Restaurants are social places. Most folks don’t like eating solo, so they try to drag friends along with them. And, as we all know, people don’t have the same eating preferences.
But eateries have a solution for this problem: Anti-veto vote menu items.
And in the big business of chain restaurants, they’re essential to success.
What exactly is an anti-veto vote menu item?
Here’s a quick explainer from menu pro Mark Laux:
For example, let’s say two people are riding in a car deciding what to eat. One says to the other, “Let’s go over to Bobbie’s restaurant. I’m hungry for their chicken pesto pasta.” And the other one says, “I’m not in the mood for that, and they don’t have anything I like.”
Bobbie’s just got vetoed. The chicken pesto pasta is a star on the menu, but the anti-veto wasn’t strong enough.
In other words, the anti-veto vote items are there to make sure you don’t get vetoed. Other than that, they are just background noise.
Fast food monolith McDonald’s, for instance, knows that it needs to be able to convince groups of people to show up, and it knows that its mega-brand isn’t beloved by all. It has to get customers who don’t actually like fast food burgers.
So, while the “core” items like the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, and the Quarter Pounder with cheese sell like crazy to McDonald’s regular customers, it still needs to make sure that those customers don’t get vetoed.
McDonald’s has three major anti-veto vote items on its menu, Laux explained to Nation’s Restaurant News:
The Southern-Style Chicken Sandwich
Anti-veto vote items aren’t totally untouchable though. They’re important, but the bulk of sales will always be driven by the core menu.
McDonald’s killed the Fruit and Walnut salad earlier this month, but it wasn’t such a big deal. Yes, it was an anti-veto item, but McDonald’s has other salads that were performing better.