The current pandemic has struck restaurants hard and caused many to not only close temporarily, but in many cases, permanently. On the flip-side, many have adapted to this new normal. Some owners may even integrate some of the changes into their business model once the pandemic is over. It is doubtful this will be the last one, or least businesses need to be prepared for future scares as well. Below are three ways that a menu can be changed to increase profit in today’s environment. At a minimum, maybe this spurs some creative thought that leads to other changes.
Family Style Meal Offerings
One reason you may want to adapt the menu is to reduce food waste. If you limit your menu, you can still offer great meals and get a better handle on inventory and reduce your overall waste. Consider offering Family Size take-out/delivery meals. This approach is gaining in popularity and has several benefits. The first is that it helps you reduce your menu. Offering four meals for take-out or delivery is better than 30. Second, families are looking for value and simplicity to help reduce their stress. By making one large meal, you may reduce the cost per meal, thus saving the family money. From a marketing perspective, you are also showing your customers that you care and that you are willing to make changes that benefit your business and benefit their family.
Take-out and Delivery Items
Also, consider adjusting your menu to focus on those foods that travel well. We have all ordered one of our favorite meals from one of our favorite joints. All too often, by the time the food arrives, the food is soggy or starting to cool. Fried foods rarely travel well because once they are inclosed, the heat from the food creates steam, which dampens the “crunch.” This experience makes the meal less enjoyable and reduces the chances of that person ordering again. Look to add or offer foods that are not affected as much by delivery. All non-fried options generally would fit into this category. Also, consider your packaging. Certain types of packaging can help keep certain foods separate, possibly resulting in a better experience for the customer.
Reduce Overall Menu Size, Revamp Menu
Now might be the best time to analyze your existing menu. Look at what was selling and what was not before the pandemic. Next, look at what has been selling and what has not from a take-out and delivery perspective. Between these two analyses, you should be able to find your best items. Now, look at your menu and your ingredients. How many cross over, can you use them in multiple dishes? Of course, if you are a restaurant owner or chef, you already know it, but it never hurts to take a second look at what you are currently doing. Maybe you have wanted to add a new dish, but never had the time to integrate it. Our current environment may be a perfect time, especially if it is a dish that would travel well.
As a small business owner, remember that even if things change, people always have needs. Maybe some of those needs have changed, which means you need to improve and meet the new demands. Not all change is bad; sometimes, it is just a little painful. Here at ASEB, ee offer a wide variety of services, including Web Design/Redesign, Digital Ad Creation, Social Media Creation and Management, business consulting, and photo and graphic design. We wanted to offer you our help to get people back to your business, help you reach new customers, and assist as we can. We want to help at NO COST to you. Allow us to help create some graphics for social media, write some content for your site or newsletter, or offer some suggestions that could help increase sales. Please contact us today if we can be of assistance.