Posts Tagged ‘menu’

Einstein Bros. Taps Into Light Fare

May 21, 2012

Einstein Bros. has made an aggressive move into lighter fare with an additional seven new entrées each with less than 350 calories.  The move is designed to position Einstein Bros. as the bagel brand which is healthier for customers.  The new selections join seven existing choices, and provide additional options for both breakfast and lunch while being marketed as the Smart Choices menu.


With innovative options such as the Asparagus, Mushroom & Swiss Bagel Thin for breakfast and a pair of Bagel Thin Melts for lunch, customers don’t lack for tasty selections.


Extending Bagel Thin Interest


The company’s Bagel Thin line was introduced in 2010, featuring thinner bagels with fewer calories and carbs.   Providing customers with a similar taste but much less bread, the Thin sandwiches have been very popular.  Smart Choices sandwiches are made with egg whites for breakfast, and chicken or turkey at lunch.


Additional entrees include two salad choices; Chipotle Chicken and Harvest Chicken.  Smoothies, yogurt parfaits, fruit, and soups are also part of the menu.  With less than 15 grams of fat and a price of $5.50 or below, the appeal is clear.  Already in place at Einstein Bros., the same selections are joining the menu at sister brand Noah’s New York Bagels.


To facilitate ordering, the new Smart Choices menu appears on a different panel.  Allergens are clearly marked as well.


Other Changes Keep Coming


Einstein Noah has also expanded its coffee menu with espresso-based drinks.  Available in both hot and cold varieties, the coffee selections have done very well, and future expansions are in the works.  April will see the addition of a new cold drink, the cold Caramel Blender, just in time for the warmer summer weather.


The innovations are clearly doing Einstein Noah no harm as the company posted strong forth quarter numbers in 2011, and is expecting the same in the first quarter of 2012.



Striking a Balance Between Inflated Food Costs and Menu Prices

May 15, 2012

Wholesale food prices rose by 8% in 2011, the highest rate of increase in a very long time.  Fortunately, that rate will slow this year with a projected 4% increase.  This is still high when compared to previous numbers, forcing owners to get creative when striving to maintain profit margins.  Add to these projections the fact that customers are being squeezed financially in other areas, and it is critically important to be able to ‘justify’ your higher prices.


Higher Prices Accepted at Restaurants


It helps that inflation rates at the grocery store have been higher than those at restaurants. Customers are intimately aware of the increases at the checkout counter, and aren’t surprised to see similar changes when looking at the menu.  Furthermore, they are willing to pay more for the implied value that comes when eating out.


It all comes down to the perceived worth of the service provided.  As long as operators deliver good value and communicate that value to their customers, a reasonable increase in price is acceptable.  Many restaurants are addressing the rise in prices proactively by letting their audience know in advance of the changes in the menu.


Strategies to get Patrons to Accept the Price Adjustments


Restaurateurs have several strategies they can employ to help their patrons manage their checks.  Adjusting the menu so that profitable items which haven’t seen much of a price increase are promoted, offering smaller portions at a lower price point, including a prix fixe menu and stressing the experience all help the customer feel that they received value.


While there isn’t much an owner can do to reduce the costs of supplies, improving décor and service helps to validate a check that is slightly higher.  Dining out provides customers with more than just a meal; it is a complete experience.  Your visitors should come away with the feeling that they got what they paid for.

Your Menu May Help Men Feel Less Aggresive

December 7, 2010

File this one under the list of things too bizarre not to be true. It turns out that men who are feeling aggressive could actually get help in feeling less aggressive by taking a gander at your menu. If you serve meat, that is!

Frank Kachanoff is a researcher from McGill University who was studying the relationship between meat and aggression in men. He wanted to test a theory that people are likely to become more aggressive in response to meat. Mr. Kachnoff showed pictures of the stuff to men and to study their reactions.

The study looked at 82 men and used various techniques to force them into a more aggressive stance. The men were told to punish a person who was reading a script to them whenever a mistake was made. At the same time, they were given a stack of photos of ready to eat meat products and told to flip through them while the script reader was busy doing his thing.

A control group was given the same experiment but when the script reader was reading, they were instead given a stack of random photos to flip through. The men in the study were told that they would be administering their punishments by way of painfully high levels of sound being broadcast to the person reading the script.

What really shocked Mr. Kachnoff however was the result of the study. He fully expected that the images of meat would make the men more aggressive and more likely to commit punishments against the reader when he made a mistake. Instead, the opposite was true. All the men who sat and stared at pictures of meat were less aggressive than the control group.

Kachnoff speculates that the reaction was based on the fact that the meat the men were staring at was ready to eat. He theorizes that the primal instinct which would have made men feel aggressive about meat was absent when the meat was already prepared.

At that point, he says, ancient man would have felt more peaceful because he was sitting around the fire and having a pleasant meal with family and friends. Maybe that’s why people enjoy going out to eat so much – they get to feel that ancient primal experience of a group meal.

Burger King Enters the Breakfast Fray

September 30, 2010

Well the breakfast craze that we’ve written about seems to still be picking up stream. The latest restaurant to announce a new menu specifically targeted to breakfast eaters is the number 2 burger chain in the country, Burger King.

Calling it the largest menu expansion in the history of the franchise, the company recently announced a number of brand new items that will be featured on their menus in an attempt to draw more diners for breakfast. The new menu will only be available until 10:30AM, unlike some other chains that offer breakfast all day.

What’s on the New Burger King Breakfast Menu

Amongst the new additions to the Burger King menu, one can find the BK Breakfast Ciabatta Club. This is a sandwich with eggs, tomatoes, ham, bacon, American cheese and what is described as a “smoky” tomato sauce. The sandwich is served up on a Ciabatta roll for $2.89.

The burger chain also introduced some new breakfast platters including the “The Ultimate Breakfast Platter.” This meal comes with scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns a biscuit and pancakes and will cost $4.29.

The company also has two cheaper options in the “Pancake and Sausage Platter” which will go for $2.89 and a platter with nothing but pancakes for $2.29.

Breakfast Value Menu & Seattle’s Best

In addition to the new sandwich and new breakfast platters, Burger King is introducing blueberry biscuits which will be served warm and covered in icing for $1. They will also be featuring coffee from the “Seattle’s Best Coffee” brand.

A company spokesman explained that the new push into breakfast menus was part of their strategy to expand into other markets, saying that while the company is known for their “superior burgers” they were hoping to get people in the door for other meals as well.

The announcement is one of several the chain has made in recent days, including an announcement of a plan to sell itself to private equity firm 3G capital for a reported price of $4 billion or $24 per share. This represents a premium of 46 percent over the asking price for the shares.