This is the most extremely rare problem of them all, since most restaurants bite off more than customers can chew, but every now and then restaurants will create a challenge that is too easy. There are two types of issues that can stem from a challenge that is too easy. In some cases, just too many people are winning & therefore the restaurant is losing money by hosting the challenge the way it is. If you decided to award the meal for free to winners, and you are getting more people winning than failing, then you are probably losing money by having the challenge, and no restaurant has every started a challenge hoping to lose money. Even if you charge for the meal and award a free shirt to winners, if too many people are winning the free shirt and your costs are not being covered because you didn’t expect to give away that many shirts, then you need to do something about that situation too. The other issue that may come from a challenge being too easy is that customers that have beaten your smaller challenge are wanting you to create a tougher challenge for them. This happens with spicy challenges sometimes. A restaurant may think its sauce is completely ridiculously spicy, but the customers may not agree and you will have a few that want you to make it even more intense. There are positive ways to handle each situation and satisfy both your finances and your customers. Here they are in case you have this problem.

If too many people are defeating your challenge, the best thing to do is simply make it tougher while keeping the same rules. If your spicy sauce just isn’t spicy enough, make it hotter. If everyone is beating your triple patty burger challenge, make it a quadruple patty burger challenge. Don’t just take the cheap way out and add more french fries. Just make sure not to get carried away and then make the challenge too tough. If too many people are beating your burger challenge with a 2lb (1kg) beef patty, you can’t just add another layer and increase the challenge by 2lbs (1kg) while keeping the same rules because that change is just too significant which changes all of the dynamics of the challenge. In a case where you can’t just simply add to the challenge to make it tougher, you may just need to adjust the rules. If your challenge has a time limit of 30 minutes and you are getting too many winners, evaluate the average time that it is taking everyone to finish the meal. If 80% of the people are taking over 23 minutes, change the time limit to 20 minutes, and then you won’t have as many winners because people can’t eat that fast. You may even make the challenge into more of a speed challenge by making the time limit only 15 minutes. Just don’t get carried away and make the challenge time limit too tough to beat. This is a much better solution than raising the price so that the cost losers pay makes up for the people winning. Customers will not appreciate that, and you are not the federal government, you please avoid that.

If the situation occurs where your current smaller challenge is doing great and getting a lot of attempts, but there are a few people that have beaten the challenge and want a tougher challenge, evaluate how you can make a tougher challenge while connecting it to the existing challenge. You don’t just want to make a new and larger totally different challenge because that will severely damage your marketing efforts. Consider the example used above involving adding an additional 2lb burger patty. You can’t just just add another 2lb patty layer while keeping the same rules, but you can add another challenge level. You can keep the existing challenge the way it is, but you can add another level to the challenge with a higher time limit and higher valued prize. For example, if somebody beats your 2lb burger challenge in under 20 minutes, they get a free shirt but still pay for the meal. If a challenger wants to try the 4lb (1.8kg) burger challenge, he or she can get the meal free by finishing in under 40 minutes. If you cannot just add a layer to the challenge, let challengers try to eat 2 of your current challenge, and award a higher prize while allowing additional time to finish. If too many people are finishing your 4lb burrito challenge and getting the free shirt and 50% discount, then let diners try to eat 2 of them and award them with the burritos free and a gift certificate. Make sure to keep the challenges connected by just increasing it or doubling it so you can maintain a focused marketing campaign & not 2 separate weaker ones.

Those are all great solutions if you discover that you created a challenge that was too easy for people. Your customers will definitely understand too as long as you let them know that you are making changes. If there is any one thing to take away from this article, its that you SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT just start adding in food without telling people. If you advertise a 2lb burger with 1lb fries, don’t just one day start serving your 2lb burger with 3lbs of fries. The most disappointing thing for eaters is when the challenge sitting in front of them is twice as big as the challenge advertised in all of the restaurant’s photos. If you just start adding food to everyone’s plate just to make the challenge harder, people will start to get very upset and your challenge and restaurant will start getting a bad reputation. It’s so obvious when restaurants add in food just trying to ensure that a customer fails the challenge. It has happened to me many times, and I make sure to give the cooks trouble after I still win. If you are adjusting your challenge, make sure to announce the changes and adjust your marketing materials. If you are adding another challenge level, make sure to announce that too just like you would any new challenge. Just make sure to connect the two challenges and advertise them at the same time. If you are just adjusting the current challenge and adding a little to make it more difficult, it is okay to raise the price as long as you don’t go overboard and make it too high, just like any other detail. Follow these guidelines if your challenge is found to be “too easy” and you will see great results that are both lasting and profitable!!

To go back and view other Improving A Challenge articles, click here.