1. Breakfast Boosters
With growing interest in all-day breakfast, the first meal of the day is a profit hub—and potatoes are the perfect margin-builder. Sixty-five percent of the top 500 fast-food chains offer potato sides at breakfast, and potatoes are one of the fastest-growing breakfast sides at fast-casual chains, according to Technomic data. Consider easy upsells of already-popular breakfast potatoes with on-trend toppings such as crumbled bacon or sausage, red-eye gravy or cheese sauce.
2. Lunch Lifters
Consumers are always value-oriented, but they’re especially so at lunchtime. Sixty-four percent of 18- to 34-year-olds say they typically order combo meals for lunch, according to Technomic’s 2016 Lunch Consumer Trend Report. Play up value meals so diners feel free to splurge on other offerings such as upgraded sides and beverages. Lunch is also a good time to appeal to snackers with combinable offerings of different sizes and pricing tiers.
3. Hype Up Happy Hour
There’s a tremendous profit opportunity in happy hour: 40% of 25- to 34-year-olds report going out to happy hour at least once a week, according to Technomic data. Among those bar-goers, nearly three-quarters say overall value is the biggest factor in deciding where to go. Menu shareable appetizers and an assortment of on-trend small plates at enticing prices to convert drinks-only consumers into diners. With some 40% of consumers hitting up happy hour because of drink deals, be sure to menu adult beverage specials to draw in visitors.
4. Drive Up Dinner
Boost dinner margins with creative upselling. Consider crafting a beer-pairing menu to encourage alcohol beverage purchases. Buffalo Wild Wings, for example, introduced Fandom Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Co., a hoppy pale wheat ale designed to pair well with the chain’s spicy wing sauces and encourage consumers to enjoy a pint or two with their wings. Or, increase check averages by catering to the ever-popular customization trend. Offer add-on sauces, toppings and sides or customizable menu items at different price points. Joe’s Crab Shack, for example, is testing a build-your-own seafood bucket deal with a flexible price tag. The DIY bucket, which features different types of crab and other shellfish, starts at $17 but has been selling for a per-person average of $24 by consumers who perceive it as a deal.
5. Get a Leg Up on Late Night
Like happy hour, late-night dining is an often-underappreciated profit opportunity. In fact, 31% of consumers visit late-night foodservice at least once a month. And 41% of those diners opt for appetizers and snacks during this growing segment, according to a recent Technomic Dinner & Late-Night Consumer Trend Report. Consumers are likely socializing with friends during this daypart, so be sure to offer a range of shareable sides. On-trend offerings include loaded fries, seafood nachos and global-inspired street foods. Make late night a special occasion with exclusive menu offerings and drink specials, and be sure to call these deals out with in-house signage and social media engagement.
For more ways to boost your profits by daypart, visit McCain® Foodservice here.