The Importance of Restaurant Menus

Bonji Foods Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 36

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Hi all, welcome back to the Bonji Food Aficionado Smart Brief! We hope the weekend treated you well and you are ready for a new week full of new opportunities! Restaurant menus are absolutely crucial to appealing to customers and keeping them coming back. With more consumers making purchase decisions before they even walk in the door, it is essential to keep your menu up to date, fresh, and diverse. Check out our three tips to attract customers with your menu below!


­­­Three Tips To Attract Customers With Your Menu 1. Diversify Having a large menu can be slightly overwhelming to consumers. Many restaurants try to cross cultural boundaries and include everything they can. Although we are saying to diversify your menu, we aren't saying go out and mix completely different styles. Stick to your restaurant's core ingredients, but find innovative ways to spread them out. In order to draw in customers, your menu needs to offer a diverse range of food items. Yet, this doesn't need to include the largest menu of all time. Keep it simple, but give customers the option to mix and match some dishes. Nothing is better than customization today, and in turn, you can even revolve your entire menu around that. Allow them to do the diversification, and keep your menu simple. Many restaurants struggle because they refuse to change or add new items. However, this is something you need to avoid at all costs. Even KFC introduced nuggets after 70 years of business. Don't be afraid to bring in new ingredients and experiment with your menu!

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2. Price vs. Value A ton of restaurants don't even put prices on their menu. And yes, we know there are good reasons behind that; however, for the majority of restaurants, be transparent and tell your customers how much the food is! With a large portion of customers ordering or, at least, checking menus out online, price vs. value is a huge factor in determining if they will be eating there. In fact, 77% of people MGH surveyed say they check out a restaurant's website/menu before deciding whether to dine there or not. Taking this a step further, 70% of them also say they've been discouraged from going to a restaurant because of the website or menu. Thus, ensure your menu is online and make sure that pricing is available. Now, we all know pricing can be difficult, especially now with ingredients skyrocketing in monetary value. Yet, when we increase prices or even put them on our menus, we need to understand what the customer will perceive as value. Brian Farris, the chief development officer of Saladworks credits much of their success to their menu and the value they provide, “This is where creating value becomes so, so important,” he said. “As long as you’re creating value, and you’re charging a fair price, your consumer’s going to come with you.” The value is true for you to determine; whether you want the value to come from health, taste, or even a good deal. 3. Theme + Style It should be common knowledge that menu design is extremely important. Aside from the psychological factors that we've discussed in the past, the theme and style are just as crucial. We've had too many experiences with restaurants that have cluttered and honestly, un-attractive menus. Although this isn't going to cause us to get up and walk out, an unpleasant menu may prevent us from thinking about returning. When there is a smooth, consistent style to a restaurant it sticks in customers' brains far easier than a bland theme. Additionally, altering your menu based on the seasons or maybe even just the weekly specials are a great way to keep things fresh. Yet, don't stray too far away from your theme.


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