by Tom Sacco, CEO, Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream
Throughout the pandemic, restaurant brands had to dig deep to create new revenue streams. But now, as we’re starting to see that brighter days are ahead, it’s a good time to take a closer look at which offerings have staying power. As we look to the future, these are the channels that will likely continue to resonate with guests and boost profits.
At Happy Joe’s, we’ve been leaders in menu innovation since our brand’s inception in 1972. We’re committed to keeping guests engaged through best-in-class products, and this makes us stand out among competitors. Our franchisees are well-versed in creating and serving our delicious, inventive pizzas, so we continue to create new revenue streams that are aligned with this significant characteristic of our brand. And guess what? It’s been our secret sauce for almost half a decade!
Here are three things to consider when identifying the best new revenue streams for your brand:
Additional day parts can bring in the dough.
We offer brunch on the weekends and have a breakfast lineup available every day of the week. Yep, you read that right … We have an Omelet Pizza menu for the most important meal of the day! Our breakfast day part has proven to be a huge differentiator for Happy Joe’s in the pizza space because our guests love that it’s such a unique, egg-cellent start to their day. While adding a new day part complete with new menu items impacts several aspects of your bottom line, the long-term sales benefits of adding a late-night menu or brunch menu has the potential to largely increase your sales. And, for bonus points, adding a day part may be easier and more affordable than you think! Operationally, you don’t have to pull in additional staff because current employees are already there in the morning starting prep for the day. And, breakfast menus are typically less complicated and don’t require much, if any, additional equipment to facilitate. Breakfast staple items are cost effective as they don’t require special orders from mass distributors and are inexpensive, making them an opportunity to be sold as one of your highest margin items.
If you can create a one-of-a-kind item to set yourself apart, do it.
Consider working with vendors and distributors, or even franchisees, to explore menu addition opportunities and provide your guests with innovative offerings that no one else can replicate. In 1974, a new taco joint opened in Wisconsin. While tacos and pizza don’t seem like competitors, the restaurant was taking away from Happy Joe’s business. So, we decided to marry the two, and that’s when our acclaimed Taco Joe Pizza was born. Now, it’s one of our most popular menu items! In a recent consumer survey, when Happy Joe’s customers were asked what things they like about our restaurant, 13% said it was the Taco Joe Pizza. We’re successful because we offer something for everyone. Think you need to bring a birthday cake to your own party? You don’t – Happy Joe’s has a birthday cake pizza with sprinkles and more that’s perfect for the occasion! Feel like celebrating Mardi Gras but don’t want to book a flight to New Orleans? No problem – we feature a limited-edition Mardi Gras pizza throughout February and March. Want a sweet treat after your mouthwatering pizza? We have an indulgent dessert lineup, which made up 3.7% of Happy Joe’s overall sales in 2020.
Maximize your space.
Restaurants really began making the most of their space when dining rooms were closed by adapting their business models. Think about how you can best leverage your dining room or patio space. If your sales are comprised mostly of carryout, does your restaurant have a large, dedicated area optimized for to-go orders? How can you make it easiest for guests to receive the food they love? In a previous Happy Joe’s survey, guests responded that a key barrier to more frequent visits was convenience. So, we rolled out a limited-time buffet Monday through Friday during lunch to cater to the on-the-go consumer. Operational costs on the buffet may be higher, but by maximizing our space, we leveraged a model that targets an entirely different guest. After the buffet launch, we saw an overall sales increase of 11% for our lunch day part. Additionally, offering games at your restaurant is an upsell. If your brand serves as a gathering place for families or friends, then removing a few tables to make room for a dedicated arcade, yard games or table games could be worth the small upfront investment.
To have longevity, restaurants need to consider not only who they are serving now, but who they could have the potential to serve and how they can best serve them. Developing additional revenue streams is no longer a means of survival, it’s an expectation. Our industry reached a whole new level of creativity over the past year and a half, and amplifying that innovation is a must if you want to be the big cheese now and well into the future!
To learn more about Happy Joe’s franchise opportunities, email Kat Davidson at KatD@drhnow.com or call 678.485.8413.