5 Tips for Revamping your Menu
Does your restaurant feel stagnant? Is it time for a change, but you aren’t sure where to start? Your menu is a great starting point to refresh your restaurant and excite your customers.
Take your menu to a new level by changing things up to really maximize your sales. You can do this, and we’re going to show you how.
To help you, here are five tips for revamping your menu.
#1: Decide How You’ll Change Your Menu
When it comes to revamping your menu, that doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything out and starting over. You can and should keep your best-selling items. (tweet this) Ditching the poor sellers and creating new crowd favorites is the way to go.
As you work through the process of changing your menu, you have four choices to consider:
- You can fully change your menu. This means reworking the entire thing and starting over from scratch. This isn’t for everyone and should be undertaken after some research. For example, if you have a farm-to-table restaurant, you may change your menu seasonally, so this works for you. Or, if you are restyling your restaurant, you may feel like changing your entire menu is appropriate.
- You can simply add some new items. You can do this on a weekly, monthly, seasonal, or even quarterly basis. By adding some new items, you drive your customers to try new things. This can also add some extra style to your menu and give people something to look forward to.
- You can replace menu items. Again, do this carefully. You definitely don’t want to replace your stars (high profit, popular dishes) or your plow-horses (low profit, popular dishes). You can, however, consider replacing your puzzles (the dishes that only a few people like, but are popular). You can and should replace your dogs (low profit and unpopular dishes).
- You can completely redesign your menu. This is where some menu engineering comes into play. It involves some creative content and new professional photography. You want to hire a pro to do this for you. In addition, if you have items that aren’t performing as well as others, consider writing a new description, changing the name, or even moving the item to a new position on your menu.
#2: Take New Photos
One of the most important things you can do to revamp your menu is to take some new professional photos. It’s important to hire a pro to take your photos to make sure you get the lighting correct.
Because most people are visual learners, your imagery plays an important role when your customers decide what to eat. For example, you want to make sure you add photos of your most profitable items. Along with descriptive text, you may find you boost your sales of that menu item just by highlighting it in a better way.
Test this over time and see if adding beautiful photography encourages people to order your highlighted items more often.
#3: Get Creative with Your Text
Hire a wordsmith to help you with your descriptive text for your menu items. You want enticing text that leaves diners with their mouths watering. (tweet this)
Think about terms that really describe your food, like fresh, organic, and savory. If there’s a “story” behind the dish, include that in the description, too.
You are appealing to their brains, their stomachs, and their emotions when crafting your creative text.
#4: Highlight Special Items
You can also spend some time each month updating your menu with seasonal ingredients. This is a great way to highlight new items that you bring out during the different seasons or holidays. For example, you might highlight fresh, organic lettuce in March and freshly dug sweet potatoes in September.
In addition, you can revamp your menu with new feature items or limited-time-only items. This might be with a new menu, or you can just add these items to a stand-alone menu with special items on it. This encourages people to try them and fall in love.
#5: Pay Attention to Travel Patterns
Are you familiar with how a diner’s eyes view a menu? Typically, they read your menu from the top right-hand corner. So, put your highest profit items in this corner.
You are gently manipulating people into ordering your highest-profit margin items. So, put your most expensive dish in the first place. You can add more affordable but highly profitable items around it. So, either way, you’re increasing your revenue.
Many people will order the first dish they see, so do take advantage of menu placement and how your customer’s eyes travel.
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Final Thoughts on Revamping Your Menu
Competition is tough in the restaurant industry, so you want to always be thinking ahead about what you can do to not only overcome the competition but stay up to date on trends in the food industry.
One of the best ways to maximize your profits is by revamping your restaurant’s menu.
You want to analyze your menu items on a regular basis.
- Make a plan for adding items at particular times of the year.
- Look at items that are underperforming.
- Is it because they don’t taste good, they’re too expensive, or they’re buried in your menu?
- Evaluate your food costs to see which items can stay and which should go.
- Look at your text and your photos. Would it make you want to eat the item?
- Review your color scheme. Is it warm and inviting or outdated and tired?
With some of the tips here for revamping your menu, you’ll soon find that your menu really shines and entices your diners.
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