We are often asked to look at and refine menu’s for our clients. One of the biggest issues with extensive menu’s is that the chef often likes to showcase his skills and puts things on the menu which rarely sell, and which result in unnecessary wastage. This is more often than not the case with smaller restaurants who are trying to offer as much as possible to compete with bigger rivals who can offer a cheap and extensive menu.
Our advice would be, do not compete on price but provide quality. As part of our consultancy we look carefully at what items are on the menu, how they can be utilised and how they can be interchanged with other items menu options and of course, avoidance of wastage. So for instance you put a roast beef on the menu for a Sunday, every chain such as Homesteads etc. will put any left on the Monday as a ‘special’ but..many people will avoid it knowing it was what was left from a Sunday Lunch service, therefore you will need to include it in your wastage!! However, if it is minced and made into a Cottage Pie your customers will see something tasty and cheap and 8 times out of 10 choose it over a Roast Dinner they know is left over. So look carefully at your menu, and see how to avoid wastage. Pick out 6 meals that sell well, and look at how the ingredients can be incorporated elsewhere. Jacket potatoes, cut into wedges, tossed in spices and served as crispy skinned potato wedges. Lamb Shanks, stripped off the bone, minced and used in Moussaka are just 2 examples. Another thing to consider is the flexibility of your menu. Don’t put something specific on your menu which you sell to one client who comes to you once a week and has done for the last 8 years, don’t limit yourself. And… unless you have a very discerning Clientele, don’t try and make it sound bigger, better or posher than it is. A classic example of this was several years ago one of our clients put a ‘Special’ on the board of Coq au Vin, a beautiful dish, but in a small town in rural Lincolnshire maybe not. Not a single portion was sold, so we suggested putting it on the menu the following day as ‘Chicken in Red Wine Sauce’ THE WHOLE LOT SOLD, know your market. If you would like to know more about what we can offer from Bites to Banquets Hospitality Consultancy, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org