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Updating your menu regularly can help you bump up your profits in a discrete and subtle way. But when and how often should you update it? I will tell you my thoughts and tips in the video.
To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.
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This week I’m going to answer a commonly asked question “how often should you update your restaurant menu?”
How often should you update your restaurant menu?:
Change your resaurant menu as often as possible. There’s going to be a lot of factors that determine that but ideally I’d like to see you updating your restaurant menu once a month or at least every two months. This can be stretched to every three or four months, but I don’t recommend waiting that long. If you haven’t updated your menu in a year, eighteen months or dare I say 2 years… get to work.
Factors for Updating Your Menu:
Here are the factors that come into play with updating a menu and why I like to update menus so often. A lot of times we spend so much money on our menu’s design, printing and laminating them that the cost to update the menu doesn’t outweigh the benefits. So the first thing I suggest is get out of that cycle. Figure out a way to create a menu more often for much less money.
When we wait too long to update a menu, we create what I call elasticity. Think of a rubber band resting in its spot and then you stretch it and it gets tighter and tighter until eventually it snaps.
Because you’ve waited so long you’ve had to take this knee-jerk reaction and raise everything a dollar or two dollars (10 or 20 percent raises). It’s shocking to your customers and they’re offended by it. Now you’ve got this new menu, you’re overpriced people are a little turned off by it. You’re going to lose a few customers and they’re going to complain.
The answer, don’t add massive amounts of money to your menu. Don’t change every single item all at once, once in awhile. Instead you should be looking at making adjustments to your wording, locations, placement, specials and pricing on a very regular basis.
The big thing here is that you’re slowly updating prices a little bit at a time. Maybe this month only update five or six items on your menu.
The only way that you can do that is if you don’t do even dollar pricing or consistent pricing where everything on your menu ends in .99 cents or .49 cents. This makes it it’s hard to add a nickel to a price.
So I suggest using totally random pricing on your menus and what I mean by that is that some items are going to be $4.35, $6.85 $5.50, $7.90, $11.20, totally random numbers that really mean nothing. There’s no system, no organization to it other than the fact that you know your cost on these items.
You set them accordingly and then to keep up with your price increases you’re just slowly added a nickel or a dime to them. Trust me those nickels and dimes add up over time into massive profits for you, best of all your customers don’t see it. If they do notice it they’re not offended by it because they understand it’s just part of the process.
So how often should you update your restaurant menu? As often as possible, I suggest once a month depending on your circumstance and the type of restaurant that you operate. If you want to go to every other month that’s fine three four times a year but no less often than that.
Lower the cost of producing new menus. Constantly adjust wording, descriptions, locations and pricing. Use random pricing so you can easily add a nickle or dime to a few items with each menu update keeping your Food Cost in line the increases you see from your vendors.
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