The restaurant trade is a competitive business. But establishments aren’t just battling each other: the economy, guest expectations and often their own interests are also involved. Getting a guest to sit down is just half the problem – once they’re through the door, making sure your menu is profitable is critical. So how do you do this?
1. A Menu to Meet Their Expectations
While thrilling and delighting a customer is key to sales and repeat business, meeting expectations is also important. Where are you located? What are people looking for in your area? Is this a quick dinner, business or romance? A fine dining French restaurant next to a chippy might not thrive, but you can still create a menu which passing customers will find attractive. It’s about taking a holistic approach – seeing what guests are out there and finding out what they want.
2. Stick to a Theme
While variety is good, when a customer opens the menu, your talent and specialty should be clear. Having a little of everything will make them think you are master of none. There will always be room for some flexibility, but a cohesive menu adds to your restaurant’s charm.
3. Keep Adding and Deleting
Record-keeping is the key to success. Just as a good restaurant regularly stock-takes their commercial cold rooms, so should you in front of house. Which items have sold this week and which not? If something isn’t working, scrap it and add something new.
4. Keep the Menu Tight
We don’t all have cold storage rooms like the ones at fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms/integrated-cold-rooms, which means working from a much smaller system. If you’re just starting out, a simple small menu is easier for everyone, and with crossover ingredients you’ll help keep your menu profitable.
5. Use Daily Specials to Test Menu Additions and Move Product
Specials are a great way to reduce waste, but they can also highlight what our guests really love. Having a talented chef who can stick their head in the cold room and see what needs to move can save you thousands a year. But not every chef can predict the market expectations. However, if you aim to try out specials throughout the week and weekends too, you’ll soon start to build up a profile of your guests’ wishes.