Thursday, July 5, 2012

Benihana and Olive Garden are offering Mix and Match Meal Specials.

Empowering consumer choice with traditional branded entrees’ both Benihana and Olive Garden are this month offering mix and match meal specials.  While mix and match meal components have been driving top line sales and bottom line profits within the grocerant niche for several years.  Leveraging price, service, and choice Olive Garden and Benihana draw back consumers who may have migrated to new channels or food options.

Benihana’s mix and match options are: Shrimp & Chicken for Two, a five-course feast for only $36, and Hibachi Tuna for One, five courses for just $22.  Consumers can hare “teppanyaki special of Shrimp & Chicken for Two, grilled before your eyes with mushrooms and sesame seeds. Or try Benihana’s Hibachi Tuna for One, sesame-crusted tuna steak with tomato, avocado and edamame in a white balsamic sauce. Both Chef's Specials are served with Benihana's signature onion soup, Benihana salad, a hibachi shrimp appetizer, hibachi vegetables, homemade dipping sauces, steamed rice and Japanese hot green tea” .

Olive Garden is providing customers even a wider variety of choice with a “2 for $25 Italian Dinner”.  The mix and match meal features six entrees with more than a 1,000 possible dinner combinations between the two dinners. “With a variety of entrees, appetizers and desserts to choose from, guests can customize their meals for any taste and occasion -- whether it's a weeknight dinner or a special evening for two." The marketing release reported.

The meal can consist of:” freshly baked breadsticks and a choice of unlimited garden-fresh salad or homemade soup.  Choose two entrees from: New Smoked Mozzarella Chicken,New Spaghetti with Four Cheese Meat Sauce & Meatballs, Eggplant Parmigiana, Five Cheese Ziti al Forno, Ravioli di Portabello,
Fettuccini Alfredo, then Choose two appetizers or a dessert to share.”

Success leaves clues and mix and match bundling meal components is a very smart tactic. Leveraging price, service, and choice is a recipe consumer enjoy.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Johnson, or

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