Promote all of your soup offerings by pairing them with sandwiches or salads already on your menu. By offering a variety of options, guests will be more likely to try something new or order a more expensive item as part of their combo. According to a recent Technomic study, 58% of consumers are more likely to order soup if it’s offered as a combo meal.Try offering both cup and bowl sizes so guests can order their perfect portion to go along with the other half of their meal. Creamy soups, bisques and broth-based soups are best suited for cup sizes during lunch. Make sure you also offer a vegetarian choice for guests with dietary restrictions or guests looking for healthy options.
According to Prepared Foods Network, 46% of dining guests visit restaurants because they enjoy the soup there. Slightly more than half want to be able to bundle a soup with an entrée. Use the craving for combinations to your advantage. Create unique soup and entrée pairings like a chicken tortilla soup and a chipotle wrap or a garden vegetable soup with a greek salad, and make sure to rotate them out regularly. That will satisfy customers’ needs for a variety of soups while also driving higher ticket prices.
According to a recent Technomic survey, 54% of consumers said they prepare soup from home at least once a week. In order to encourage customers to visit their restaurant, operators have to emphasize the uniqueness of their soups. Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, Inc. says that operators might also consider ramping up their soup and salad orders by promoting their appeal across dayparts. 51% of consumers in Technomic’s Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report say that it’s important that a soup can be bundled with other items.
Even though consumers regularly eat lunch away from home, many of them value convenience over any other factor when picking a place to eat lunch. Technomic’s 2014 Lunch Consumer Trend Report revealed that 41% of consumers who bring lunch from home at least one day a week do so because it saves them time. And those who do eat out during the week are more likely to visit familiar restaurants.
How can you combat customers who are stuck in the same restaurant routine? Simple. Give them something different. Even though they might visit the same restaurants for lunch, more than half of consumers say that it’s important for those restaurants to offer a wide variety of menu items. In order to be competitive, an operator has to find a balance between offering a wide variety of menu items and offering too many choices. Too many offerings can cause a long wait time for guests, but it’s also important to give customers the variety they’re looking for. An easy way to compromise is to change out limited-time offers frequently. This strategy will help drive traffic and encourage customers to try something outside of their routine picks.
Operators can promote their soup offerings by pairing soups with sandwiches or salads, along with getting creative about the kinds of soup they offer. The most important part of driving soup business is making sure you’re appealing to your customers. That means offering a variety of soups with a wide range of flavors and giving customers the option to combine their soup purchase with a salad or sandwich purchase. Giving patrons new options with a sense of customization will encourage them to break free from their soup rut.