“Would you like to make it a combo?” is a phrase quick service restaurants have drilled into the heads of every customer for generations. Encouraging customers to upsize their meal to include a side and a drink is a popular method of increasing check sizes. It works because customers perceive a deal, and ordering is made simple.
For many operators, the margin pressure has been too much. The survivors have compensated by tightening their belts and raising prices.
Clearly, a strategy for increasing menu pricing while maintaining demand is critical for any restaurant company interested in improving results in this market.