Americans have been trained to expect lots of choices. We want choices in everything: clothing, cars, insurance, and grocery stores. Naturally, menu options are no different.
But for many restaurants, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated stripping menus back to just the best-selling items or to fundamental, easy-to-prepare, low-overhead dishes in order to keep business afloat. While this can help a restaurant’s bottom line, it can also make guests frustrated. So how can a restaurant optimize a limited menu while avoiding customer dissatisfaction?
It’s no simple formula. But with a little smart strategizing, a restaurant can take a small menu and turn it into big bucks.
Keep your best-selling menu items
Every restaurant has its fan-favorite dishes—the signature burger or awesome sandwich that guests return for again and again.
Pay attention to which items are your most popular, and consider making that item even more special by adding additional toppings or sides or maybe throwing in a free drink with it to make up for the reduction in menu options.
Manage your guests’ expectations by regularly updating customers on your menu changes. Include updates on your website, on social media, and in e-newsletters.
And make sure you’re framing the menu changes in a positive way! Guests will understand that you’re having to make changes in order to keep giving them the best possible service. One example of positive messaging would be something like, “Great news: Your favorite escargot is still available on our streamlined menu.”
How you talk about menu changes will ultimately guide how your audience feels about the shift, so keep it positive to minimize frustrations.
Make It Easy to Find
According to research, you have about 15 seconds to engage a visitor to your website. And if they’re looking and can’t find your new menu, they may not return any time soon.
So keep it simple. Post your updated menu on your site and update it any time there are changes. Then support this by guiding your fans via social media or other channels to where they can find it.
Allow Them to Browse Your Menu on Their Phones
Contactless mobile menu browsing tools allow guests to view your menu online as easily as they could a physical version. This can be of great help in attracting customers to your restaurant and staying top of mind, even when they’re not specifically planning on dining out.
Easy to use and install, OneDine’s mobile menu browsing tool is designed to be as approachable as possible, so you won’t have to spend costly resources on training staff. Instead, customers can navigate the site easily from a mobile device, making it a boon for both restaurateurs and diners.
Stand and Deliver
Once you’ve mastered these steps, the only thing left to do is deliver excellent food. And thanks to the cost savings of keeping the menu short and sweet, line items previously occupied by labor or rent costs can now go into purchasing great ingredients and tools to make your short menu shine.
With contactless technology solutions like OneDine, restaurant owners can focus on the most important things: providing great, contactless service and food that will leave guests hungry for more.