Fries used to be the only side option with our bundled meals, but now we have many side dish options. I believe these extra options are the reason why our food costs have been climbing—fries were much more profitable than offering a side salad or fruit. How can I get my profits back up?
First of all, I am willing to bet that your counter cashiers and order takers are no longer scripted to influence or say… “Would you like fries with that” and probably even more importantly the signage on the menu boards now plays down photos of the fries and instead highlights all the other choices. There’s nothing wrong with that, and some would argue that offering healthier sides makes good nutritional sense. That doesn’t account for the popularity of potatoes, but it smacks your food cost percentages pretty hard.
Here are some suggestions… if you don’t offer a smaller size fry portion, consider it. But don’t just take away fries—add some fun dips or sauces for the fries. That way, the person receiving the fries can enjoy each bite just a little bit more and is likely to order them again the next time they come in. Flavored ketchup, salsa, chipotle mayo, or BBQ sauce add a tasty zip to the fries.