Now that you have the challenge components and rules established, you are ready to price your challenge. The prize surprisingly plays a huge role in whether or not a person wants to attempt your challenge. Customers want to have fun attempting the challenge, but the challenge won’t be fun if the experience isn’t worth the price they have to pay for the experience, especially if the prize for winning isn’t worth the risk either. Here are a few ideas and words of advice to help you price your challenge so that more people purchase the meal and attempt it:

For smaller challenges only awarding a free shirt – If you are going to host a small quantity challenge that only awards a free shirt and picture up on the Wall of Fame, price the challenge so that it entices hungry customers to order it simply because they have a shot at winning the shirt. I have actually seen this work firsthand, where a person ordered the 3lb (1.36kg) challenge just because for a few dollars more than the other item he was thinking about, he had a shot at winning a free shirt. This pricing structure will definitely work, especially if you are a location that gets groups of guys that are competitive and will provoke each other into trying the challenge without you even having to doing anything. The extra bit of fun is well worth the few extra bucks, especially if they have been drinking, and the few extra dollars cover the cost of the shirts actually won.

Make the price uniform with the challenge if it fits – It may be worth sacrificing just a few dollars off the price you want to price the challenge at to make the challenge uniform and consistent, and on the other hand you may be able to add a few bucks into the price if it sounds cleaner. For example, you may want to sell your 24″ pizza challenge for $26.99, but doesn’t it sound a lot more crisp to say your 24″ pizza challenge is only $24? At the same time, you may be thinking of pricing your 40oz steak challenge cheaply at $35, but wouldn’t it sound better to make the price $40? This doesn’t always work, and not every restaurant can pull off pricing a 32oz burger challenge at $32, but sometimes the pricing depends on the country you are located in since different countries use different currencies. Quality of food and average prices of other menu items are a big factor too.

Make the challenge worth ordering just for leftovers – If the actual food cost for you is low and you are able to, price the challenge so that customers will order the item just so that they have leftovers the next day. If the price is low enough and the meal is delicious, some customers will order the meal knowing they have no chance of finishing, but they want to take the leftovers home to eat the next day (or rest of the week). This mostly applies to breakfast challenges because the actual food costs are typically lower than other challenges.

Entice groups to order the challenge – To make more money off of your challenge, price the meal so that it entices small groups to order it and share. If a family of 4 knows each of their meals will cost $10, they might be willing to all share your challenge item which costs $35. Your staff will have to do much less work because they are only cooking and serving 1 meal, and everyone is having fun. Plus, you can take that family’s picture and market the photo on part of your Wall of Fame display, making the situation a win-win for everyone involved.

The higher the price, the less it will be ordered – This is just economics, but obviously the higher your challenge meal is priced, the less it will be ordered. Not everybody can afford a $35 American Dollar or a £20 British Pound challenge meal if they lose. Most people definitely don’t want to pay $50 American Dollars or £30 British Pounds for losing a challenge, especially when there was a time limit restricting them from completely enjoying the entire meal. If your menu is typically priced high to begin with, you are more likely to be able to get away with having a higher priced meal. Also know that if your meal is bigger and priced high, eventually the only people that will be willing to try it are professional eaters that have a higher chance of winning, causing you to basically lose money by having the challenge. Hopefully you are already aware that nobody will want to try your big challenge if it is expensive and they will have to pay regardless of winning or not. The only time that doesn’t really apply is in expensive steakhouses. I have seen steak challenges that sell for over $100 American dollars that only offer winners a name on the Wall Of Fame. These challenges have a chance at selling simply because most of the clientele that goes there either doesn’t need to worry about money or the meal is being expensed on a company’s credit card, and therefore the price doesn’t matter. If you want people to try it, price it right!!

Since your food challenge should represent your restaurant’s attitude and menu, the price of your challenge should be inline with the rest of your menu too. Remember that the main purpose of a food challenge is for marketing and to get new and existing customers in your door. Pricing the challenge right and inexpensively will get even more people in your door, so when pricing your challenge remember that the main goal is not to directly make money off of sales from the actual challenge. You are making the money and revenue from all of the other people that come along with the food challenger and because you have and advertise a challenge. When you were deciding the components of the challenge, hopefully you did not decide to use the most expensive foods and ingredients available in your kitchen, because obviously you can’t set a price on the challenge that will make you lose money. You want to make money off your challenge, but you can’t set the price too high, so make sure your food costs aren’t excessive. If you need to rethink the components of your challenge, definitely do that now. Once you have selected a great food challenge price, please go to step 7.

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