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The IKEA Effect @ Your Restaurant

Duessa Holscher

26 April 2012

makeyourownEvery restaurant owner understands, innately, that customers like customization.  From "Hold the mayo" to "Can I have a salad instead of fries", custom requests happen daily.  

But some restaurants take this customization to an extreme level, with great results.  There's a burger joint in New York, for instance, that gives customers literally thousands of possible burger combinations as they choose meat, bread, toppings, slices, cheese and add-ons.  Then customers get to name their burger and promote it so others may order it as well.  

Pizza restaurants have always tapped into this customer creativity, allowing a "Build Your Own" pizza choice from a myriad of toppings, cheeses, sauces and crust types.   Industry research shows that a whopping 86% of consumers polled prefer to choose their own toppings rather than order a specialty pizza.

describe the imageNew research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology has investigated this phenomenon and concluded that getting customers involved in customizing, or building their product, leads to higher satisfaction and even allows businesses to charge a higher price.   Dubbing this the "IKEA" effect, they found that even painful, labor intensive experiences, like building your IKEA furniture, actually lead to increased satisfaction with the end product.  And consumers who assembled their own product were willing to pay 63% more for that product than those who were presented with a pre-made item.

So what does this mean for your restaurant? Celebrate ways to allow customers to get involved with customizing their food!    Let your technology help - starting with a great POS system that makes it easy to create-your-own specials and customize everything on the menu.   Add online ordering, where an easy graphical interface lets customers mix and match the menu.   Carry it to mobile ordering, where cutomers have easy access to their past creative creations for quick reorder.  And consider self-serve ordering in-store, to put customers in control of their ordering experience.    At GRS, we've got the technology you need to put customers first - in control of their experience - and at the heart of your business!  Learn More.Like What You've Read? Click Here to Subscribe to Our Blog!

Duessa Holscher

Duessa was the Founder and Managing Partner at FireFly Technologies until it was acquired by Granbury Solutions in 2010, where she served as Chief Product Development Officer until her appointment as President in 2019.

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