6 Proven Tips to Create a Menu that Drives Sales and Boosts Online Engagement

online menu for profits

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, the global economy is going through a great depression. Many businesses, including the Hospitality and F&B industry, are facing hard times. In these circumstances, new strategies to make an even stronger comeback are required. The need of the hour is to create higher profits using the same resources, at least for a while. Your restaurant menu can be used quite creatively to generate higher profits for your restaurant, mainly if you’re focusing on your online deliveries. 

Ways To Generate More Revenue Using The Same Menu

Here are some creative experiments you can try on your menu to generate more profits at your restaurant. 

  1. Use Technology To Maximize Revenue

Your restaurant POS can be quite a savior when sales fall. From understanding customer behavior better to scheduling promotional offers automatically, all of it can be handled by an all-in-one restaurant management platform. 

a. Smart Scheduling: 

Use your restaurant POS to schedule offers automatically. For instance, if you need to run a particular marketing offer every Wednesday, develop a campaign named ‘Wonderful Wednesdays.’ You can add multiple offers to it and include the menu items you want to upsell. 

Additionally, an ideal POS should be able to run offers automatically. Specials during Happy Hours or complementary dishes can be created in a single click. The advantage of using technology in such campaigns is that it is based on menu strength. This means it chooses the particular menu items that work at the best for that specific hour of the day or day of the week. 

b. Introduce/ Remove A New Dish Centrally: 

Using restaurant technology makes it easy for your chefs to experiment with their menu. For instance, if a restaurant chef wants to introduce a new dish based on changing consumer behavior and menu strength, he/she can easily add it across multiple outlets in a single click. 

Similarly, dishes that are not working but adding to your food costs can be easily removed in one go. 

c. Optimize Your Menu: 

Managing the same menu across multiple outlets can be quite challenging as the same menu items work differently at different outlets. The dynamic factors determining menu performance include customer behavior, the time of year, the weather, and, of course, the location. Menu optimization is thus required for maximizing profits at your restaurant. 

Using your restaurant POS, you can activate menu items for a particular outlet, and save the others for outlets where they’d work better. Similarly, there can be new dishes added centrally and switched on/off for each outlet, just in a few clicks. 

2. Price Your Menu Right

One crucial aspect of making higher profits through your menu, is pricing. The important thing here is to continuously generate reports of your food costs, inventory, variance, and even sales. 

An ideal restaurant POS makes it a cakewalk for the restaurateur to look into these reports. If your restaurant is new, you probably won’t have any of these reports. You can, therefore, start with the food costs. Look into your food cost percentage daily and decide your profits accordingly. 

3. Categorize Your Dishes 

Your dishes need to be categorized based on how well they are performing. This is primarily done for larger chains where people might act differently in different outlets. Such dynamic customer behavior results in differences in sales between the best and worst-performing items. 

Therefore, you need a proper technology platform to categorize your menu into four categories: stars, plow horses, puzzles, and dogs. 

menu engineering

Stars: These are the menu items with high profit and high popularity. 

Plow horses: These are the dishes with low profit and high popularity. 

Dog: This category will include dishes that are low profit and have low popularity among customers. 

Puzzles: These are the dishes with high profit and low popularity. 

Use  menu engineering techniques to analyze your menu, once you’re done with the categorization. (Read more: link another article here) 

4. Rearrange Your Menu

Another creative way to get more  out of your restaurant menu is to trick the customers into ordering the large profitable dishes. According to studies, there is a particular area on your menu that customers notice more. 

This area, or more commonly known as the golden triangle is the space that people first look at. This is the centre and the upper two edges of your menu. You can leverage buyer psychology to place your menu items strategically. 

Here’s an example. 

Golden triangle for menu at your restaurant

5. Offer Two Portion Sizes  

Offering two portion sizes is the best way to boost your restaurant revenue. This is because of two significant reasons. One, the difference in prices of the two portion sizes is not too much, which means you’re making more money by selling the low portion-sized dish. For instance, if you sold one larger portion-sized dish for $100  and spent $50 preparing it. Your actual profit here is $50 . 

On the other hand, you might sell the lower portion sized dish for $60-65  but spent $10 making it. Your actual profit here is $55 . So, the food cost plays a major role here, since it significantly goes down while cutting down on the portion size. 

6. Write Mouth-Watering Menu Descriptions 

Another exciting way to generate more profits out of your restaurant menu is to add a description to all your dishes. You can include things like ingredients, the calorie count, and the way the meal has been prepared. Adding a little story makes the menu self-explanatory, and helps customers make their own choices in terms of items to order. A lot of times, if first line staff is not able to explain what the dish is, the customers may feel unsure about ordering it. 

On the other hand, if your menu is self-explanatory, customers might increase their orders. Train your first line staff members to recommend dishes to the customer based on their choices. Therefore, adding a short description for each of your dishes helps boost your revenue. 

menu description

7. Focus On Your Online Menu 

Along with all of these techniques, you need to focus on your online menus as well. Since the need of the hour is to focus on online deliveries, your restaurant menu needs to be  attractive and elegant. 

Here are some creative examples for your inspiration: 

Online menu inspiration

All in all, you can use all of these tricks together to increase restaurant revenue when business is slow. Focus on your online menu more than ever. Since customers are likely to order online in greater numbers, your restaurant should be able to attract their attention instantly. For any further information, feel free to contact us. 

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


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