Volume dollars vs. Profit dollars…You need both to grow and survive!!

Volume dollars vs. Profit dollars…You need both to grow and survive!!

Now that the Christmas Chaos known as shopping is over, many folks look forward to finding the Great after Christmas Deals on items that were leftover inventory after the Holidays. Americans didn’t invent the art of the “Smokin’ Deal” but we may have perfected it. Everybody likes to feel good about getting the best deal, and while a “Loss leader” won’t keep your doors open if it’s the only thing you sell, it will definitely be a reason folks may shop with your business.

Menu gaze patternTake for example any of the top 3 fast food chains. They all prominently display the current special which may or not be a deal, but it is a powerful suggestive sell, and the photography and artwork really paint the product in the most favorable light. It usually is a higher ticket item as well. In fact, the majority of the standard menu items are arranged in a “Menu Gaze pattern” that involves a lot of science and psychology to help the business owner place the most profitable items in the Key locations on a menu.

Your eyes follow a pattern naturally depending on the type of menu you are looking at, be it a single side, folded or tri-fold etc. the business owner should know how to place the most profitable items in the key positions to enhance profitability in their business. As you can see in this example, there is a distinct pattern that science has shown most people will follow in making a menu choice. Think about this the next time you are out and go over the menu. See if you recognize our pattern and what items are in the high dollar positions.

But what if you are on a limited budget and want steak, but can only afford chicken tenders?? Flip that menu over to the Back side…way back……keep looking there they are!!! Not a great money maker but the owner knows he has to have them available to meet the needs of Budget minded. Think about the placement of the kid’s menu. where is it located?? usually on the back or far away from the front. But what did you notice….You had to go look for it didn’t you? And there was no High quality pic of the chicken tenders either or a nice upgraded font. in fact, the print was probably smaller and not bolded and overall tougher to find. Ah that pesky science again!! Human nature is we tend to take the path of least resistance and if we can’t find what we are looking for we will just say something like bring me a Burger with everything and Coke…..Mission Accomplished!! The owner has steered you away from the lower gross profit item and into the increased profit dollars of the front page. Think about it..   Remember the fast food chain with the great pics of the top 5-6 items, and when you try to find the value menu it is nearly hidden in obscurity, with no pics, smaller fonts, and not easy to find. The Volume dollar items are a necessary evil in the Business world and displace the competition by bringing customers to your door for the availability of all things, and the Profit dollars Pay the bills. having the right mix of these items and steering your customers toward the Higher profit dollars will help ensure your business is viable, has good growth and Pays the bills.

We would like to hear feedback about your experiences in Dining or other menu driven business interactions. Let us know at

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