Your ability to craft delicious food is only one part of successful restaurant ownership. As an independent restauranteur, you must put time and effort into forming relationships with food vendors, marketing your business, and adjusting for profitability over time. You should also carefully create a unique restaurant menu that offers fresh, delicious, and high-quality items at reasonable prices.
1. Stay True to Your Original Concept
The more complex your menu gets, the more challenging it will become to streamline kitchen operations and determine which dishes are customer favorites. Instead of trying to be all things to all diners, focus on the areas where you excel.
2. Be Inclusive and Accommodating
After deciding on your core restaurant menu, check to ensure you’re not excluding any potential customers. For example, consider people who may have food sensitivities or specific dietary preferences. Whenever possible, make sure to include gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, keto, and paleo items to allow a broader range of customers to enjoy your food – without deviating too far from your original vision. For example, if you primarily sell sandwiches and wraps, think about adding some salad options to your menu for people who can’t or don’t eat bread.
3. Determine Your Pricing
Since many restaurants operate on thin profit margins, setting prices can be a challenge. You don’t want to gain a reputation for being overpriced, but your costs also can’t be so low that they drive your restaurant out of business. Once you know what you want to offer, request quotes from multiple vendors. Securing the freshest ingredients at affordable prices will allow you to earn more profits without sacrificing quality.
4. Be Descriptive
Well-written restaurant menu descriptions can be a strong selling point – especially for your website. When hungry patrons search online for a new restaurant to try, detailed language can be a differentiator. Try using applicable adjectives like “organic,” “house-made,” “all-natural,” or “mouthwatering” to paint a picture of what customers can expect.
5. Optimize for Takeout and Delivery
Optimizing your restaurant menu for takeout and delivery is one of the quickest ways to build a loyal customer base in a competitive market. Online ordering has experienced explosive growth in recent years, and that shows no signs of stopping. To appeal to more potential diners, you need to capitalize on this trend. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
- Choose items that travel well: Test your menu items at different times and distances traveled to evaluate how well their quality holds up. Eliminate anything that’s overly complicated or takes too much time to make.
- Be strategic about packaging: Nobody wants to get their hopes up for a perfectly hot, crispy, cheesy quesadilla, only to receive a cold, soggy mess. To earn customer loyalty, it’s worth investing a little bit extra in containers that hold temperatures well.
- Establish your restaurant on delivery apps: You want to be where hungry diners can find you when they’re in the mood for takeout and delivery – and that means apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates.
Experienced Support for Busy Restaurant Owners
When you partner with The On Demand Company, we will help you create and maintain your presence on the most popular delivery apps. Our consulting services include market analytics, brand design, and restaurant promotion to enable sustained growth in a notoriously competitive industry. Get started on your virtual restaurant today.