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Nov 16

Soup Plantation's Pricing Strategy

Posted by: Steve Marr

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I have eaten at the Soup Plantation, a chain mostly in the southwest. The restaurant charges $10 for an all-you-can- eat buffet, a good price point for family dinning. I could see how the buffet design was set up to limit food cost.


The salad came first. Most of us are trained to eat salad first, anyway. Salads use low-cost ingredients and start filling up the customer with inexpensive offerings. The trays were not overly large which encouraged a customer to gather a salad, eat and go back for the main course soup. The restaurant offered 8-10 choices using medium-sized bowls. While you could go back often, most ate a good sized salad and one bowl of soup to finish their dining experience.

They also offered small pizzas cut into small squares.  Most people took one or two pieces.  There was no meat on the buffet which eliminated a major food cost.

Another cost saving measure was to offer easy to prepare food. They didn't need an expensive executive chef; just good workers with a manager to insure that everyone followed the process.

In this business model, the Soup Plantation has offered good value with their all-you-can-eat buffet for $10.  They limit the amount of food each customer chooses as well as limiting total choices. This is a good example of steering a customer to load up on cheaper salads so that they eat less of the more expensive soup.

King Solomon wrote, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat,” (Proverbs 23:20, NIV) Using this business model, management has found a creative way to reduce expensive ingredients, like meat, along with reducing food volume. Where can you reduce your costs while continuing to add value?

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