With the rise of third-party delivery apps and changes in consumer demand, it’s more important than ever that your restaurant cater to those who want to enjoy a high-quality meal from the comfort and safety of their own home.
But what about your takeout menu? Are you maximizing its ability to drive profit and customers to your digital door? If you haven’t taken a step back and evaluated your menu, there’s no time like the present.
And here’s the best part–overhauling your menu doesn’t need to be an overwhelming or time-consuming endeavor. Companies like MustHaveMenus can make it easy. They have hundreds of professionally-designed and eye-catching takeout menu templates that can help you get the most out of your menu. So, here’s why overhauling your takeout menu in 2023 could be the perfect way to jump start your year.
With customers ordering takeout more frequently than ever, many are looking for more from their takeout menu. They want more options, more healthy alternatives, more customization, and a greater diversity of dishes and flavors. The best way to know what your customers want is to do a little research.
Surveys can be an effective and simple way to gather information about your customers' wants and needs. You can create free online surveys with tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, and you can deliver these surveys via email or social media. If you prefer a more low-tech option, try inserting a paper survey into your check presenters.
If you want to increase the likelihood of your customers completing your survey, you can incentivize it by offering something like $5 off of their next meal. Sometimes a small promotion is all you need to gather a lot of data.
Staying on top of food trends can also help you better identify emerging cuisines and ingredients that are popular with your target audience. You can stay up to date by following industry publications, restaurant bloggers, and food influencers.
Finally, restaurant data analytics tools can help you analyze customer behavior and identify patterns in ordering habits. There are plenty of options out there, and more than likely your POS system comes with some form of analytics or can work in conjunction with third-party software.
By using these methods, you can gather valuable information about your target audience, their preferences, and their needs, allowing you to update your takeout menu and improve your service.
With the growing popularity of online ordering and delivery apps, the competition among restaurants for takeout has become fiercer than ever. To stand out in a crowded market, you need to offer unique and innovative menu items that differentiate your business.
If you want to beat your competition, you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Researching your competitors can help you understand what customers are looking for and what your competitors are and are not offering.
Overhauling your takeout menu to include more unique and innovative items can also help you stand out from the crowd. Consider introducing new dishes that are not offered by your competitors, or add signature dishes.
In addition, overhauling your menu can provide you with a great opportunity to improve your menu presentation. The way you present your menu can impact customer perception and differentiate you from the competition. Consider using high-quality photographs, creative descriptions, and highlighting your restaurant's unique features like locally sourced ingredients or family recipes.
By taking these steps, you can change your takeout menu to meet rising competition. Remember, focus on your unique strengths, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and provide a high-quality menu to initiate a high-quality dining experience.
When it comes to changing customer preferences and rising competition, one way to stay ahead is to focus on sustainability. Customers are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of their choices. By offering more sustainable menu options like plant-based dishes or eco-friendly packaging, restaurants can attract environmentally-conscious customers and reduce their carbon footprint.
Overhauling your takeout menu with sustainability at forefront give you the ability to use more locally sourced ingredients. Buying from local farms and suppliers supports your local economy and reduces your supply-chain emissions, all while providing your customers with fresh seasonal ingredients.
Your menu can also educate your customers on your sustainability efforts and how they can make more eco-friendly dining choices. But be careful here. While you should consider adding information about sustainability practices on the menu or the website, you don't want to come across as preachy or didactic.
By designing a more eco-conscious menu, you can drive more environmentally conscious customers to your business.
An occasional takeout menu overhaul can allow you to increase your takeout profitability. By understanding what items have larger profit margins and what items your customers prefer, you can simplify your menu and help customers make dining decisions that are good for them and good for your business.
First, you’ll need to know the profit margins of your dishes by calculating the total cost of ingredients and labor required to make each dish. Then, you’ll subtract that figure from the price of the dish on your menu. Your remainder is your profit margin.
Next, you’ll want to consider how popular your dishes are and compare their popularity to their profit margins. You’ll have some that are both extremely profitable and extremely popular. These are your star performers. No matter what, you’ll likely want to keep these dishes around. On the other hand, you might have some that aren’t as profitable and aren’t as popular. These are your duds. They are easy to cut from your takeout menu, making more space for your star performers and newer, higher-margin additions.
Additionally, you can rethink menu engineering that enables you to upsell and cross sell as per your customers’ preferences. Restolabs online ordering software allows you to capture customers data and make personalized recommendations at the time of ordering as well as checkout. Try Restolabs Free for 90 Days.
Simplifying not only increases the profitability of your menu, it can also help reduce food waste. Cutting items with ingredients that end up in the dumpster before they are used can help your kitchen run more efficiently, or you can introduce new items that use the ingredients before they go bad. Either way, a menu update can help your kitchen run like a well-oiled, profit-making machine.
Overhauling your takeout menu can help your restaurant stay competitive, attract new customers, and increase profitability, while also addressing changing preferences and sustainability concerns.
But let’s not forget about all of the marketing potential a new menu can offer. Whenever you launch anything–whether it is a weekly special, or an event series–you want to let your customers know all about it via physical and digital marketing strategies.
As any marketing expert will tell you, social media marketing offers huge returns on investment in the restaurant industry. Social media profiles and social media campaigns can help you increase brand awareness and drive business.
A good rule of thumb for a restaurant’s digital marketing is three to four posts per week. This is enough to stay on your customers’ minds, but not enough to clog up their feed and annoy them with constant updates.
If three to four posts per week sounds like a lot, a menu overhaul provides the perfect opportunity to post about your local suppliers, sustainability practices, behind-the-scenes development, menu sneak peeks, and tons of mouth-watering food photography. All of this content can help you drum up anticipation and drive business to your storefront or your online ordering platform.
If filling out the rest of your newsfeed sounds like a lot of work, it can be. Four posts per week is over two hundred per year. But the key to building a successful social media presence is consistency.
Luckily, you can find hundreds of free social media templates online that can help! These posts are easy to customize and share, making it simpler than ever to keep your socials fresh and keep the conversation with your customers flowing, reminding your customers about all of your new takeout menu options and so much more.
This is a Guest Blog Post, Created by
Mark Plumlee, Senior Content Manager at MustHaveMenus.
Mark has dedicated his expertise to exploring the dynamic landscape of the hospitality industry, with a focus on marketing, operations, and technology trends. His insightful articles have graced the pages of esteemed publications such as FSR, QSR, Food Safety News, Modern Restaurant Management, PMQ, Hotel News, Bar and Restaurant, Bar Business, Hospitality Tech, and Restaurant Technology News, to name just a few. Mark's passion for uncovering the latest insights and developments in the industry shines through in his engaging and informative writing style.