Category Archives: Business How To

How to Design the Perfect Menu

Menu Design

Restaurant review sites and apps are becoming more and more popular. Many people look at reviews on these sites and apps before they dine out. They also view pictures of the menu (or food) that others have posted. If your menu is too overwhelming or even too boring, you may be steering customers towards your competitors. Ask yourself: Is my restaurant menu too complex, simple, colorful, boring, or lengthy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, take a look at these three key tips to help you design the perfect menu for your restaurant.

Consistency
When designing your menu, be consistent with the theme of your restaurant. A pizza parlor and a 5 star steakhouse should not have the same menu layout or design. There are many online menu generators that you can use, or you can hire a graphic designer to help. You will want to design all menus (desert, drink & entrée) to match. Find one theme, and be consistent throughout.

Variety
Although you do not want to overwhelm your customers with 10+ pages of dishes, they would still like to see a variety of options. Dining out has become an unhealthy stigma, and many restaurants are working hard abolish that perception. Customers want healthy menu items, and many people will avoid restaurants without low calorie options. In order to meet every customer’s needs, give your menu variety without being too overwhelming.

Descriptive
Long descriptions have been shown to increase sales. Customers want to know exactly what they are ordering and the ingredients in each dish. Use clear, descriptive adjectives that advertise each dish to the fullest. Pictures are another great way to increase sales. Consider adding pictures to your top selling items or to those that you wish to sell more often.

Remember that you can ask customers for feedback. Create a few mock menus and ask some of your repeat or even new customers what they think. This will help your customers to feel like their opinion is important and it will give you some real insight as to what your customers actually want.

How to Attract Great Employees

EmployeesStaff members can make or break any kind of food service establishment. Servers are the face of every restaurant and have a large impact on your customers’ experiences. Finding the best employees is an important process that requires time and energy. Even if you are great at the interviewing and hiring process, you still have to find a way to attract great employees. If you find yourself sitting through 10+ interviews without finding the right person to fill the position, it may be time to revamp your strategies. Here are a few tips on how to attract hardworking, dedicated employees:

Advertise:
If you do not have a “Work for Us” landing page on your website, it is time to get one! Use this page to list everything that your company has to offer. Brag about employee benefits, and list reasons that make your company better than anywhere else.

Keep it Simple:
Applying for jobs is a daunting task. If you don’t have many applications coming in, it may be because your application is too long. Keep the process simple, and ask important questions that you actually care about. Require a resume to apply, but do not ask the same information like job history on your application.

Motivate:
Believe it or not, money isn’t always everything. Some employees will accept a job offer for less money because the company has great values and a positive working environment. Keep your employees motivated with recognition and advancement. If someone goes above and beyond what they normally do, thank them and give them some type of recognition. From dish washers to managers, every job is equally important. Make sure that all prospective employees understand this and know that each employee is treated equally.

Communicate:
Keep all communication throughout the hiring process very open and transparent. Employees do not appreciate being lied to, and you do not want the reputation of having an unethical business. Keep your reputation clean and be honest with prospective and current employees.

Supervise:
Restaurant operators need to ensure that managers are dynamic and understanding. If a prospective employee comes into your restaurant to see a manager barking orders, chances are they will not submit their application. However, if they come in to see a manager sitting around all day doing nothing, chances are they will not submit their application either. Find managers that push your employees to achieve goals and work hard without creating a negative working environment.

Use this tips and you will have employees lining up to work for your food service establishment in no time.

How to Prepare for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and dinner dates are a popular choice for many people on this holiday. Holiday prep can be fun, and if you do it correctly your restaurant could be the talk of the town. This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, which means dinner and breakfast are both important. In order to make sure your restaurant stands out this year, follow these 4 tips:

Secure Reservations

  • Offer your customers a chance to make early reservations. Of course late reservations are fine, but the goal is to fill your restaurant as early as possible. Give customers a coupon for a later date and decrease the coupon amount as time goes on. Don’t forget that brunch and dinner will be popular this year. You can fill the whole day with reservations rather than just dinner time.

Be Social

  • If you aren’t advertising your restaurant on your social media pages, you are missing out. Many people use social media to find date destinations and it’s a great way to attract customers during non-peak times. Advertise your Valentine’s Day specials and packages as early as possible. The best part about social media is that it’s free (unless you want to purchase a sponsored ad)!

Be Unique

  • Many restaurants will advertise that they have a special Valentine’s Day Menu, but add to that in order to stand out. Offer a free bottle of wine with every reservation or include free desert to every person who wears red. Offer different food and drink specials for brunch and dinner: mimosas and bloody marys will be a great addition to the brunch drink menu. Try cutting blocks of cheese in heart shapes to garnish your drinks.

Think Ahead

  • Start planning now. If you advertise on social media about early reservations, you could have the restaurant booked in no time. Make sure you have plenty of staff members who are willing to work, and start planning things like decorations, music, food, and other small details. Don’t forget to buy your wine glasses, dinnerware, and candles ahead of time.

Follow these tips and let us know how they work for your restaurant. We predict that your restaurant will be a major hot spot for Valentine’s Day.