As restaurants continue to vie for the consumer’s attention, menus continue to become increasingly niche. While focusing on a theme for your menu and restaurant is a good idea to attract specific customers, having a varied menu with specials maybe help draw in larger crowds.
This doesn’t mean you have to alienate certain groups of customers, it just means you might focus on a few smaller ideas for a specials menu while keeping the larger menu varied.
1. They Create More Revenue
Specials menus aren’t just about offering the best your restaurant has to offer. It’s also about offering premium dishes to customers at a premium price. Customers are more likely to order them than a regular menu dish because they are displayed more prominently and are usually only available for a limited time.
2. They Let Your Chefs Get Creative
A small specials menu is a good way to excite and motivate your kitchen staff. More than anyone else, the chefs know what is served the most and how people prefer to order dishes. This will help them craft special dishes that will appeal to your regular customers.
3. They Create a Buzz
Customers are more likely to recommend a restaurant to their friends if they taste something truly unique. A dynamite appetizer, drink or entrée special will do just this. Better yet, a weekly special on certain items will create a lasting buzz that will have customers coming back for more.
Now that you know why to create a special menu, it’s time to decide what kind of specials will work for you and your restaurant.
1. Weekly Specials
Weekly specials are great if you are focused on repeat customers and drawing in large crowds. Offering a special on sandwiches, burgers or different drinks on a certain day of the week will give customers a deal they can rely on and recommend.
2. Limited Time Specials
Limited time specials change often– usually with the seasons. The chefs, who know what ingredients are in season and can be obtained locally, usually create these menus. Limited time specials create a sense of urgency with customers. They are more likely to order a special if they know it might not be available next time they visit.
3. Package Deals
A “package” specials menu lumps more than one course together. In addition to your full, regular menu, you might consider creating a bundled menu that gives a customer a soup or salad, appetizer and entrée. Prices on these specials are fixed and often include premium dishes, thus increasing revenue.
By implementing one or more of these specials menus at your restaurant, you will increase your odds of having a more successful and fulfilling business. Your customers will appreciate the attention to detail and new options and you will certainly appreciate the increased revenue and larger crowds.