Loaded fries, steak burger and stuffed crust pizzas

Posted Friday, 16th Sep 2016 by Tim Savage • Business Thinking

Perception is everything sometimes…

When you’re in the catering business, margin is really important. Teaming up with the right suppliers that give you a great price, but real quality products too makes all the difference.

The difference in cost price between a Lidl style pizza and a brand named pizza served in a box is very small. The price you can charge the customer, however, is very different. People won’t pay £8.99 for a Lidl style pizza but wouldn’t bat an eyelid paying that and more for a well known branded pizza.

Steak burgers sound so much more expensive than a standard beef/hamburger. Yes they cost a little more, but the price you can charge goes up big time.

The big new kid on the block these days are loaded fries. For the uninitiated, these are fries loaded up with a ‘special’ sauce, cheese, bacon bits, chorizo, basically whatever your imagination comes up with! They will typically cost twice as much as a normal unadulterated tray of fries. The actual cost of piling a few bits on top is tiny compared to the extra profit made.

What could you do to ‘load up’ your products or services to improve the margin in your business?

You can improve perception of your brand

Look how Lidl and Aldi have changed perceptions about their businesses in the UK. Three years ago, you wouldn’t get any self respecting middle-class person shopping in Lidl or Aldi. How times have changed… The car parks are loaded these days with Chelsea Tractors!

Perception of your brand and what it stands for is really important. How could you improve the perception of your business by doing things differently?

We have friends coming for the weekend. Yesterday, I spent £90 on food and £140 on booze! I didn’t mean to guv – honest!

But this bloke in Majestic Wines was so knowledgable, friendly and helpful, I couldn’t help but spend way more than I was planning too – and he carried three of the boxes to my car.

When was the last time your off licence opened a bottle of wine so you could taste it first? Have they ever carried your purchases to the car? Do they have the ability to print off the tasting notes from the till (it cleverly links the database to what they put in the till) and generally make you feel very special?

My perception of Majestic Wines has gone through the roof and the wine wasn’t much more expensive – it was just sold better and my experience was overwhelmingly positive.

A burger or a steak burger? A pizza or a Chicago Town stuffed crust pizza in a branded box, fries or loaded fries?

A snotty, untrained teenager or a young knowledgable, friendly, well trained sales person?

An unsmiling, bored scruffy delivery man or a friendly, helpful one in a clean van and a smart branded shirt?

What can you do to improve your brand image?

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