Following the flavor patterns from year to year is how many restaurants with their menu offerings seek to remain ahead of the curve in business.
However closely when you research variations in the ever-changing preferences and perceptions of your clients, you have to do so with consumer rates and costs.
Understanding where you are in revenue and expenses month by month, or even week by week, will help you adapt here and there to increase your profit margin.
1. Check the cost of your food menu
The industry’s normal food cost percentage is 30%. The faster you can make this the lower you can.
You should not, however, be sacrificing price. If a burger and fries’ real cost at your restaurant is $1.50 you’ve got some room to play with the menu price.
Just make sure that you measure certain food costs correctly and consistently, as the meat, produce and baked goods market price fluctuates.
You can’t change your menu prices weekly, of course, so shoot with your prices a little higher so you can build a buffer of benefit versus cost.
Nevertheless, keeping customer satisfaction high is crucial so remember to pricing products for minimal psychological negative effects.
If you raise a menu item from $8.49 to $10.99, double-digit customers will balk.
Alternatively, bump it up to $9.99; consumers will feel like they’re getting value, so you’re going to boost the income even more.
2. Daily features
A perfect way to raise profits is to sell the special to a chef that is slightly higher than the usual menu items, innovative, enticing and priced.
Exclusivity can be major selling points for many customers, along with a limited time bid.
By using seasonal ingredients, you can keep costs down, and you can also move the special with seasonality as a selling point.
Snap a picture of a finished plate at the beginning of the day and advertise it online via Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, make sure your customers know what your deals are.
3. Loyalty programs
Too many discounts may have a detrimental impact on your bottom line, but the more often your customers visit your restaurant, the higher your profit margin will be in the longer term.
If you select a smartphone app for digital rewards, collect coupons, or punch cards, coupons will frequently carry back returning customers so they win the free appetizer or two-for-one meals.
4. Check your labour cost again
Mass layoffs here will be counterproductive to your target. You want to retain or raise sales, and to benefit from giving a major boost. One place you can save on costs is labor, but you need to take a closer look at your day-part sales.
Compare tickets in both the number of sales tickets and the check sum over a business day. With dinner tickets you might be making the same amount of money as lunch, but the evening total fewer tickets.
During the evening, you can cut workers a little and still make the same profits, so the cost would go down.
5. Old-fashioned upselling
When your staff is well qualified they are already tempting your clients with appetizers, beverages and desserts.
Those products are the ones that help push up the overall review and eventually the bottom line.
Have the workers excited about the products you want to sell more, and the consumer will be as excited about trying them as well.
The servers need to learn the menu both forward and backward, so make sure they’ve done it all – including regular specials.
A server that has tasted the Brussels bacon-wrapped sprouts with a dipping lemon-dill sauce is well prepared for sale.
The bottom line is that the profit margin will not grow until you successfully sell the customers high-quality, reasonably priced menu products. That means striking a balance between your costs and profits.