In a highly competitive environment, restaurants only have one chance to win over customers. With just a glance at the menu, they will decide whether to enter your establishment or continue on to another. Here are six tips to create a lasting first impression.
Keep it simple! Say goodbye to overly elaborate menus and go straight to the point. Customers want to know what they will be eating before making a decision. Don't make up stories, be clear and honest. There's no need to embellish the truth, as this will only lead to disappointment.
Be consistent. Find a common theme for your menu and stick to it. Who wants to eat at a restaurant that specializes in both couscous, pizza, sushi, Peking duck, and tikka masala? Choose your niche based on what you love and what you do best. This will only increase your credibility.
Know your target audience. It's not possible to attract employees for lunch, young people in the evening, families on weekends, and tourists in the summer. Determine your target audience based on your location or choose your location based on the type of customers you want to attract. In either case, focus on meeting the needs of your consumers to win them over.
Showcase your products: describe your specialties, where your products come from, and use appetizing descriptions to list the ingredients. You can even provide photos of the dishes via touch-screen tablets. In a word, appeal to your customers' senses before the food even reaches their eyes.
Follow legal requirements: don't forget to indicate allergens next to each dish, display the menu outside your establishment, and comply with legislation regarding terms such as "homemade" and "prepared with only fresh ingredients." These simple practices reinforce your professionalism and transparency, which will be appreciated by your customers.
Have a smart menu. Update it regularly to avoid boring your regulars and offer daily specials so they can come back almost every day without eating the same thing twice. Use a seasonal menu with seasonal products, allowing you to consume locally and more responsibly. Consider the size of your menu as well. According to a serious study by researchers at Bournemouth University, the ideal number of dishes would be 7 starters, 10 main courses, and 7 desserts to avoid overwhelming your customers. A smaller menu also reassures them about the freshness and quality of your food.
Don't settle for a poorly written or unattractive menu. Your menu should accurately reflect the DNA of your restaurant.
More and more restaurants are using digital menus to showcase their products, reducing paper waste and making it easier for customers to choose.