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Mark Laux
http://www.hotoperator.com
Entrepreneur, marketing expert and profit pioneer
Interests: music, marketing, dining out, movies, webinars, business building, acim, restaurant menus, menu design, teleseminars
Recent Activity
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When you hire a designer, you’re paying him or her to spend time on your brand. The more you pay a designer, the more time this professional will spend. It’s as simple as that. All good professional designers are coin-operated. And to get the best design for your restaurant menu, it sometimes requires spending the right amount of time. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Each of these processes for restaurant business growth requires the right tools, and with this final method of business growth, you will need to couple a well-design-engineered menu with the proper server training to make sure your waitstaff understands how to use the menu. Here are some server training tips we offer to restaurant operators when they launch their new menu: Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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All of this gives Doug a very nice point of difference that he can use to separate his business from every other Mexican restaurant in Texas. And it has a fun, socially responsible position that he can use to open more restaurants in other parts of the country without ever worrying about another restaurant in that town having a similar name and position. Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Here is a note from Kevin at Breakers who recently got his menu from HotOperator. As evidenced by Kevin's comment, the entire process was paid for in about a day in added income to Breakers restaurant. How well did your last menu work for you? "Thank you! Looks good. By the way our sales are up. Last week, as an example, we were up over $10,000 from the same 7 day period last year." Continue reading
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Marketing for restaurants is also a skill that not every restaurant operator is great at. A skill that marketing people go to school to learn and apply professionally. Marketing can be a talent. Like football, or baseball, some people are naturally better at it than others. But it's also a skill that requires experience and education. A skill you can hire. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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A well-engineered restaurant menu can bring a significant increase in profits to your restaurant. This is important, so I’m gong to say it again. A well-engineered restaurant menu can bring a significant increase in profits to your restaurant. Now having said that, I can also tell you that most restaurant operators, when told that, will still ask if they can get a discount. Asking for a discount been drilled into their brains for so long that I think they may have lost sight of their ability to reason beyond the price. Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Or maybe, and this is what I think drives their reluctance, they’re afraid to raise prices. Maybe they think: ‘If I take a price increase, all my customers will get angry and never come back.’ So instead of getting professional help and engineering a menu to help insulate against the current price fluctuation, they keep plodding along, day-to-day, hoping they can squeak out a profit. Here’s a wake up call: You won’t make it that way. It’s impossible to have year-over-year increases in cost of goods and not take a price increase to offset some of those costs. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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If you believe Bloom, and if you have even the slightest understanding of his ideas, you realize just how important your restaurant menu is to your restaurant business. Rather than a price list, or even a self-made essay on your food, you start to get the idea that some thought and expertise should go into your restaurant menu. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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What’s interesting about consumer behavior is they don’t even know they’re doing it. Which is great for retailers, because you can arbitrarily create new, higher priced items on your restaurant menu and get consumers to move up in price as a result. Try it, it works every time. Just take your highest priced item, add something to it to make it more expensive and see what happens. Continue reading
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As it turns out, there was only one method for highlighting that actually worked well. That method is having a neutral toned background, like beige, grey, off white, light blue or green, and then making the highlights a lighter tone of the same color or white. Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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A well-engineered restaurant menu will in fact, make suggestions to your guests and help them order food that they will like better, but also will have your guests spend a little more on each visit. Restaurant consumers are open to suggestion and in fact they want to know what you recommend. So setting your menu up to be more suggestive not only makes sense, it is actually your responsibility. Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Here are 5 questions I get asked about restaurant marketing by restaurant operators: 1. Does restaurant menu engineering really work? 2. How do I get more customers into my restaurant? 3. How much should a custom restaurant menu cost? 4. Do you think my restaurant food costs are too high? 5. Why is my restaurant business Successful/Unsuccessful? Continue reading
There are basically four moving parts to a menu: Product Positioning, Highlighting, Mental Anchoring and Strategic Pricing. Regardless of the design you use, these four elements have the biggest impact on how a consumer will navigate your menu, and they have the largest impact on what your guests will order. Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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We're just finishing up the creative and engineering for GingeRootz Asian Grille in Appleton, Wisconsin. Owned and operated by Alice and Doris Ng, sisters with a passion for great food, excellent service and now a fantastic new menu. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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"Nothing in my 20 plus years of being a restaurant owner would prepare me for this." My friend and client Angelo called and told me that a woman had come into his restaurant the other day in a tube top... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Brands grow slowly over time, little by little. And they are a little like a building in sand, they need constant attention over time to help cultivate them and keep them strong. To make matters worse, a brand, even a great brands can erode much more quickly than the time and money it took to build. So here are the brand commandments. And you don't have to follow these if you don't want to, but your business will suffer over time if you don't. Continue reading
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Tuck the prices into the paragraphs. Drop the dollar signs. Do not make the prices bold, a different color, a different type font or stand out in any way at all. If you do you will make less money. Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Because the source of supply for beef is historically low, mostly due to weather, record high beef prices could last through 2015. And if you think about it logically, with the drought hitting the American southwestat a time when world beef consumption is up, 2015 may be optimistic for a price drop. Here are 5 things you can do right now to protect your profits without loosing all of your customers in the process. Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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Next, you need to completely answer 'what's good here' because your guests want to know what you think. To them you are a celebrity, and your opinion matters. It is not just an opportunity to help your guests find something good, but it is your responsibility to guide the guest through your menu. As an example, at least one of your entrees needs to stand out, and not just by happen chance, but because it really does stand out. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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In many cases, small independent operators will say they can’t afford a custom illustration, when in fact, the truth of the matter is: they can afford it, but choose not to. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to lift a great work from someone else and hope you never get caught. It’s another thing to spend a few hundred dollars on an illustrator to create something entirely your own. Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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The best restaurant menus all share some commonality. They all have a brand essence, which is just a fancy way of saying they look different in some significant way that makes the menu attractive and distinctive. They all have products listed in a way that is relatively easy to read, with names that are easy to pronounce and fun to say. And they all have items that are specially highlighted in some way, so the guest will find and order them more often. Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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One of the two most misunderstood parts of menu engineering are product positioning and price positioning, and if you get these two things right you will be well on your way to a better menu. Let’s start with product positioning. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
With the right amount of effort and some creativity, you can create menu stars in your restaurant business. But to do that, you first need to understand value and how to create value in the minds of your restaurant customers. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder
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When you go about making products for your restaurant that you hope will become stars with your customers, keep in mind that the restaurant menu price you sell an item for is restricted by its function. And to get the price to move up, you will need to offer a higher functional value to your guests. To increase the food products function, and thereby its value with consumers, you’ll need a little creativity. Continue reading
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Would you like to make this your year? You can make this your year. It’s not easy, and it requires the right plan, but it can be yours if you want it. You just have to decide if you are ready to work on your business rather than in it. It’s really that simple. And when you decide to work on your restaurant business, the next few steps will be easy by comparison. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2014 at HotOperator® Restaurant Menu Builder