Operators can command higher menu prices by understanding these consumer standards and building their business around them. Datassential menu pricing research shows, for example, that operators can charge up to $5 more for a chicken entrée if they use No Antibiotics Ever chicken rather than conventional chicken.1 Indeed, Datassential’s The New Healthy Keynote Report from June 2019 confirms that 35% of consumers are willing to pay more for food free of antibiotics. An even larger number (63%) say they’d pay more for free-range and pasture-raised animal proteins.2 To put it simply, menu claims can boost your profit potential.
Offering No Antibiotics Ever Chicken or Turkey, for example—and communicating the product attributes clearly in your menu messaging—signals to customers who care about such claims that your operation is like-minded.
Knowledge is powerful
To ensure guests understand that your chicken or turkey is high quality, operators should include menu descriptors in the name or description of the dish, as QSR-favorite Panera did when it recently rolled out its new Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli Bowl––“Cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa, chicken thigh raised without antibiotics and steamed broccoli florets in a soy sauce-based teriyaki glaze, topped with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.” This bowl retails for approximately $10.99, depending on the location.
Animal welfare and a broader commitment to sustainability also matter to many consumers. IFIC research confirmed that 51% of parents with children in the household believe it’s important to know that the food and beverages they purchase were produced with animal welfare in mind; 42% of consumers without children said the same.3 What’s more, knowing that a manufacturer is “committed to producing food in an environmentally sustainable way” is important to 43% of surveyed consumers. Four in 10 want to know their food was produced using farming technologies that seek to reduce the impact on natural resources.3
Be transparent about your support of sustainability initiatives. For example, if your company has pledged to meet the standards of the Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.)’s “Better Chicken Commitment,” promote that fact to your suppliers and customers. Participants include restaurant giants Burger King, Subway, Chipotle and Denny’s. Notably, the number of companies that have made the Better Chicken Commitment increased more than 60% from January 2019 to November 2020.4
Emphasizing a commitment to quality in the descriptors used on the menu, on social media, and on your website and ordering app (if appropriate) can be game-changing. Instead of using lackluster descriptions such as “Grilled chicken sandwich with bacon, cheddar and tomato on sourdough,” tell a value story that highlights your high-quality ingredients and creativity: Grilled No Antibiotics Ever Chicken Breast, fed a 100% vegetarian diet, served on toasted sourdough with applewood-smoked bacon, Wisconsin cheddar and local tomatoes.”1
Use this enhanced description as a template for an all-in approach in which your entire menu is built around top-tier ingredients. Otherwise, use the quality-conveying wording as part of an upsell or limited time offer.
As you define your elevated standards, look for transparent, trusted suppliers like Perdue that are offering the ingredients to match these ideals.
- Help Increase Your Profits (Perdue, November 2020)
- The New Healthy (Datassential, June 2019)
- 2020 Food & Health Survey (International Food Information Council, April 2020)