Frozen Dessert Success

Menu Structures

Posted by Robert Romarino

Mar 26, 2024 5:04:02 PM

We've put together hundreds of menus for our customers over the years. You might even say we are menu geeks. In fact, menus are one of our favorite topics to discuss with customers getting into the frozen dessert business. Maybe it's that menus combine the visual and data aspects of the business. It's visual because you're using images and pictures to sell your product and brand while incorporating the data of prices and sizes. 

The most important thing we emphasize when creating menus is to make it visual. Nobody wants to come to your shop and read a book. People buy with their eyes and with that you want them to be able to point at something and say, I want that. Use the menu to your advantage and drive the items that you want to sell the most of. Use visuals and images to push customers towards the high-end products. Think Instagram-friendly images for your menu.  


Even if you're getting into the business and you think you have no clue, or no idea, about how to create a menu. We're here to tell you that you have more experience than you realize. And the great part is, menu research can be fun. Anytime you've gone out to eat, you've read a menu. That's research. Maybe one stood out to you. Maybe not. One thing is for sure, you'll never look at menus the same again once you put one together.


Menu Structures

Putting the products that you want to sell the most of near the top left of the menu is proven to work because people read from left to right. So when developing your menu,  place the most expensive, best-featured items on the left. Though these sundaes or specialty sundaes may not be your best-selling items, they are the items that move the profit up 5-10% if you sell a few a day.


Not short on creativity. Good. Because you'll need it. Another major factor on the success of your menu is what and how you name your products. The names should tie in with your theme or overall brand. Simple naming conventions like small, medium and large can also impact sales. For example, if you have 3 sizes of cones, small, medium, and large then you're likely to sell about 70% small, the rest will be medium and large. But if you change the names to kids, regular and large. Then you'll sell closer to 55% kids and 45% regular and large. Just by changing a few words, you've changed the revenue structure of your business.


Being visual, what we call things, and how we layout the menu will all affect what you sell. There are thousands of ice cream shops across the nation and they all essentially sell the same thing. How we package them and sell them is the differentiator. Why is this store known for this thing and that store known for that thing? A lot of it comes down to the menu. So developing and defining your menu correctly can help identify you in the marketplace.


Depending on what type of store you run, your menu can have a deep impact. If you own a walk-up window store, customers rarely see the product. So their buying decision is based upon your menu layout and design, what products you're promoting and how you're putting the menu out there. So a walk-up window store's menu is much more important than a walk-in store. Because in a walk-in store people can see the product and many times know what they want before they even walk in. A walk-up window store, your menu is all you have so you better put some detail and attention into it. Also, with a walk-up window store, you need to keep the line moving. If people drive by and see a line around the corner they're likely to keep driving and find someplace else. Although you want lines at the store, which provides social proof, you also want to keep the line moving. Therefore it's important to place the menu somewhere they can see it and make a buying decision before they reach the window to order.


One of the biggest questions we get is about pricing. And pricing is very open-ended which can depend on many factors. Some want to be the cheapest in the marketplace while others are in a market where they can charge more for the same product. Pricing is a conversation in and of itself. Some of the factors you should consider when developing your pricing strategy include your theme of the store, your market and demographic, and the ingredients and supply costs. But in the end, it is not about what you charge for your product. It's about the value you provide. Nobody cares when they pay and get value, but they will care when they pay and don't get the value. So if you're providing great customer service, quality and value then you can charge whatever you want.



Topics: Frozen Yogurt Business, Frozen Dessert Success, Ice Cream Business, Employee Training, Ice Cream Profits, Ice Cream Sales, Increased Profits, Ice Cream Shop, Business Startuo, Do's and Don'ts