) -- Little things can mean a lot.
The business world is filled with "why didn't I think of that" examples of straightforward product and service additions that have pumped sales and pleased patrons.
|Simple ideas can be a boost to the bottom line. How about if Dunkin' Donuts had soy milk for vegetarians and the lactose intolerant?
(MCD - Get Report)
best-selling items -- the Egg McMuffin and Big Mac -- were the brainchild of single franchisees looking to spice up their menu. Perhaps the single greatest thing ever to happen to
is the modest price promotion a Miami franchise launched that became the omnipresent "$5 footlong" phenomenon.
The notion of selling breakfast was hardly a radical idea when McDonald's looked to extend their sales day in the 1970s, but it was a novel one that has paid off. Today, breakfast sales account for roughly 25% of all revenue for the chain and its competitors -- including, recently, Subway and
-- are stepping up their morning efforts. About 60% of restaurant traffic growth over the past five years has come from breakfast sales, according to analysts at
, a leading market research company.
Improving coffee offerings has also been a small improvement that has paid off big for McDonald's. Its so-called McCafe locations average about 15% more in revenue because of those selections.
pulled the word "coffee" from its signs, some wondered what it was up to and whether it signaled a move toward an expanded menu. Among the simple changes driving increased revenues: juice. Last year it bought juice maker Evolution Fresh in a $30 million deal intended to make itself more attractive to non-coffee drinkers.