The daily tasks of operating a food retail business or restaurant can be daunting, even for the most efficient multi-taskers. Too often, startups and legacy operators find themselves caught up in what’s happening in the moment, rather than focusing on strategic business decisions to optimize profitability.
One of the biggest mistakes I continue to see is restaurants not thinking strategically about menu model and brand alignment. The menu is the face of any food business, whether your customers are looking at it on mobile phone, standing at a counter or sitting at a table.
As someone who’s seen this business from all sides, here are some simple ways to optimize your menu for profitability.
Basic Menu Engineering (Mix/Profit Margin)
The menu is the single most profitable piece of your business. Have you really thought carefully what’s on it? I find too many owners and chefs putting items on their menu for self indulgent and non-analytical reasons. This cannot be a gut decision.
Menu Engineering (Design)
How your menu is designed can ultimately be just as important as what is on it. People spend an average of 109 seconds looking at a menu, according to a Gallup poll. So that’s all the time you have for them to choose options on it that make you money.
Menu Engineering (Pricing)
By following some of these simple steps, you can put your business in a strategic alignment and focus on driving profitability.