3 Best Practices for Restaurant Menu Expansion

When it comes to expanding a restaurant’s menu, there are several important considerations to be taken into account. You need to know when to follow trends and when to ignore them, which new items will make the most bang for your buck and which will allow your restaurant to blossom into an ever more successful venture. Poorly thought out choices can have long-term business consequences. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when expanding your restaurant’s menu.

Be Discerning About the Menu Trends You Follow

Menu trends come and go on a regular basis, and not all are going to be a good fit for your brand. Choosing which are and which are not is a matter of assessing how well the trend fits with your overall brand image and appeals to your target demographic. If it fits with your overall brand strategy and is feasible to implement, go for it. Just remember that there’s no shame in letting a few of those trends pass on by, or in even trying to set a few trends yourself. Authenticity and individuality wins big in any business, but especially so in the restaurant industry. If you do decide to follow the trend, design what you offer around a quality experience for your guests, not the cost of implementation. There’s no sense in trying to do something specific if it’s not done right.

Allow Your Restaurant Menu to Evolve

While you don’t need to change your menu every time a new trend comes around, it is important to have flexibility and diversity built into what you offer. For example, there needs to be enough diversity in your menu that you’re not relying on just a few items to get you by in case of food shortages and price spikes.

Furthermore, your menu needs to be allowed to evolve. It could be that certain items or practices that worked ten years ago are no longer serving your restaurant business well today. Look for ways to be visionary with your brand image and discard those elements that no longer serve that purpose. If changes are made, strong leadership and communication skills are needed to ensure that team members, guests and franchisees are brought up to date and are on board with the new plan.

Listen to Your People. Look at Your Menu Data

It would be remiss to make menu changes without talking to your people and looking at your numbers. Your employees are your most reliable resource when it comes to decisions about menu expansion. They are on the ground with the guests daily, observing and serving their needs. The numbers will tell you what is most profitable to your business; your employees will tell you how your guests feel about what you offer, what impresses them the most and what they’d like to see more of. Some restaurants even go so far as to involve the guests’ decisions about new menu items directly. However you do it, utilize the people and information you have at hand to make the best determination for menu expansions.

Expanding your restaurant’s menu can be an exciting and profitable venture. If done well, the opportunity is there to attract new customers, increase sales and drive your brand’s overall expansion into the profitable restaurant business it is meant to be.

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One Response to “3 Best Practices for Restaurant Menu Expansion”

  1. lyndaybaker Says:

    Reblogged this on lyndaybaker and commented:
    Great read!

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