Understanding which menu items are top performers, and which should be removed from the menu can be difficult. But with the right restaurant analytics, you can effectively make decisions based on quantitative results, and model potential uplift as a result of thoughtful changes. Here are 3 tips and go-to reports to consider for optimizing your menu:
It’s more important than ever to streamline costs and ensure your menu is optimized for an efficient stock-turnover. To understand the finer details and identify your top-sellers, take the time to review your Sales Mix which can help you to understand the top selling items – like the deluxe strawberry shake in the example below – and increase stock on hand for that item. Perhaps consider removing items that require additional stock, and are less profitable – like the mango shake (which didn’t even make the top 10 list for this week). In short, buy more strawberries that are needed for the deluxe shake to sell the winning menu item, and stop buying mangoes.
Once you know what sells, check prep-costs in your Menu Engineering reports to evaluate which of these best sellers earns the most profit and would be most beneficial to continue offering. For restaurants offering delivery, it is also worth considering how well these ‘best-sellers’ travel as not every dish will serve well after being boxed up.
Upon re-opening, you will be operating at a reduced capacity. In order to drive the most table turns possible without sacrificing your brand or customer satisfaction, think about how to create a menu that has a balanced mix of fan favorites, ones that have the shortest preparation time and ones that have strong profit margins. By looking at your Kitchen Display Detail report you can gain insights into which menu items have the quickest order-to-service times. Emphasizing these dishes on your menu (specials, BOGOs), can not only help improve customer perceptions of speed-of-service, but it can also increase table-turns and help make the most of decreased capacity.
For many restaurants, promotions help drive traffic and get customers in the door. But in tighter times, it’s worth reviewing your promotional offering to ensuring you are only offering discounts that benefit your business. You can review the effectiveness of your promotions from your discounts reports and compare these to your margins to assess which discounts are worth maintaining and which you should think about discontinuing. If you notice that your wine discounts on Wednesdays are almost a quarter of your total discounts (which could affect your bottom line), then maybe think about pausing this promotion for the near future.
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