Don’t underestimate the appeal of indulgent menu items.
You can’t toss a biodegradable bag full of organic, GMO-free kale out your window these days without hitting a health-conscious consumer. Men and women across the country are not just counting calories, they’re also eyeing ingredients.
However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. While it’s true eateries would be smart to incorporate fresher, healthier items into their menus, there’s no denying Americans still like to reward their inner glutton from time to time.
As a recent article from Nation’s Restaurant News pointed out, plenty of franchises attract business through indulgent dishes.
“A lot of people, although they say they want to eat healthy, as soon as they have the opportunity, they go for something more indulgent that they might crave,” Dan Corrigan, director of marketing for Wing Zone, told the source.
And if customers can assuage their guilt (or spread it around) by sharing their order with others? Fuhgettaboutit!
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Vice President of Marketing Heather Boggs told Nation’s Restaurant News how making indulgent items shareable allows customers to go for what they really want.
At the very least, franchises should keep in mind that while healthier options may appeal to a wider swath of customers, nothing grabs a diner’s attention quite like an uber-indulgent dish (the more cheese and gravy, the better).
For instance, Wing Zone’s Widowmaker, a hamburger featuring four quarter-pound patties, four slices of American cheese and four strips of bacon, is sure to stick out in the average customer’s mind a bit better than your garden-variety salad.
“We wanted people to say, ‘Holy crap, that is a big sandwich,’” Corrigan said.
Whether the Widowmaker strikes joy or fear into a customer’s heart, the brand will likely get its wish.