In most cases, restaurant owners and/or head chefs agonize, almost to perfection, on every single item on their menu…at least that’s how it’s supposed to go. But no matter how hard or how long you work on your restaurant’s recipes, how you like it doesn’t translate to how your patrons like it. Here are some ways you can tell that, depending on how your patrons like it, that you might have to spice things up a bit.
The patrons frequently alter the menu item
“Can I have this but not too spicy?”
“Can I have more broccoli on this?”
If you receive back a menu item asking for more or less of something, or worse getting an initial order with extra of this or less of that, you have a problem. Having to add, remove, or alter stuff for your menu not only adds prep time and cooking time, but also adds to ingredient costs. But most importantly, that there’s an added psychological cost to both the patron that they’re not getting what they want for the money without having to request a few modifications. That’s all right for pizza or other items that need the a-la carte treatment. But if it’s spaghetti, then it’s time to go test kitchen mode.
The patrons aren’t ordering it
This commonly happens when you have many menu selections to choose from. Commonly you’re supposed to have at least one or two (preferably three) items that are the most popular, and the rest are equally proportioned. But if you start to see that some menu items aren’t getting ordered at all, you’re just burning menu and valuable menu space.
You can consider remarketing that menu item such as offering discounts or doing something with happy hour, but that can be a hit-or-miss. Either do that, revise that menu item, or ditch it all together.