Over the past year, simplifying menus has become an essential move as operators strive to serve customers under ever changing conditions and sustain their businesses.
"A smaller menu is less costly in terms of inventory needs and is easier to produce with fewer employees," says Jeff Pivin, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, AZ. "Plus, streamlined menus are better for online viewing and ordering."
Craft simplified menus that continue to appeal to and satisfy customers while generating much-needed revenue. Here are just a few ways to make your menu small but mighty.
9 Ways to simplify your menu
If possible, menu your most profitable items. Rejigger customer favorites that are less profitable. Cut food costs with cross-utilization that reduces inventory needs.
Limit Your Menu to Items that Travel Well
Giving consumers multiple choices for well-packaged and secure takeout or curbside pickup incentivizes return visits.
Menu to your core customer base
"Keep your finger on the pulse of consumer demand," says Bo Bryant, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant. Make sure your menu aligns with the needs of your customers' demographics.
"Signature touches differentiate your menu from the competition's," says Chef Angel Morales, Shamrock Foods Corporate Chef, AZ.
Keep menu language brief
You can still entice with item descriptions of 15 evocative words or less.
Group items as complete meals to streamline prep and cooking. Emphasize value.
"Determine the balance of the menu and the balance of the volume per station," Bryant advises. "Are there areas for addition or subtraction of items? Where do you want to place your emphasis? For example, during a given period, your fry station, with only eight items, may have 944 plates go through. During that same period, your cold station, with 10 items, may only have 244 plates go through."
"Diversify selection, but base choices on what you can reasonably produce with a reduced staff," Pivin advises.
Update As Needed
"Small menus keep you nimble because they're easier to change," Morales says.
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