How Can I Create Higher Profit Items/Menus?

How Can I Create Higher Profit Items/Menus?

There are two questions to consider when creating higher profit items and menus:

#1 What could I add to my  entrees / appetizers / desserts / drinks / catering menus that are complementary and could make them a higher profit item?

Here are a few examples of value-added additions for your different food categories.


If you serve a filet, you could stuff it with brie or a crabmeat stuffing. You can take your two most popular entrees and create a combination plate.
We took our grilled chicken entree and combined them with a pork chop and a skirt steak with roasted garlic mashed potatoes to create our highest profit item “The Grill Sampler”. Ask your staff and customers what they’d like to see for unlimited ideas to create check average building entrees.


Regular nachos with premium meat and/or toppings become Super Nachos.
A smaller portion of a favorite entree becomes your new, best selling appetizer.
Taking your four highest selling appetizers and combining them into a platter (perfect for two) can double your appetizer check average at the same time your customer’s perception is doubled.


My favorite strategy for creating a high priced dessert was to offer a slice of pie (apple, cherry, etc) and put it in big wine glass with caramel and whipped cream and we charged 3 times what I was getting for pie. Add that type of item to your menu and watch it become your top seller. We even serve a Giant Messy Sundae much the same way and when you parade it through the dining room people all over the place ask “What is that?” and “Can I get one of those?”. Tables can’t resist the temptation to order their own.


A regular cup of coffee sells for a buck. Put those same grinds in French press and it’s worth three.
Adding a fruit tea to your catering menu easily adds profits. Coffee, beverage and alcohol manufacturers are an endless source of high profit drink ideas. They also provide killer promotional items to help you sell them.

Catering Menus:

This is where creativity comes in. If you offer a host of different menus or custom design menus for each client, look at the previous examples for inspiration.  When it comes to catering, packages are highly effective in driving check average.  Always have a premium package, there is a big shot out there somewhere and price doesn’t matter.  If you don’t have the high ticket item they will settle for less.

#2 What Items /Menus Should I Promote?

This answer is two-fold and quite simple.

1.    Promote those items that make you the most money in each category.
2.    Promote those items that are the most killer on your menu. The one’s people rave about and can’t live without.

If your most profitable items aren’t the one’s people crave. Look at bundling and packaging strategies. Remember an item people love to talk about does double duty for your P&L.

Jonathan Munsell is a professional speaker,  restaurant owner and owns and operates multiple restaurants and a large catering company. Helping  other restaurant owners better their business through Restaurant Success System.
Reach him at call him on  +1 919.225.6015 or visit