Getting Your Menu Just Right!
By Dwayne Reno
With the holiday season upon us, foodservice operators are gearing up to attract some of the foot traffic that will be passing through the many GTA restaurant neighbourhoods.
"With more than 60% of Canadians eating at a restaurant once a week", according to reports by Visa Canada, it’s no surprise that Toronto alone has 8000 restaurants and growing. This is great news for customers, who have more choices than ever before. As more restaurants, bars and cafes open up across the GTA, getting your menu just right can help your location stand out with potential customers this holiday season.
Here are some of the most common menu mistakes made by foodservice operators.
Common Design Mistakes
Low resolution pictures
There is no excuse for low resolution pictures on your in-house, takeout and menu boards nowadays. Your menu is the first thing a customer sees, and since they eat with their eyes first, your menus should have HD quality images of the food prepared at your restaurant, bar or cafe, not stock images.
Use of stock images
Using stock images is a recipe for trouble. With so many competitors selling similar menu items customers are incline to complain about the smallest details. If your menu has a stock image of a burger with a whole piece of lettuce and you serve a burger with sheared lettuce, this can possibly lead to a customer asking you to change his or her order, which only increase your food costs.
Common Menu Item Mistakes
Outdated menu items/prices
If an item is no longer on your menu, or the price has increased, that item should be updated to reflect any changes. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer who orders an item off your menu just to find out it's no long on your menu or the cost has increased.
Item descriptions are too complicated
Not only is this a disaster for your kitchen staff, but patrons can find this unappealing and become stressed out if menu descriptions are too long. Also if you need 10 ingredients to make one dish, that item should be removed from your menu before it becomes a food costs nightmare.
Too many menu items on your menu
We have all been there; you sit down to enjoy a meal with friends only to tell the server “one more minute, please”. Large menus or “stuffed menus” only create longer ordering times, which will slow down your table turn, and can decrease ticket size.
Common Menu Upselling Mistakes
Lack of upselling/promotional add-ons
A promotional add-on could be a dessert, drink or kids menu; even table toppers. These promotional add-ons can aid in your restaurant, bar or café’s upselling. Customers should be able to see promotions as soon as they are seated. And since upselling is key to increasing cheque averages, these specials and promotions should be promoted by servers also, at all times.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
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Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
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