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Your Expert Guide To Pricing Your Restaurant Menu In The Best Way Possible

By Swati Mishra

Updated - May 9, 20246 min read

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You might think the ambiance, meals, and interiors are enough to retain customers - You're definitely WRONG if you think like that, the restaurant menu has another level importance which needs to be taken care of. Your entire sales depend on the menu that you offer to your customers so it's very crucial for a restaurateur to price their menu effectively for maximum profit. Make sure you make it customer friendly and play the right kind of psychological tricks with the customer when designing a menu. The crucial part lies with pricing the dishes on the menu - we're to help you with the same.


1. Placing Of The Prices

Try not putting the prices one after the other in a restricted column or order. It's always better to put the prices in different corner or areas of the menu and not together as it makes the customer care more about the money than the dish. One ends up comparing the prices to see what's the cheapest instead of ordering what's tempting them more. Avoid making columns of prices, it's preferable to place them at the end of a dish's description rather than in a restricted column.



2. Currency Doesn't matter, The Number Does

It might seem like a vague idea but believe it or not it does make a dish. Not adding a currency sign makes price looks relatively cheap and of course playing around with number has always worked. Try pricing the dish with rates like Rs.99, 199 or even a couple of rupees less - as it makes the menu appear decently priced to the customer.



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3. Playing With The Numbers

The 9 strategy works most of the times - it's a customer mind which makes Rs.99 appear to be cheaper than Rs.100. A single change in the digit can make an item on the menu look cheap. We just can't underestimate the power of the number "9". It's more of a psychological trick to play with a customer's mind - their mind automatically makes them feel like they got a great deal out there.



4. Placement Of Dishes

One can always consider placing their best selling dishes or the most expensive ones right on the top corner of the menu. Another suggestion - place a comparatively less expensive dish right next to expensive one so it doesn't seem too pricey to afford. The placement of dishes according to the right prices is a very important task and a key factor to keep in mind while pricing a menu.


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5. Compare To Other Top Restaurant Menus

You've got to have a look at the top restaurants menus which are similar to the niche of your restaurant. It's important to know what's customer-friendly prices look like where they can spend without giving an extra thought while ordering. You need to know what your customers are willing to pay.



6. Price Your Dishes According To The Food Cost

Calculating food costs for each dish will help you price your dishes effectively with evident profit. We recommend you not to buy ingredients in bulk because if you'll hurry to use up the food ingredients then you'll end up giving large portions to customers and eventually when you run out of stocks - you will end up disappointing your customers. It's important to keep your set of food portions consistent and use scales to come out with the right strategy. One can take out the total food cost by dividing the number of the total cost of the ingredients of a dish by the menu price of the dish.



7. Revise The Price Of Best Selling Dishes

Higher demands for specific dishes will always give you a room to raise your prices on those food items. In this case taking feedback becomes an essential point - Take weekly verbal feedbacks or make your customers fill up a feedback form after their meal to know what's everybody favorite and once can even analyse the best selling dishes at the end of the month through bill receipts. 



8. Demand-Based Pricing

If the demand for food is greater than the supply then the customers are definitely willing to pay more. So if your restaurant is based in an Airport or a Sports Stadium where meals are not easily accessible then you can raise the prices of the dishes to get some profit out. Don't raise the prices too much to disappoint the customers but raise it at an affordable end where people don't mind spending money when it comes to purchasing their favorite meal.



9. Seasonal Food Items Pricing Strategy

You've got to refresh your menu seasonally as it gives you the opportunity to showcase your specialties of seasonal food and get your guests excited for the "new" additions to the menu. On the other hand, the customer value perception of seasonal dishes is high so one easily charge more per menu item which makes an opportunity for restaurant owners to make a profit. Remember the food cost for ingredients of seasonal food items will be cheaper as we will be buying it in that particular season which will help us with making a profit as customers will be looking into it as a special seasonal dish.


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Q: What's the importance of colors in a restaurant menu?

A: Play with colors on your menu and use the ones which trigger hunger. According to research and user experience - red, yellow, orange, or green trigger hunger and are often used by F & B companies for their logos as well. On the other hand, some menus are color specific because of the cuisines they cater to for example barbeque oriented restaurants are often linked with color blue and red.


Q: What are the basic to keep in mind when designing a restaurant menu?

A: If you don't have the basics right then there's no way your menu will make the customers want more. Get the key factors in point - remember to use high-quality images, and not use more than 2-3 fonts or colors.