Of all of the business decisions a food truck owner has to make, the one that brings on considerable anxiety is menu price increases. When to do it and how to do it are just as critical as the amount of the price increase itself.
Whenever menu price increases are made most vendors prepare themselves for some bad customer responses. The feedback not only comes in the form of complaints but also in the form of the dropping customer counts. Regardless, food truck vendors must occasionally adjust prices to maintain an adequate level of profits.
Increases in menu prices should always be as subtle as possible. The less attention that is called to price increases the less chance there will be a lot of bad customer reactions. The following suggestions are offered as a way to disguise menu price increases.
6 Ways To Disguise Your Food Truck Price Increases
- Use odd cent increments in your menu prices. Use (25, 50, 75 and 95) for the digits to the right of the decimal point. When an item is increased within this range ($7.50 to $7.75) it is less likely to be noticed by the customer.
- Rewrite your prices. Never cross out old prices and write over with a pen or put stickers over the old prices. This will certainly call more attention to your menu price increases.
- Provide value. When a price increase cannot be delayed, consider increasing the portion size and creating a new and improved version of the item. This way you are providing added value and not just raising the price.
- Look at your portion sizes. If the portions are already substantial, consider reducing the portion size in lieu of a price increase.
- Don’t raise prices across the board. It’s rarely warranted and it is much better to raise only a few items. Start by increasing the most popular items a small amount instead of slow selling items.
- Use a Market Priced label. Items that regularly fluctuate in cost should not be priced on the menu but should be listed as “market priced.” Make sure your servers are aware of any daily price changes.
The Bottom Line
Please note that menu price increases should only be made once or twice a year. In today’s economy, a consumer is more likely to notice when it is done. A percentage of them will reduce the frequency of their visits to your food truck or even worse, go to a competitor.