Menu Redesign Avoids Confusion and Promotes Optimization

To reduce menu confusion and minimize price sensitivity, Ori’Zaba’s Scratch Mexican Grill recently rolled-out a rengineered and easier-to-read menu. The fast-casual Mexican chain's legacy menu had complicated triple-tier pricing that was thought to psychologically drive more mid-tier buying behavior, but the complex product suite of 80-plus items made fresh daily, plus thousands of permutations in choices, also lent itself to a visually crowded menu as well as one that was challenging to  explain and execute.

The Ori’Zaba team told Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine they watched people walk in and have a physical reaction to the three pricing tiers. They had sticker shock when looking at tier three "Extra Clasico." The new menu, which showcases enticing high-margin labeled photos and a new call-out feature “Be Extra! Double Your Meat!” to protect the tier-three pricing strategy and reinforce Ori’Zaba’s brand personality, has resulted in enhanced customer engagement and satisfaction, improved restaurant operations and significantly boosted sales and revenues. 


Franchise Business Partner May Masoli explained, “Ori’Zaba’s needed to optimize our menu to address the increased price of ingredients after a cost analysis, but we went above and beyond to view the menu holistically and set several other key goals. The positive results include a much more effective menu and improved diner experience.”

Prior to the system-wide launch of the reengineered menu, Ori’Zaba’s conducted a pilot test to measure the results, which were overwhelmingly positive.  The team said they spent four months on the process – One month to plan and implement design, three months testing and resetting based on guest and employee feedback at the corporate location.  They used a combination of independent research, guest reviews, product mix sales reports, and employee and franchisee feedback.

They found that just by replacing images of kid’s meals with those of Ori’Zaba’s delicious street corn, sales increased by 76 percent within three months. Over all in-store sales attributed to the menu changes rose 11 percent, with less than five percent of that increase attributed to higher prices. Similarly, ‘Double Your Meat’ orders increased over 22 percent compared to the same timeframe the previous year. Clasico orders overshadowed the Extra Clasico tier by 3.3 percent and 2.3 percent of guests who usually ordered the smaller Perfecto tier were now trading up.

Franchise Account and Business Solutions Manager Amber Ranzoni noted, “Reengineering the menu has not only pleased our valued customers; it has also elevated the Ori’Zaba’s brand while rewarding our franchisees with increased profitability. We’re already seeing an impact to improved gross sales and revenues.” 


The new menu succeeded in shifting the consumer’s focus from the pricing to the food. The new appetizing photos, added product descriptions and less cluttered  layout also reduced the time servers must spend answering menu questions and upselling key products. That translates into reduced work for team members and increased efficiency for restaurant operations, they

Tney  added several images and changed some that didn't require placement, like kids meals, with appetizers to help guests identify products by matching a face to the name.

"The notion of our intent to create varied sizes as a differentiator truly worked. When people want to spend or eat less they have options. We kept lower priced tiers present to not lose this audience, while also accounting for double meat without the big price screaming at people in the face. A great balance."


Issues guests had  before focused around lack of understanding of the pricing structures and feeling overwhelmed by the size of the menu. Since launching the new design and making the food the star, there have been no complaints regarding menu structure, and guests are saying they didn't even know they had some of the menu items that are now pictured, they said. 

What advice would the team  give to a restaurant operator that is considering redoing their menu?

"Review your product mixes, guest reviews and speak with your teams. We were surprised to find out what was an assumption vs data backed reality. Once you've ironed out the bottlenecks, enhance the menu by increasing visibility with a mix of items that are sure-fire favorites, differentiators, high margin items, and upsells with the best pictures so the food is the star. Guests hate guessing and employees shouldn't have to explain, so if your menu tells the whole story in a simple way, you'll save time operationally and enhance the guest experience."

Originating in Las Vegas in 2001, Ori’Zaba’s multiple locations can be found throughout Nevada and the chain is expanding into Michigan, Texas and across the United States.