Monday, January 19, 2009


How often do you sit down in a restaurant and wonder what is good? Asking the waiter what they recommend may result in an accurate, objective response about what tends to be a popular and delicious choice, or, it may result in a completely biased, subjective response based on the server's personal taste or agenda. Sadly, it is not until you've already ordered and received the item that you will know for sure.

The Idea: a menu-item popularity tracker.

A menu-item popularity tracker could be shown in a variety of ways, but it would always display the same information – how many times a certain dish has been sold. Imagine a deli where every sandwich is listed on a chalkboard behind the counter. The sandwiches all have descriptions and may even have clever names, but what they don't include is how popular each one is. Employing a tracker would show just how many of those items have been sold in a certain period of time, whether that time is weeks, months, or even the whole year. Customers would then be able to make a decision not just based on the sandwich’s description or ingredients, but on how popular it was among consumers as well.

But how does this benefit the restaurant, you ask? The data generated by the menu-item popularity tracker could be used by restaurants to make a variety of decisions including pricing, stocking, etc. A tracker could also be synced with a restaurant’s existing POS system to further aid the compilation and display of such data. Lastly, in the event that a restaurant were to be bashful about low sandwich purchase numbers, they could easily switch to a system that displayed percentages of items sold rather than the actual number of sandwiches purchased.

To learn more about menu-item strategy, check out

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