November 4


Top Tips For A Stress-Free Menu Update

By Sarah Fitzgibbon

November 4, 2019

Are you looking at revamping your menu? Perhaps for the upcoming season change, or maybe an event coming up… 

Changing your menu is a fun project but is often time consuming and can be stressful. 

In this article we share our top-tips for making it a stress-free process and maximising menu profitability in your hospitality business.

1.       Consider the structure of your menu – size, sides and specials.

Have you ever wondered why menu sizes and structure differ so greatly? Well there are a lot of things to consider when deciding how to structure yours, such as – your customer base, team skills and expertise, your service model (table or bar). Some things you can do to increase menu profitability are having sides sold separately, great menu wording/descriptions, a smaller regular menu with a changing specials board.

2.       Consider the skills of your team – kitchen and floor staff.

Meeting customer expectations is the most important part of having a good customer experience. Ensure your menu meets the skills and expertise of your team. The kitchen staff will be preparing it and presenting it. Your front of house staff will be selling it and serving it. If you need to upgrade any skills, get some training.
3.       Collaborate between front and back of house.
While menus might seem like they are the domain of the kitchen, they are actually equal parts back and front of house if you consider your customer experience (and after all, they are who pays you). While food is made by the kitchen, it’s served by the floor staff. Whoever leads menu development in your venue, ensure both the Head Chef and Front-of-House Manager receive input – this will ensure smoother implementation.
4.       Ensure you cost all your menu items.
Profit margins on food can have a huge impact on overall profits. Adjustments to portion sizes, cooking methods, suppliers / purchase agreements, and ingredients can all contribute to boosting profitability, and the easiest way to evaluate this is with accurate costing. And all it takes is a simple spread sheet.

5.       Use standard recipe cards to ensure consistency.

Consistency of food affects both the customer experience and your profit margins. By using standard recipe cards, you can create stability in food costs and avoid customer complaints. A recipe card should include cooking method and how the food is presented. 

6.       Consider food trends.

When updating your menu, its important to be true to your brand and your customer base. But you also need to consider emerging trends to ensure you stay competitive and relevant. The easiest way to find out what your customer wants is to ask them! Try a in-venue survey or email version. 

But you can also try out trending items on your specials to see what the uptake is like. 

If you would like any advice or assistance in planning your menu, or skilling your front or back of house staff – get in touch. 

Sarah Fitzgibbon

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