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Sunday, May 20, 2007

More Portion Options

In last week's post Dealing With A Portion Problem , we focused on a chronic over sized steak which had been offered to guests over time. This entree was highly popular (one third of customers make this menu choice). I suggested any reversion back to the standard size should take place slowly.

Some may want to try a different approach.

Rather than focusing on the over sized portion, you could consider offering an even larger portion menu choice. In our example, we were offering a half pound steak for $25. The actual serving size of 2/3 of a pound exceeded our standard by a wide margin. We could offer a full one pound steak for two for $45. The cost of the steak per trimmed pound is $15 in our example. The new steak for two would have a center of the plate cost of 33.33%. Our smaller size is producing a 40% center of the plate cost.

If the clients take to the new menu item, we might start reducing the smaller steak's portion size more aggressively (don't go too fast). Since the full one pound choice offers cover, the reduction operation won't have the same exposure. Remember, our example involved an entree which was highly popular. You are trying to get the same gross margin for two people while lowering your cost of sales percentage.

Your dessert sales may rise since two people will consume the half pound portion as originally budgeted. Total gross margin will increase if this happens. Hopefully, your desserts are priced to yield an excellent cost of goods sold as well.

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