings are inspired. If I lived in your neighborhood, it would be a daily trip in to see ya.
We drop mostly on unit sales. In this case I wanted to drop the same number I added. I also look at whether I can discontinue an inventory item and simplify that aspect of operations. This time, for example, we dropped two combos that used Pheasant sausage even though one was an OK seller because the other was not but this allowed us to drop the topping.
I have NOT found that dropping a combo equates to lost sales… that customer just chooses something else. I DO find that having new things to talk about brings interest and reason for customers to try new things and provides a story that differentiates us and attracts new customers. At a certain point I don’t think that a larger list of combos translates to increased sales. We currently have 20 named combos on the menu and I think that is plenty.
You asked about margin. For the most part our specialty toppings are expensive which tends to reduce margins… but it also allows us to sell pizzas for as much as $28.50. (as I mentioned in my earlier post, you can not shop our duck pizza against dominos) Gross margin % is nice but it is gross margin $$ that go in the bank. Our more expensive toppings are priced as 2X or 3X toppings… so adding 4 oz of elk sausage or duck to the pie adds over $5 to a 16" pizza which is not as good a margin % as onion but is in line with our food cost goals. I would rather sell a $20 pizza with 30% food cost than a $15 pizza with 25% cost. By suggesting combos with interesting names and unique ingredients we often sell pizzas that price out at 5,6,7,8 toppings where a customer, left to their own devices would probably pick 2,3 or 4.
My son is headed out to Denver next month for a conference, I was hoping he could go see you and try that Thai pie but I just checked google and you are like 3 hours away.
To bad, he could bring back leftovers.
Open invite for TTers wandering the west. Drop me a line when you come to town and we will have a beer!
We are adding a new pizza to our menu - Pork & Apple. It is basically traditional red sauce base, then a layer of thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, minced pork (raw) and then red onion slices and topped with alight cover of mozz. When it comes out of the oven we drizzle a balsamic raspberry glaze over it.
The glaze is a combination we make of balsamic, a raspberry sauce (liquid consistency to balsamic) and liquid glucose. All are mixed in a saucepan, brought to the boil and then reduced down.
Another we recently added was Chicken Mornay, with a mornay sauce base, a minor mozz sprinkle, baby english spinach, chicken and then mushrooms finished with cracked black pepper.
Trouble is that we are continually expanding our pizza range (now 36) with 16 being gourmet. Haven’t dropped any off as everything sells across the board and any new variants always are based on ingredients what we currently have, except for maybe a sauce.
We are pushing more the gourmet side as people are willing to pay more for a different and sometimes unique taste. Gourmets now represent around 30% of our total variants sold which is great as sell price is higher and food costs lower.
It must have something to do with “Spring cleaning”…we’re in the process of revamping our menu as well. I had read somewhere, couldn’t say where now (which is happening with greater frequency!) that a menu ought to be looked at 3-4 times a year and at the minimum, once a year the lowest 20% of sellers should be replaced with new offerings just to keep it fresh.
If nothing else it forces us to look at the hard numbers instead of just sentiment when deciding what stays and what goes. I popped a question up on our Facebook page inviting some ideas for summer menu items. I think it lets folks take “ownership” in their local pizza place, or Pub in our case.
How do you deal with the few customers that try to order the pizzas that you take off the menu? I know you are located in a tourist destination but maybe you still have a few regulars that like some of the discontinued pies? Assuming you still have all the ingredients would you still make it for them? This might be a problem with new employees.
@Gbomb…our policy is, if we have the ingredients…they get their pie. A happy customer is a repeat customer and a happy repeat customer that thinks he/she is getting a special deal…they have friends.
We do deal with the old favorite thing all the time. We also still have old menus floating around. As Deacon said, if we have the ingredients, no problem. We just put in the order using the ingredients.
We have been doing this now 12 years. This is not a big issue.