As restauranteurs, there are moments when we must take our “gut feelings” out of the decision making process, especially when it comes to menu selection. A strategically planned and well executed menu can have up to a 15% positive impact on the business’ profitability. The problem is that only about 40% of restaurant owners actually give this issue any thought, and only 10% really do it well.

The first thing we must do is to align the menu to the concept. For example, are you defined as causal or fine casual? What’s your ideal ticket time? What is your suggestive sales strategy? Did you program your POS according to your service cycle? These are only a few questions to consider.

In addition to its direct relation with the concept, we have prepared a laundry list of things that can be affected by your menu selection:

  • Storage and waste: your storage can only hold so much, so you want to keep your supplies to a necessary minimum. Unused supplies are only good for rat food, and represent an important loss.
  • Menu real estate: the structure and space that each menu item is allocated on the physical menu.
  • Dish naming and categorizing: a fundamental part in getting your customers’ mouths to water.
  • Kitchen space: the equipment you will need and the order in which dishes will be prepared, among many others.

The short of it is, the menu is the skeleton key to a successful business and it is a secret weapon that only a few use to their advantage. The kitchen, uniforms, chairs, room temperature, music, and all the other details that make up the consumer experience have absolutely got to be on the same page as the menu.

From today on, it’s forbidden to do things based on “instinct” or “gut feeling”. Every aspect of this business has to have a justification.

As always, we recommend that you be strategic but innovative and creative at the same time. Consumers look for different experiences and restauranteurs who understand them. You have our digits, so get on with it and call us already!

By: the Top Dogs