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If you want to increase profits, you could spend more money on marketing, fancy new gadgets, or a loyalty program… but none of those options really take into consideration what may be your greatest asset: your employees. They are out on the floor every day with your guests. They know what they like. They know what they’re ordering. And they’re your first line of offense.
If your team knows your product inside and out, there’s no easier way to increase both your restaurant revenue and your guests’ satisfaction.
The key here is to remember that you first need a firm understanding of your menu items, bar offerings, and specials. You need to know everything about each item: the cost to make it, the profit when you sell it, how many you sell, and any other defining characteristics that can help you plan on how, when, and what to sell. You don’t want to put time into or push something on your menu that takes more time and money to create than it’s worth, so get familiar with the numbers.
Once you have a firm grip on which of your offerings is most valuable, you need to develop a plan on how to sell them. Like with everything else in your restaurant, if you expect to see results, you need to develop a well-thought-out strategy around the numbers.
- How much of each item should you buy each week?
- Can you use up an excess of a certain item with a special promotion?
- Have you established strict guidelines on how each item is to be prepared and presented, regardless of location?
- What would make a good up-sell or cross-sell? Why?
- Can you bundle certain menu items to decrease the cost to the customer and increase the quantity sold?
Know your menu inside and out. Then figure out how to strategically use it to make more money.
Once the numbers are crunched and you’ve got a strategy in place, it’s time to bring your team into it.
- They need to start with a full knowledge of your offerings: what each item looks like and what it’s made from.
- They need to know what the high-value items are as well as descriptive ways to up- or cross-sell them.
- Your team needs to be able to take what the guest wants and add something to it that will be a true complement. The up-sell or cross-sell is about enhancing your guests’ dining experience.
- They also need to be trained on the menu and on the art of the up-sell. Then reinforce with regular menu tastings, contest incentives, and more.
Kevin Moll, the president of Denver-based National Restaurant Consultants, says that “[t]he menu is the most powerful tool. What is sold, what drives income and costs, what drives your brand are all based around the menu.” Once you and your team are equipped with the tools to make your menu work for you, it’s time to get started.
Better Chains understands the importance of the menu and the employees responsible for translating that value to your guests. With the Better Chains Menu Engineering module, you can get your business and your team headed in the right direction with restaurant menu software that delivers:
- descriptive information and photos for each menu item
- data on food costs versus profit
- tips on which food and drink items are best used for up- and cross-selling
Give your menu knowledgebase a home in this easy-to-use tool and set your team on the path to success.