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12 Questions to Ask As You Reengineer Your Menu

Scott Fadden
Scott Fadden | August 27, 2021

It's no secret...there is a lot going on for today's restaurant operators. So much, in fact, operational items can easily get overlooked. Here's one question every operator should be asking themselves today: Is it time to overhaul, reengineer or reexamine my menu? 

As the industry continues to face COVID concerns and an uprising in labor and supply challenges, the menu itself may present an opportunity for necessary changes that can aid in efficiency as well as profitability.

“…it’s even more important to ask ourselves about our menus now…with COVID still a concern [as well as] labor and supply challenges.”

As a rule of thumb, all restaurants should update their menus annually to keep up with trends and cost of goods as well as to increase sales and profits. However, a lot has changed in this past year to add complexity to the equation. Can your menu overcome staffing issues, food supply challenges, customers’ new habits…[fill in the blank]?

Here are some questions to ask yourself right now when evaluating changes for your menu:

  1. How are market prices affecting my bottom line?

  2. Am I charging enough? Remember, you need to make money on every product you sell. And you also need to watch the competition. You can’t overprice your menu.

  3. Should I adjust portions and product rather than (or in addition to) adjusting price?

  4. How much can I increase my prices without affecting sales?

    NOTE: In today’s rollercoaster market, we need to look at prices weekly. I used to recommend 60-90 days. In this amount of time, it could mean the difference between making a profit or having a big loss. We understand time is not on your side. The old saying “time is money” is true now more than ever. This is what you need to remember: “Make time to make money.”

  5. Are we selling enough of the highest profit items to make a difference on our bottom line?

  6. Do we need to promote our highest profit items more?

  7. Are there any slow-moving items that we could promote more because they’re beneficial to our bottom line and/or require minimal labor?

  8. Should we remove some items that are either too hard to make given labor and supply challenges and/or some items that just do not sell?

  9. How do we reinvent our menu to fit the new normal, the new trends and what we need today while keeping with our legacy, who we are and who we serve?

  10. How is my menu positioned for to-go? Are we getting the number of to-go orders we would like?

  11. If labor is an issue, what about speed scratch? Consider using RTU or par-cooked product. We totally understand everyone has a special recipe or house specialty. We just need to pick and choose what is best for the business and the customers we serve.

  12. Should we offer add-on menu items? These would be items that could be used as specials or limited time offers when the markets skyrocket or product is unavailable.

Your menu largely contributes to the success of your business! Did you know Martin Bros. has a team who specializes in revamping menus? Find out more here!


Questions or comments about this article? Feel free to contact us!


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