Crafting a burger menu that produces a stellar bottom line takes careful planning. Between ever-evolving flavor trends and the growing fandom within the burger category, you’ve got to do all you can to get your burger lineup just right. Use these tips to build a multi-tiered strategy that delivers big flavor and high margins.
Dig into the numbers
Do you know which burgers are your all-stars, or what your profit margins are across your lineup? The secret to maximizing profitability is in the numbers.
Research your past-year burger sales results, and pinpoint which items are driving profits. This means knowing the total cost of each offering, down to the individual inputs, as well as their markup percentages. Give concepts with low margins or poor performance the boot, and set benchmarks to gauge future results and guide decision-making going forward.
Master your markup
A 300% markup is an unwritten rule of the industry—but it’s not a hard and fast one. Your pricing must fit your brand promise and the value your customers seek. Evaluate your portfolio to make sure you’re getting your burgers’ worth—especially for your signature items.
Portion control is one trick to managing profits. Strict plating protocol will help you serve consistent amounts and predict input costs with confidence. Pre-made, premium frozen patties, such as TNT™ Burgers, make portion control easy and also minimize prep and labor, while letting you charge a little extra for a higher quality burger experience.
A compelling, well-organized menu is a must-know trick for kicking your sales up a notch. Highlight your high-margin dishes with tempting pictures and eye-catching design elements—and watch your profits increase across your menu.
Stay price competitive
Put on your detective cap and visit local restaurants and their websites to learn how your competition is pricing their menus. Pay special attention to the burgers that are similar to your offerings and adjust your prices if necessary.
Implement a tiered burger patty strategy
The idea of a multi-tiered strategy is threefold. First, build a core portfolio of patties that also give you menuing flexibility. Second, optimize inventory and storage with a minimal number of SKUs that have maximum applications. Finally, better manage your customer’s expectations. Stack them all together and you’ve got one mega-margin burger menu.
Appetizers – Starters are often geared toward affordability. A slider-style patty offers bite-size and pennywise appeal, and the versatility to craft winning, beefy signature apps—burger or not.
Kids’ menu – What’s most important for kids’ menus? Child-size portions and parent-friendly prices. Not only is a slider suitable for your apps, it’s a great fit for kids’ needs, too. It’s worth noting that today’s youth are more open to adventurous tastes. For real-deal kid appeal, try clever burger creations, such as a Pizza Burger Slider built on a pretzel bun, or BBQ Burger Bites made from cubed burger patties, melted cheese and barbecue sauce, all wrapped in a crescent roll.
Mainstream burgers – For your tried-and-true creations, opt for a patty that provides a balance of great taste, menuing versatility and a price point that fits your margin goals.
Signature concepts – The burgers that make your menu stand out deserve a premium patty. Be conscious of your customers’ pricing expectations, though—and the market’s, too. But don’t be afraid to go big! Some concepts are so distinct that they can help you break from the traditional burger pricing paradigm and add a little more to your bottom line. LTOs – Craveable limited-time offerings demand higher price points, but you should rarely need to bring in a unique SKU for these short-lived creations. Be sure the patties you select for your mainstream and high-end burgers will suit your future LTOs, to help you preserve your markup.