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Marketing Your Illinois Business

Streamlining Your Menu Leads to More Patron Visits

January 10, 2024

In the food industry, sometimes simpler is better. Today, Accel Entertainment will explain why your bar or restaurant should streamline its menu.

When it comes to streamlining your menu, you should be factoring in the amount of ingredients you need to make your menu dishes and how many of those ingredients can be used in multiple dishes. This is a cost-effective way to ensure your establishment does not continue purchasing unnecessary ingredients. In addition, you maximize the use of the ingredients you do purchase and ensure that you don’t continue buying ingredients that are going to waste before they ever get used. Don’t be afraid to look for cheaper vendors or cheaper ingredients that can substitute for more expensive ingredients and still produce the same quality and flavor.

Based on the cost of producing menu items, when it comes to streamlining your menu, you may have to increase the cost of certain items. Not everyone will be thrilled about that, but your establishment can’t profit if the cost of producing their favorite items has also gone up and that item’s price hasn’t. The good news is that you won’t have to raise the prices of every item, only some. If you are worried about increasing menu prices, there is also the option of lowering costs by offering a smaller portion. This option can be used if you notice most customers in your establishment don’t finish their entire meal.

If you are considering adding new items to your menu, you should consider if you will need to purchase new ingredients or if you can make these new dishes with ingredients that are already being used in other dishes. There’s nothing wrong with trying to follow current trends when adding a new item to your menu. The problem is that some establishments keep that item on their menu long after patron interest is gone. Examine whether the cost of making this item is more than the dish makes your establishment. From there you will have a better idea if it belongs on your menu.

When it comes to adding or removing menu items you shouldn’t let your opinion outweigh the opinions of others. The opinions of your staff can greatly help you make these types of choices. Listen to what they say about items that take too long to prepare and don’t sell well. These items are an easy first choice to remove from your menu.

In addition to your staff’s opinions, you should also be listening to your patrons’ opinions. Before you add something new to your menu, you should be considering if your patrons will be interested in it in the first place. These can include in-person interactions like patrons asking when something will be added to your menu, or observing what customers eat completely, or only half finish. These opinions can also appear online in the form of reviews or social media posts your establishment was tagged in. Whatever form it may be, your customers are telling you what items they like the most and what items they would possibly like to see in the future. Make sure you are keeping their favorites, considering their ideas for new additions, and removing the items no one is talking about.

Streamlining your menu also involves examining the design of your menu. It is beneficial for your establishment to have a clean menu that is easy to read and fits the look of your brand. We have already discussed eliminating items from your menu that don’t perform, and doing so will affect the layout of your menu. Make sure that the overall layout of your menu makes sense based on your goals, and just because you remove something from your menu doesn’t mean you need to add something in its place, especially if you want a simple menu that is easy to navigate. It is in your establishment’s best interest to feature your most popular items or items you want customers to try the most in a prominent spot on your menu.

When it comes to streamlining your menu, make sure you are making the best choices for your establishment that create a good selection of menu items, fair prices, and profitability for your establishment.

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