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5 Ways to Simplify Your Menu to Increase Efficiency & Profits

Back Print

October 18, 2021

Most restaurant owners and operators believe that a larger menu equates to more profits when in fact the opposite is true. As a restaurant operator, updating and simplifying your menu can boost profits. Smaller menus can be less overwhelming for guests and allow restaurant chefs to execute more efficiently which can improve the quality of food and overall customer satisfaction.

Simplify Your Menu for Increased Profits

Not only are smaller menus easier for restaurants to manage, they also provide an opportunity for cooks to get creative with each dish. When considering a menu update there are a few things you should keep in mind:

1. Consider What Dishes are Most Popular

Offering specials on a simple menu increase the chance customers will order those.

As you’re slimming down your menu, consider what dishes are most important. Go beyond choosing the dishes that get ordered the most. Really evaluate past sales and profits of each dish to determine which have consistently performed well over a period of time.

Another option to incorporate more creativity into your menu is to offer daily specials. This helps keep the menu fresh and exciting. Offering these stand-out dishes on a simplified menu increases the chance that customers will order a daily special.

2. Calculate Inventory Costs with Menu Pricing

When choosing which dishes will remain on the menu and which will not, consider profit margins. Calculate how much money you are spending on each dish, including food costs, cooking supplies, and employee wages. You might be surprised to discover several items on the menu that have slim profit margins once the costs are subtracted from the dish’s menu price.

Once you calculate the costs of each menu item, consider how you can modify the low profit dishes to increase revenue. Another option is to simply increase the prices. If there is not a sustainable way to do this, you really should consider removing it from the menu.

3. Focus on Menu Design

It might come as a surprise that the design and functionality of a menu has a huge impact on a customer’s overall dining experience. Make sure the font is easy to read, the most profitable dishes are easily identified, and each listed dish includes a brief description as well as a clearly marked price. Some light branding like a border and your logo at the top of the menu are also great style choices to consider.

For patrons who order online, make sure your digital menu is mobile friendly and easy to read as well. Many customers do not want to have to download a PDF from your website then zoom in and out to read the menu. It is also important that you keep your online menu as updated as your in-person menu. 

Partnering with a foodservice supplier like US Foods that offers menu design services can go a long way as they can take additional time and effort off of your team’s plate while you focus on other aspects of simplifying your menu.

4. Cross-Use Ingredients

Cross-using ingredients can increase efficiency & reduce waste.

Purchasing ingredients that are only used for one menu item can be wasteful. These ingredients can spoil if not used in time, leading to a waste of resources. When slimming down your menu, consider which ingredients can be used across multiple dishes. Cross-using ingredients also increases the overall efficiency of your restaurant’s kitchen by getting food out to customers in less time. Build a list of these ingredients and order them in bulk. This strategy limits how much food you potentially waste and increases the chances of seeing maximum profits. Consider bundling menu items to create appealing options for customers, too. 

5. Order Ingredients From Bulk Food Stores

After you have designed a menu that optimally uses ingredients, you have to decide where those ingredients are coming from. Ordering food and restaurant supplies

from a bulk wholesale food and beverage supplier means you are most likely spending less money on supplies individually. Bulk orders offer better deals, especially if you have several menu items that use the same ingredients.

Wholesale Food, Supplies, and More to Increase Profits

US Foods CHEF’STORE offers everything from ingredients to restaurant cleaning supplies. Explore our business tools to help your restaurant run smoothly. Visit us online to find a location or to learn more about how we can help your restaurant business thrive.

How To Simplify Your Restaurant's Menu

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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