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Price vs. Quality: Which Matters More For Your Restaurant?

Jun 16, 2023

Price vs. Quality: Which Matters More For Your Restaurant?

Quality versus value—what do diners look for in a restaurant? And what should restaurateurs prioritize?  

It’s much more complicated than it seems, especially when trying to accommodate the Southeast Asian market where diners want value, without compromising on quality or service. So, creating a dynamic that fulfills both can be a struggle.

With technology and innovation making food preparation more seamless, labor skills are becoming a decreased concern. This tempts restaurant owners to overdo their menu offerings and pricing to attract more customers.

So, yes. The answer to this is quality over value.

The menu’s range isn’t about length, it should be about width. Offering specialties with the same few ingredients allows chefs—a.k.a. the food engineers—to better understand their composition to produce better quality dishes. And fewer choices mean more buying power—think of your favorite restaurant where you’d order the same menu item.

Besides an increase in buying power, a shorter and more specialized menu positively impacts a lot for the business. This includes:

  • Fewer ingredients

  • Limited orders

  • Less storage usage

  • Less food wastage

  • Less cooking complexity

  • Consistency

It is worth noting that by simplifying operations by keeping menus short (and not complicated) you may even require fewer chefs with a lesser turnover rate, which also means lower cost and time for hiring and training.

But quality shouldn’t be coming from the food only. Service efficiency plays an important role, should the quality-cost balance doesn’t balance out. It’s crucial for the floor crew to understand the menu and how to effectively promote it to diners. Apart from that, creating a warm and friendly environment also guarantees customers to come back. 

A recent poll published in the American Express MarketBriefing also revealed that diners favor a “pleasant restaurant environment” over “lots of food for a low price” at full-service concept restaurants.

In such a challenging scene in the food service market, it’s important to keep a close eye on what your diners expect. Keep your menu concise and your offerings at their best quality.