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Restaurant Menu Ideas That Maximize Your Profit Margin

As a restaurant owner, cutting costs and increasing profits are always top-of-mind, especially in this day and age, where the restaurant industry has been hit with challenge after challenge. Reducing costs requires restaurant owners to take a look at a variety of areas and see what may not be working. Your menu plays a bigger role in this than you’d think.

As a restaurant owner, how often do you audit your menu to maximize profits?

If you’re like most restaurant owners, the answer is probably not enough. Use this upcoming holiday season to take a look at your menu and find opportunities to create additional revenue with minimal work.

Make Your Menu Work for Current Times

You work tirelessly in order to keep your doors open. Optimize your menu to make it work just as hard for you. In these pandemic-stricken times, it’s important to balance flexibility with stability. Keep the customer favorites year-round, but switch things up seasonally to offer just a few menu items that include popular or trending seasonal ingredients.

Take note of your sales and identify which items are top sellers and which items can be cut. Limiting your menu doesn’t mean limiting your profits, it can often mean the opposite. Offer only top-selling dishes with the highest profitability to keep costs low. Remember to include labor costs in this and remove dishes that take more time to prepare than they’re worth.

In order to pull this off, detailed data is key. Simple spreadsheets and manual data collection won’t cut it. You need to know which items perform well on which days, and how their performance fluctuates from week to week, or season to season.

Restaurant owners also need the insight to understand exactly how customer ordering and purchasing behavior has shifted in today’s unique pandemic situation. Curbside pickup and takeout ordering are here to stay, so it may be in your best interest to remove items that don’t package or travel well.

Likewise, QR codes are becoming more essential for customers. The no-touch reality is a difficult challenge for restaurants, but refusing to adapt to it can signal the stagnation or decline of your business. If you haven’t integrated a QR code menu, now is the time to do so.

A modified menu isn’t the only benefit that QR codes offer. Once implemented, many restaurants experience faster ordering and greater customer satisfaction. Restaurant owners are leveraging QR codes to allow customers to submit feedback, boost social media following, and entertain guests.

A QR code can link to anything. With a simple scan, customers can be taken to your Instagram or Facebook page, your website, or even to fun themed quizzes and other interactive ideas. All of this can boost customer engagement significantly, all while keeping your costs to a minimum.

Partner Local for Produce and More

It’s no secret that supporting local businesses has been an anthem for 2020. Back in May, a survey showed that 75% of consumers were eager to support local businesses in their community. You can expect the local love trend to continue, and even increase through the next year.

Partner with local farmers to bring fresh items to your customers. Community camaraderie grows when small businesses support other small businesses. Making the switch to a local produce provider doesn’t just boost your popularity, however. You can gain valuable intel from local providers on which produce is best in which season, and what can pair well with offerings at your location.

Partnering with a local provider can significantly cut your menu costs, especially for high-ticket items like meat and fish. These items are much cheaper when they are locally-sourced since providers don’t have to factor transportation and storage into their costs. You can maximize your profits and your customers can benefit from a fresh, locally-sourced meal.

Elevate Your Menu Without Extra Entrees

This past year has taught us to expect the unexpected: anything can (and will) happen. This is the year for creative problem-solving, so get creative with your restaurant menu ideas and take them to the next level with additional retail offerings.

Customers love experimental new offerings. Some ideas include offering cocktail kits to-go. To appeal more to families, you can offer a cookie, brownie, or cake decorating kit that families can take home and enjoy after their meals. If you act quickly, you can implement this before the holiday season. You can also capitalize on versatility for other occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and more.

At-home meal kits are all the rage right now. Pizza shops can pick up on this trend by creating pre-made crusts and include different sauces and toppings on the kits. You can offer these for delivery and pre-order, so kits can arrive on customer’s doorsteps on a specific date. These also make excellent gifts for those who enjoy cooking but are strapped for time. Perfect for a comfortable date night in quarantine or family night at home.

Use Data to Make Impactful Decisions with HungerRush

Restaurant Management Systems (RMS) have never been more essential. Although chefs and business owners often have a knack for making business decisions based on instinct alone, these aren’t foolproof. Ignoring precise data at your fingertips is a costly mistake you don’t want to make.

HungerRush offers a restaurant management system that allows owners to see what is over and underperforming, so you can make better menu decisions to increase profits and decrease unnecessary costs. Owning your customer data and having it accessible in a centralized place simplifies this process even more because you can track orders from loyal customers to make adjustments as needed across all platforms.

For more information on how HungerRush RMS can help you revamp your menu and maximize profits, contact us and request a demo today!