Saturday, February 24, 2018

How Many Items Should Be In Your Restaurant Menu?

Follow these 5 rules to master menu focus and make more money

If you’re worried that you’ve got too many things on your restaurant menu, then you’re probably right.
You’re probably:
  • Throwing out food that rots before it’s sold
  • Have inventory tracking nightmares
  • Rely too heavily on pre-made frozen food
The good news is that there is a way out – if you just follow these 5 simple rules and change the way you think about your restaurant.
Check the Sales-by-product report from your point of sale and check your online reviews. Why do people come to your restaurant? Narrow down and focus on what your strengths are.
Know your Target Market
  • If you’ve done proper research, you should know who your restaurant targets. What is their average income and how much do they expect to pay for a meal? How many times a week do the people you’re trying to attract eat out? What are their flavor and ingredient preferences? If you don’t know these things yet, then you have no idea where to start your menu.
  • On the other hand, if you understand the needs of your preferred guests, you can narrow down your menu to attract, and keep drawing in the right people to your restaurant.
Get a handle on costs
  • Before you even think about setting prices on your tasty new creations, you have to know the cost down to the penny and build in a profit buffer for seasonality. This is why we recommend getting to know your vendors and changing your menu to keep out of season ingredients from forcing you to raise prices.
  • Don’t forget the profit-making power of considering Contribution margin.
  • In other words remember that selling one steak for $20 that costs you $10 nets $10 in profit per sale even though it’s only a 50% margin, whereas a basket of chicken tenders that sells for $5.00 and costs you $1.00 only nets you $4.00. Although the chicken has a five times markup, You’ve got to make and serve a lot of chicken to match the profitability of the steak.
  • Remember that the highest cost in the restaurant is labor!
Know your vendor and ask for deals
  • Hang out with your ingredient suppliers and get the inside track before you get your heart set on a menu.
  • Find out what quantities you need to buy at to get the best deals.
  • Look over the price list and target the ingredients you want to incorporate – design your recipes around the costs, not the other way around.
  • This keeps you from having to compromise the integrity of your dishes.
Change with the times
  • Ask about seasonal pricing from your vendor and plan accordingly as ingredient prices fluctuate through the year.
  • Use a POS system that makes it easy to run specials, activate and deactivate seasonal offerings and facilitates rotating menus.
  • A creative chef can use almost any ingredients to make something spectacular and appealing to guests using seasonal ingredients.
  • Have fun with your menu and try new things along with your guests. Listen to their feedback and learn better how to target their food interests as tastes in your community evolve.
Focus your efforts
  • People are more impressed by fantastic food done well than a menu that looks like a telephone book
  • If they’ve come to your restaurant they already looked up online for reviews and know what kind of food you serve – don’t disappoint them!
  • The worst thing a restaurant owner can do is to try to appeal to everybody.
  • Reduce chaos in the kitchen by simplifying the menu with a few delicious food items made to a higher standard, that the cooks are familiar with.
The most important thing to remember is to understand the needs of your guests and listen to their feedback. If you want regulars, it means giving them the food they want to eat. That doesn’t require you to make your life complicated by having a hundred items on your menu that only get ordered a few times a week.
Remember, a focused menu is the starting point for an efficient kitchen and smoother, less chaotic service.

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