A restaurant’s menu is responsible for influencing the guest’s first impression. A menu is something that says a lot about your restaurant and its specialization, and also plays a significant role in your restaurant’s profitability. Hence, doing a comprehensive restaurant menu analysis is crucial for your restaurant’s success.
Restaurant menu analysis is defined as the steps taken to analyze the profitability and popularity of each menu item to increase the sales and success of a restaurant.
Menu analysis is not an easy task as it takes a lot of in-depth research, both internally and externally. Here are some things you should keep in mind when analyzing the restaurant menu the next time.
How to Do Restaurant Menu Analysis
The best time to analyze your restaurant’s menu is when there is a drop in sales, and the profit percentage is low. These are some clear indicators that you might be going wrong somewhere. Here are some tips that can help you to optimize your restaurant menu efficiently.
1. Understand Your Competition
It is imperative for you to understand your competition as this would help you determine the correct cost and the market trends for the same dishes. It would also help you set competitive prices because, if your food is overpriced people might prefer eating at your competitor’s restaurants, and if the rates are low you might face losses because of little return on investment.
Are your competitors focusing on providing good food at lower prices, but are cutting costs in terms of presentation and the service? Or are they selling the same dish at the same cost but are keeping the portions small?
These questions will help you not only analyze your competitors’ menu strategy, but also give you an insight into what the customers’ are preferring.
All these factors help you revise your present rates and help you set more accurate price points for your dishes.
2. Check Your Menu Profitability
Profit is what keeps your restaurant moving; hence, it is essential to keep track of the sales of each menu item. An advanced POS system can give you the detailed insights on which items are selling the most and the least, which will help you check how the items are moving in your restaurant.
While analyzing the menu, identify the items that are doing good and are the most profitable. Your most popular item may not be a high-profit item. It is crucial to maintain a balance between what you spend on the preparation of a food item and how much you earn from it. Even if an item is high on profit, but is not popular among your customers, you need to reconsider its position in the menu. You can either place it in a way so that it draws the attention of the customers and makes them order more, or remove it completely from the menu.
Food cost reports will help you analyze the profitability of each menu item. Consider the money you are putting into buying the raw materials for preparing a dish and how much are you selling it for.
Here is how you can leverage technology to check your menu’s profitability and use it to make data-driven decisions for your restaurant.
3. Take Customer Feedback
Along with the internal insights you also need to consider the external sources. Customer feedback is an essential part of doing restaurant menu analysis. The easiest way to do this is by taking customer feedback through a POS integrated feedback app. The Feedback App generates custom questions for each customer based on the food they ordered. This way, guests can rate the menu items they ordered, and give you an insight into the performance of the item.
4. Stay Updated with the Trends
A good menu is sure to leave an excellent first impression; hence, it is required for you to change it with time. Look at the latest trends in the market, introduce innovations to attract more customers.
Changing the menu is not just about changing the food items and the price listed. Along with this, you need to change the appearance of the menu as well.
A restaurant menu should complement the theme of your restaurant. If you run a fine dining restaurant having a fancy looking menu is very important but, if you have a QSR, you can even switch to a digital menu as it would help your customers place an order much faster.
If you have changed the interiors of your restaurant recently, improve the appearance of the menu design as well. If the menu is in accordance with the place, people tend to relate more to it. These techniques help you play with the psychology of your customers which would ultimately mean more profit for your restaurant business.
5. It’s All About Teamwork
Menu analysis is not a single man’s task; you can not change the menu basis the insights coming from one person. You need to consult your waiting staff, chef, manager, etc. to analyze the recent trends. Every person would have something unique to contribute to the customer behavior, and that will help you add new food items or eliminate the unpopular ones.
Restaurant menu analysis is not a simple task, and you can go wrong with it hence, having different opinions would undoubtedly help you determine which food items could be more profitable for you in the future.
Restaurant menu analysis is a habit you should be practicing at least four times a year; it is a good practice that helps in keeping your menu updated.
After you have analyzed the menu, then comes the need to take the necessary steps. You need to determine from your analysis what all changes are to be applied on your current menu.
The hacks mentioned above, along with some research will help you make your restaurant menu analysis process more structured.