Tag Archives: Restaurant

Restaurant Menus: What Not To Do!

1. Don’t make your menu look like a price list

If your menu lists all your items on one side of the page with a line of dots connecting each item to its price, you are inviting your customers to order their food based on how much everything costs. This type of menu allows customers to compare prices on all your menu items, thus unintentionally highlighting all your lower-priced items. Instead, embed the price into the description of your menu item. Don’t highlight it, or make it another colour. Bottom line, you don’t want to attract attention to the price.

2. Don’t use a menu that is out of date

Don’t use the same menu that you have had in your restaurant for the past 10 years. Update your menu regularly, preferably to fit the different seasons featuring fresh foods. Keep all your signature dishes and customer favourites, but take the opportunity to try out new menu items by first offering them as appetizers. If they get good reviews, then make it an entree on your next menu revision. You can also offer daily specials. Consider adding the specials that received the best feedback onto the menu permanently.

3. Don’t put too many items on the menu

Your menu should not read like a book. One of the biggest mistakes that restaurant and food service owners and operators make is to try to put too many items on the menu to try to please everyone. Too much choice will confuse your customers, and turn their dining experience into a frustrating one, as well as drive up your food costs.

4. Don’t forget your brand

Make sure that your restaurant’s brand and logo appear frequently on your menu, and that the menu is cohesive with the rest of your operation including decor, uniforms, other promotional materials, etc.

5. Don’t overcharge

Ensure that the prices you charge are competitive with other restaurants in your area. It’s better to raise your drink prices and lower your food prices if you want to attract more customers, as they are more likely to scrutinize the cost of the food rather than the beverages. However, don’t make your food so cheap that you don’t earn a profit on it. Customers are looking for good value rather than cheap food.

6. Don’t cram everything onto the menu

Have separate menus for your drinks and desserts. These items can get lost in your main menu, but will attract more attention on their own — especially with photos.

7. Don’t do it all yourself

If you think your menu could be better, consider hiring a consultant to look it over. Sometimes, a few simple changes to a menu could make you thousands of dollars more in profits.

Choosing the Perfect Restaurant Location

Choosing the absolute perfect restaurant location, both inside and out, is perhaps one of the most important decisions you will ever make during this earliest stage of owning a business. Your restaurant’s physical locale can often mean the difference between staying in business and becoming yet another dire statistic in this ever competitive industry.

There are several varying factors to consider when it comes to choosing a restaurant location such as determining the prospective area’s population base. Instead of taking the route of a costly site survey the way a large corporation or chain would, take advantage of the free information available to determine a site’s surrounding population count.

Besides public reports by local governments concerning things like unemployment rates or obtaining information from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), also check census reports, which are done every ten years, and look at housing values before deciding on one particular location over another.

Is the unemployment rate in the area more than four percent? What are houses and commercial properties selling for and what is the general state of the real estate industry in the area? Are there too many sellers but not enough buyers? If so, this could be a clear indicator you should keep looking elsewhere before setting up shop. Also ask yourself what type of attractions, businesses, and institutions are nearby that will help to bring potential customers into your establishment.

Restaurant location is far more than determining the population or population growth of an area as it’s imperative to learn of the surrounding competition and, hopefully, many possible allies that will help to bring about reciprocal business.

If your restaurant is located near several other establishments of differing venues, will there be ample parking to accommodate your guests? People will not want to walk half a mile before reaching their car after dining out, so a nearby, well-lit, and easily accessible parking is a convenience you will definitely want to incorporate into your business. If you won’t be able to have your own lot, ensure there’s one somewhere close for the public to use.

When choosing the ideal restaurant location you’ll also want to consider the matters of accessibility and visibility. Have you ever noticed that there are a plethora of major restaurant chains located just near the exits of major highways, freeways, and thoroughfares? There’s a logical reason for this as more traffic means more customers and the most successful of new restaurants tend to be those that are easy to get to and easy to find.

Securing your restaurant location is a vital step that should be done even before writing business plans, applying for loans, creating menus, and definitely before advertising for customers as this first move is the one that’s most crucial to your new establishment’s success.