Changing your Menu Often: Should You, or Not?

25 Jan

A constantly changing menu can keep a restaurant interesting for returning customers.

A constantly changing menu has the potential to build customer intrigue, persuading loyal customers to frequent the venue on a regular basis in order to get a taste of the chef’s new creations. However, constant menu changes require monetary investment in the form of ingredients for recipe and dish trials, and work hours for employees responsible for developing the dishes. A changing menu also presents a danger of disappointing customers who will fall in love with a dish that they know won’t be repeated in the near future. Weighing the pros and cons of having a menu that changes often should be done on a venue to venue basis in order to reach a good decision about whether or not to adopt the custom.

Why you Should

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People get bored really easily. I’m sure we can all relate to that feeling of staring into a full fridge, not knowing what to eat, bored with all the options and possibilities we can think of. One cure for that could be to dine out. The wide variety of restaurants

in urban areas offers diners an easy solution to not wanting to cook and to looking for an interesting meal. However, most people will still manage to get bored of the options they often come to know so well. Therefore, it is in a restaurant’s best interest to keep customers interested and coming back, making sure they have a constant flow of business. One of the ways to do this is to continuously offer interesting dishes, which change on a regular or semi-regular basis, while offering meals which are consistently delicious. Changing your menu often, incorporating interesting ingredients, can be the key to intriguing customers into returning to your venue on a regular basis.

Why you Shouldn’t

You know that feeling when you are craving one of your favorite dishes to the point where you are willing to drive 40 minutes to the restaurant that makes it best? Restaurants regularly changing around their menus will likely be excluded from the potential of receiving business from a scenario like the one described above. A regularly changing menu may have the effect of convincing customers to come back to try the new dishes, but it will minimize the number of customers coming back to look for one of their favorite dishes. This downside can be solved in two ways. First, if the menu is seasonal, customers may be convinced to frequent the venue multiple times in a short period, in order to get their fill of that favorite dish. Second, restaurants may want to consider having certain dishes which rotate on a regular basis, while leaving the best sellers on the menu for longer periods of time or even permanently.
Another factor to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to change a venue’s menu regularly is the costs involved with such changes. Food costs for developing and creating new recipes and dishes must be taken into account. If you are looking to create new dishes for the summer menu, you will want to do so in the spring, when the typical summer ingredients are not yet in season and may be pricy. The dishes will have to be tried out, down to the plating, which requires the ingredients to be used, sometimes multiple times, in order to get the dish down right. The staff’s work time invested in learning how to prepare the dishes also costs money for the business. Such expenses may not be worth it if the menu changes don’t bring clear added profits and benefits to the venue.

Regular menu changes may be a good idea for venues looking to build a high-level reputation for themselves. However, when it comes to wholesome family or comfort food, venues may be better sticking to their classics. Menu changes demand the investment of time and money, and may not reap big enough benefits to be worth it for some venues. Food businesses should consider these factors before making a decision about whether or not to offer seasonal or daily menus.

One Reply to “Changing your Menu Often: Should You, or Not?”

  1. Hi StephenGreat presentation this mnonirg thank you. Love the way you have blended your passion of vintage machinery with a business heartbeat with this site. Will direct my husband to it it seems you have a mutual interest in old noisy machinery.Best WishesAng Wilson

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