Is a Customer Favorite Getting in the Way of Your Sales?

Is a Customer Favorite Getting in the Way of Your Sales?

what_about_the_customers_you_are_not_reaching_yet_b“But I can’t change. Customers love this!”

When you say that, what you are really saying is: “The customers that know about it and come in and buy it love it.” That isn’t the same thing as “Everyone loves this,” because the former is a smaller subset of the latter.

In retail it is easy to get caught up in thinking, “. . . but I can’t change. People love this!” Really? How much were your sales? What you mean is: the people who are the “tribe” for that product love it. They come in and buy it ─ and probably do so religiously.

But what about something else? Is there something else that could be made and sold that would do better? Products all command scarce resources.

Resources such as:
• a line on the menu
• space in the oven
• ingredients on the inventory shelf
• time in the production cycle

These are all scarce resources and must be allocated in a way that maximizes sales and profits. Assuming those are your goals.  ;)

The real cost of never changing your product offerings (a.k.a. menu) is the opportunity cost of not selling what you don’t make. Everything is so loved by existing customers that you can’t ever change.

The next time you are looking at your menu, try this quick exercise:

1. Look at the bottom-performing item in each category.
2. Think about why it is there.
3. Think about something new and exciting that could replace it and ask yourself if it would generate more sales.

Odds are that the answer will always be yes! If you are looking at this product that was last on your sales volume list, you can always find something that will do better than that.

I recently blogged about cost-benefit analysis. Think about this topic through that lens. Is the benefit of pleasing the seven customers that come in on Tuesday morning for the item in question worth the cost of not introducing a new product that could quadruple that volume? Probably not.

Try applying this to your own menu. Let me know in the comments how introducing a new menu item works out for you.

Want to know more about the Great Harvest way of doing business?

Why Great Harvest is Business. The way it ought to be.

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