When running a restaurant, your bottom line should always be a top priority. You want to be sure that at the end of the day, you are ahead and out of the red. Inflation, fluctuating ingredient prices, food shortages and a myriad of other factors might make it seem like an impossible task, but there are creative ways to help protect your bottom line.
If you have reviewed your data, adjusted labor and inventory, and are looking for another way to save, try downsizing your menu. Having options for diners is great, but not when it comes to your expenses and the truth is, customers will not mind as much as you might think. Remember, the experience of the restaurant plays a major role in customer satisfaction, so as long as your staff is well trained, your food is good, and your restaurant is clean, guests will not be outraged by a few missing menu items.
Of course you want to be selective when making decisions about what will stay and what can go. This will take some strategizing and research to know what items are bringing in the most money and what items are hurting your bottom line. There may also be a few complex items due to ingredient size and prep time that you need to remove. You can also create a condensed lunch menu with a few simple items. This makes it easy for the customer to choose and makes it easier for the cooks prepping the food, increasing turnover rates for your tables so you are able to serve more people.
Another option is to try dynamic menu pricing. If your restaurant uses digital technology for menus, this is a great option to maximize your profits during peak hours. Basically, you would raise menu prices on certain days during the busiest hours and reduce the prices when business is slower.
In a season of uncertainty and frequent price fluctuations, it is a great time to keep things simple. With the amount of new technology available today, it’s easier than ever to change up your menu to better accommodate your situation. If that means streamlining your menu and only keeping a few simple items, then do it! If it means implementing dynamic menu pricing, then give it a try! The restaurant industry has found a plethora of ways to keep their doors open, especially the last few years and this is just another great example of how restaurants will find a way, despite the obstacles they encounter.