So you’re happy with your restaurant’s setup and have managed to stay afloat for several months. Well done! So what’s next? Resting is a sure-fire way to destroy your business. Even if regulars have begun coming in, innovation is the key to staying relevant.
One way to keep up is to include trends into your menu. Unless you’re running a mamak or a hawker stall, changing up your menu every now and then may be in your best interest. But just how often should this be done? What should you keep in mind?
1. Changing Prices [restrict]
The ideal period for menu price adjustments is between 1 to 2 months. 3 to 4 is also acceptable. These periods are ideal as price adjustments need to be made according to the price of goods.
Updating your menu according to the seasons or festivities allows to adjust prices by just a little each time. If the cost of an ingredient drastically increases, your price jump won’t be such a shock if you have been updating your menu frequently.
Generally, pricing should be secondary, as the quality of your services and items will determine prices. Major price jumps are rare unless you’re listing certain items by season.
2. Boost and Cut
Every successful business comes down to cash-flow and profits. A typical restaurant’s profit margins are usually a mere five percent. Small unseen changes in food prices can put a dent in these figures.
While it is possible to cover this with the small changes we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to fully analyse your menu once every 6 months. Figure out which items are underperforming in your menu. Either remove those items or change the portion sizes to prevent them from eating into your profits.
Likewise, if you have a best-seller, then you’ll know that customers will be returning for just that dish. Highlight dishes as they become more popular. If you have a few best-sellers, you can consider adding a “chef’s recommendation” section to your menu too!
3. Have A Consistent Theme
If you’ve never heard of Restoran Warisan Sambal Opah then you’re missing out. This restaurant serves RM1 nasi lemak bungkus and has maintained that pricing over the years. While they have branched out into serving other popular sides, they owe their success to the RM1 nasi lemak theme.
Some restaurants are expected to change their menu more often, and some are not. Depending on the theme you pick, you may not have to change your menu all that often. However, it is important to maintain a consistent quality to your restaurant. If Restoran Warisan Sambal Opah started selling pasta carbonara, it would be very confusing for their customers.
With all that said, keep in mind that your restaurant menu is your canvas. You can paint with whatever colours suit you best. Just make sure they fit the theme! Hopefully with the tips above, you’ll be on your way to having a stable and consistent menu for customers.
We surveyed hundreds of F&B owners and managers across Malaysia to bring you some deeper insights into the industry. If you would like to read our report on the Malaysia’s F&B industry, click here.