What A Bad Menu Can Teach A Florist About Selling Flowers
This post looks at the way a restaurant presents their items to customers. It doesn't really look at the pricing they use, focussing instead on the way that the items are organized (or not) and presented on one (or more) of three menus.
Even though it's not really about pricing it is of interest to anyone that has to price and present multiple items to consumers. Florists for example.
Many florists will prepare flyers or mailers in advance of big floral holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. These are a little like the menus at a restaurant – they exist to help the customer select from your products.
So some of the principles of good menu design apple to both. And here are a few of the things that can be applied to your holiday flyer:
Help The Customer By Organizing Items Into Logical Categories
One of the problems with the menu shown in the post is that there is very little organization to all of the items presented. Over the three different menus dozens of items and variations are simply listed with no real pattern. If you are interested in something fried you have to read all of each of the three menus to be sure of your options. It would be much easier if you only had to scan a single "Fried Favorites" section of one menu.
The same thing applies to the flowers you are offering. At Christmas it's likely that someone is looking for a centerpiece, or a wreath, or a poinsettia, etc. so help them by organizing and presenting products in those categories.
Help Them Even More With Flags
Long and complex menus, like those for Chinese take-out, can have many dozens of items in any single category. They provide further assistance to the customer by using little flags like "Most Popular", "Signature", "House Specialty" or "Hot & Spicy". These help customers find what they are looking for inside the category and make decision making easier.
Florists too – consider a flag like "Most Popular" for the items you really want to sell. It is a very powerful kind of social proof that helps steer customers in the right direction. A flag like "Best Value" appeals to the price sensitive customer while actually deterring high rollers. Meanwhile a flag like "Ultra Premium" can help you steer those same high rollers to higher margin items.
Don't Include The Same Item More Than Once
Think of the Chinese take-out menu. Beef & Broccoli doesn't appear in both the Beef and the Vegetable categories. It just appears the one time in the Beef section. If it appeared in both it actually makes the decision harder. Is it the same dish? Is one heavy on the beef and the other heavy on the broccoli? It's confusing, and making the choice harder causes the customer stress, and that can make them look elsewhere.
Instead keep it simple. Each product should appear once, in the most logical category.