Here's How to Be Menu Responsive
The foodservice landscape is a highly changeable one right now. Being able to adjust menus quickly is critical to satisfying customers and maintaining profitability.
Accentuate the positive
Call attention to reworked items as new items and emphasize how very good they are.
"Create an 'ABC List'," advises Bo Bryant, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant. "Outline your hard specs as A = Absolute, B = Basic Need and C = Commodity Level. Then determine what you have to do to protect the 'A' items." In other words, what are the non-negotiables of your plate, and what do you have to do to protect those elements?
"With their consistent quality, longer shelf life and low-labor requirements, top-quality frozen foods can help you ride out supply-chain fluctuations and smooth out operational efficiencies," says Estrada. Items like Bountiful Harvest® frozen fruits and vegetables are essential to a preparedness inventory.
Use comparable flavors
"Build something in the same flavor profile to replace what's missing," advises Art Ortiz, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, California. In other words, if a signature item's flavor profile hinges on acidity, but you're out of the vinegar that's the key ingredient, substitute a citrus juice that delivers acidity and brightens the taste.
Create a flexible template for your menus
Use one that allows for easy updates in-house. "You need to be able to remove, change or add items on the fly," Estrada advises. "If your menu is subject to a lot of change, be ready to change quickly," says Tim Maness, Shamrock Foods Business Review Specialist, Colorado. "You'll know when to change if you do your ABC list. Create more flexible menu executions such as a chalkboard and QR codes for menus that are erratic."
Employ Labor-Saving Value Cuts
"Pre-cut, pre-prepped products with zero waste and guaranteed yields take the guesswork out of ingredient swaps and make it quick to adjust as needed," Estrada says. Products like Ready-Set-Serve® by Markon, or pre-portioned and custom cuts from Gold Canyon Meat CO.® and Pier 22 Seafood CO.® can be real labor- and menu-savers.
Use social media to put a positive spin on menu changes
Set guests' expectations and communicate about how you're keeping the menu exciting. Emphasize the importance you place on providing true hospitality and convenience-focused services. "Social media can put your culture front and center and get everyone excited," says Ryan Elmore, Shamrock Foods Business Review Specialist, New Mexico. The 240 Group, a trusted Shamrock Foods Partner, can help with website design, social-media solutions and online-review management services.
Our Supply Chain Checklist outlines strategies for lessening the impact of irregularities and putting control back into your kitchen.
Ask your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative how our consultants and specialists can help you navigate supply-chain issues and collaborate with you on menu development.
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Advice from our Experts
"Get speaking points in the mouths of customer-facing employees."Jim Hargrove, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant
"If your menu is subject to a lot of change, be ready to change quickly."Tim Maness, Shamrock Foods Business Review Specialist, Colorado
Tell them, 'You gotta get here early to get it.' The fact that it may run out is a badge of deliciousness."Rodney Estrada, Shamrock Foods Chef, New Mexico
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