How frequently should you change your restaurant menu? If you own a successful restaurant, you might be skeptical about changing things up.
Customers love what you have on offer if they keep coming back and recommending it to their friends, right?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Some of the most successful restaurants change their menus to keep those same customers returning far more often because they know good food awaits them, and they delight in seeing what’s new! Even Arby’s threw out the rules and added a burger to their menu for the first time in 58 years.
Another thing you’ve probably given serious thought to or at least considered in passing is food prices. With inflation hitting the shelves of every food supplier, those same meals that have been on your menu for ages are costing you more to make. Raising your prices without changing what’s on offer isn’t a good look for any business, much less a restaurant. Updating and changing your restaurant menu helps you control costs instead of passing them on to your customers.
How Frequently Should You Change Your Restaurant Menu?
How often you update or change your menu will depend on the type of establishment you run. Some restaurants only need to update once a year, while others take a seasonal approach and adjust the menu accordingly. It all depends on what you serve and what you’re willing to pay for out-of-season goodies.
If you serve up fresh and never frozen or locally sourced, you’ll need to update it at least twice a year, if not more. It’s a delicate balancing act. If you change your menu too often, your kitchen might get frustrated. The best meals are made dozens of times before they’re perfect, and once they’re perfect, your kitchen can probably make those dishes with their eyes closed one-handed.
If you’re worried about a menu change upsetting your regular customers, just let them know that you have some new and exciting menu items on the way that you’d love for them to try out. For those that come to your restaurant weekly, offer a sneak taste and get their feedback to build loyalty.
Need a few ideas? Check out our blog on 2022 Industry Trends For Your Menu.
How Changing Your Restaurant Menu Saves Money
Does updating the menu really save money? Between rising labor costs, the costs of food, and customers choosing somewhere new because they’ve had their favorites too many times at your tables, a menu update is the most cost-effective option you can enact.
Lowering the costs of making your meals leaves more room to pay for quality labor, resulting in employee retention. Giving loyal customers new food to try will also put new favorites in their repertoire, ensuring they don’t wander off to the next new place.
If you’re still unsure, audit your restaurant. It doesn’t have to be done by a professional. Simply sit down and calculate the current costs of food and labor versus the price point for your items. You most likely did this when you opened, but it’s time to do it again. If you haven’t changed anything recently, you will notice a much more significant overhead than ever before, and cost savings will become your new passion.
Changing the Look of Your Menu
When making a new menu, should the look change as well? If your menu items haven’t changed, your actual menu probably hasn’t either. Take a moment and look at the stack by the hostess station. How worn out do they look? Were they all the rage with the right font five years ago? It’s essential to give your menu a fresh face now and then. We aren’t suggesting that you change the facade with every new menu item, but if it’s been a while, it’s time for a redesign.
Other Ways to Save Money After Changing Your Restaurant Menu
Now that you’re on the new menu train and loving those savings, look at how efficient your kitchen appliances are and whether or not updating them might save you money in the long run. Outdated appliances result in high electric bills and frustrated kitchen staff. In addition, a new piece of restaurant equipment might be the reason you change your restaurant menu.
We know where to find the best deal if you’re due a few upgrades. At Taylor Freezer of Michigan, we provide quality guarantees on used and new restaurant equipment that is Energy Star certified and won’t break the bank. Call us at 734-219-9969, and let us help you save money while remaining passionate about the food you serve.
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