Hidden Menus Build Customer Loyalty

By Joe Skupinsky

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Nostalgia, special experiences, customization—these are the hallmark qualities of hidden menus that are on the rise across the quick-service and fast-food segments, as well as c-stores. Secret or hidden menus now have a huge following on social media as Millennials love to share their “hidden treasures.”

The Secret to Building Loyalty

In the better-for-you realm, hidden menus present an opportunity to mix and match fresh items for tasty new creations. In either setting, customers are getting that personalized and customizable experience. In the fast-food realm, secret menus make the occult—and maybe the flat-out sloppy—deliciously taboo.

Face it: You’re more likely to divulge secrets over a pint of ice cream with your loyal friend. From where else could you walk in and order a “Suicide Burger” if not from your good ol’ buddy Burger King? And only at In N Out Burger are you comfortable looking a cashier in the face, and declaring, “I’ll take those fries ‘Animal Style.’”

No matter the style of food, there are opportunities to build loyalty… if your locations are on the same page.

A ‘Secret’ to Everyone but Your Employees

In order to build loyalty, your employees will have to be well-versed on your hidden menu offerings as well as your ingredients and the various menu possibilities. Good execution comes down to good training and good customer service.

Make a decision as a brand. If you’re going to offer a hidden menu, let your employees in on the secret. Perhaps change it up by season to keep customers interested and coming back for more.  Of course, auditing your locations for special offerings, along with employee knowledge and customer service, is something that can become part of your routine.

Use the hidden menu to your advantage to drive revenue, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming the next foodservice legend!

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