The epidemic is currently stretching from Northern California to
Along with the worries these various components of a profitable business bring, it’s currently time for owner’s to begin thinking about new spring menu items. It may seem difficult, or almost impossible to muster the creativity to compose a combination of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts that will fit your customer’s budget, your chef’s desires, and your business plan’s profit margins. Yet, it is essential to develop a system for changing some of the items on your menu that signify winter and fall rather than spring and summer.
When thinking abut the months ahead, think about some less expensive menu items that will bring a nice looking profit to the bottom line without making the customer feel as though they are enjoying a special occasion meal.
The benefits of being a smaller operator rather than the corporate giants that seem to be surrounding all of us today, is that menu creativity is something we can develop quickly and test with out customers before actually implementing in the printed form.
Each month just before the spring thaw, I would regularly begin introducing night specials that I thought would eventually evolve into a new menu item. I would leave the creation of these items up to my chefs and their ability. I found that it would give them an opportunity to break out of the doldrums of a slow after holiday season and would also subliminally inject them with some creative juices that they seemed to have lost after the Christmas catering season ended. Plus, talking about a new spring and summer menu always put a bit of enthusiasm into the attitude of the staff.
Frequently we forget the business has much to do with attitude, marketing, promotion and presentation. And when we get into a slump we need something to get us out of it. A look into the months ahead, long before they arrive, is often just the criteria we need to boost spirits.
That also holds true for the customers who look to their neighborhood restaurant, saloon, tavern, coffee shop or café as a retreat from the doldrums of everyday boredom of cabin fever life. Let’s face it; the last months of winter have a way of prompting people to look for a more exciting adventure.
Think of going to party populated with a gaggle of depressed guests. Fun, right? Of course not. That’s what a mundane restaurant can appear to be to someone who is looking for an enjoyable evening out, only to find their neighborhood bistro another boring restaurant suffering from the doldrums of winter.
So with spring around the corner, get the jump on enjoyment. Create some new menu items. Test them as nightly specials. Make sure the pricing is profitable but not offensive to your guests. Take a poll on the dishes. Ask some questions about what your customers want to see this spring and summer on your menu.
Give the guys and girls in your kitchen a chance to create and let your waiters and other employees sample the new items. It will put a spring in their step, a smile on their faces. And, it may, over time, increase business and put more revenue in your register.