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The Challenge of Keeping Menus Fresh

The Challenge of
Keeping Menus
Fresh

Blog Post

Adjust regularly to reflect price increases, seasonal produce

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Jenna Headshot

Jenna Worrell, Marketing Manager
Product and Vertical Marketing

Have you driven by the mall recently? Look around at the construction. You’ll probably see outlots being bulldozed and construction of new buildings. And very often, the lots are spaces for new restaurants or restaurants being remodeled.

Americans love to eat out. According to Gallup, more than 1 million dining establishments accounted for $782 billion in sales in 2016. And more and more restaurants are springing up, running the gamut of dining experiences from fast-food to fast-casual and more formal options. 

Owning and running a restaurant can be challenging. Maintaining a facility and staff and creating enticing food that will attract and retain guests is a lot to manage. There’s also stiff competition from many other restaurants trying to attract a similar target audience. Updating menus and offering new options is one important way to keep guests coming back or to attract new ones.

Why should you freshen up your menu?

  • If you have 20+ locations, the FDA requires that you post nutrition information for consumers. The FDA started enforcing the action this year.
  • Adjust for inflation and price increases. As costs increase, it’s critical to increase yours to stay profitable. Remember, the amount you’re charging includes not only the food but also your staffing costs for preparation, serving and clean up as well as your facility. If you are serving a main dish and sides, the price also needs to cover those costs.
  • Keep offerings fresh for returning guests. Customers grow weary of having the same options day in and day out. Rotating in items that include fresh, seasonal produce is a great way to update menu choices for regulars and attract new guests. Using fresh items signals to your customers that you offer fresher foods containing fewer processed ingredients.
Allow for adjustments to seasonal produce and trends
  • Chef satisfaction. Giving your chefs opportunities to experiment and introduce new foods into the mix will keep them challenged and more interested in preparing foods. Just like people don’t like eating the same food every day, your chefs don’t enjoy making the same meals over and over.
  • Seasonal changes. Guests crave more indulgent, richer foods during the colder fall and winter months. These are times they are more likely to splurge on a treat. They also are likely to spend more during holiday times because they are celebrating with family, friends and colleagues.
  • Adapt with trends. If the general public is more focused on healthy living, they will seek ways to incorporate those foods into their daily life. Adding salads and allowing guests to substitute carb-rich foods for vegetables will keep your menu appealing.
  • Keep your menu accessible for more people. Including calorie counts and allergy information affords more diners the opportunity to enjoy your restaurants.

For more about making menus and dining accessible, check out the ADA National Network expert-approved list of accessibility guidelines for restaurateurs and café owners.

Automate the menu and event editing process

Despite all good intentions, the physical act of changing a menu can be time consuming and overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. KLIC RealTime is our tool to automate the menu and event editing process through version controls for restaurants. It eliminates manual approvals, large email attachments, slow turnaround times and missed deadlines. Other benefits include specific setups for menus and event signage; consolidated document planning, design, ordering and fulfillment into a single system; streamlined communication; and a simplified, automated approval process.

KLIC RealTime also maintains archived menus and sets up custom workflows based on corporate or regional standards for the brand’s look and feel, ensuring all locations follow brand standards. Graphic design time can be focused on mission-critical work and less on making minor menu edits.

Menus have the power to attract or turn off your current customers and prospective guests. Using the right tools to change them regularly has many advantages, including maintaining profitability, marketing your offerings, building your brand, and satisfying your staff and customers.

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