Why and how to change dishes on the menu? Discover how to take advantage of the new season to give a boost to the attractiveness of your restaurant.
Back to school, the ideal time to renew your card
In general, restaurants rotate with a renewed card twice a year: one for the spring/summer season, and another for the fall/winter season. Some go further and change cards 4 times a year, each new season. If a restaurant can only change its menu once a year, the best time is definitely March. This is the month when customers are the most eager for news: returning from holidays, this is the period when new habits are most likely to be put in place. In September, a new menu will attract new customers by playing on the novelty effect, but also to retain its existing customers.
The new map, an evolution rather than a revolution
However, be careful not to upset the habits of its customers by changing the map. Most guests come back to a facility because they know the type of cuisine they will find there. Many even come for a particular dish … Renewing the card is a difficult exercise, which should not dilute the spirit of the restaurant or its culinary brand. Modifications should be sprinkled with care so as not to disturb customers.
At the organizational level, a new map also implies profound changes for its employees. A completely renewed menu would require a change for the cooks and the supply circuits, not to mention the staff in the room who will have to familiarize themselves with the new dishes to showcase them to the customers. The new map must, therefore, be an evolution of the previous one and not a revolution.
How to change your card
In March, the new card must be modified by small touches: we will keep the most popular dishes and sellers. To identify these untouchables, the best is to consult sales statistics. One can also decide to sacralize the “identity” dishes, which allow associating a restaurant with a regional soil or a specific gastronomic tradition. Then add dishes that are considered complementary. To renew your card, it is inadvisable to take out a card from a previous year. Increasing prices is also to be avoided: the tariff range is one of the first criteria for positioning a restaurant.
Slate, an alternative to the map that is popular
To change the map, many signs are turning to slate. Terroir and modern at the same time, it makes it possible to attract the passer-by, to work with fresh products and to renew its dishes every day if one wishes it. Slate has become fashionable again over the past decade. So much so that some restaurants take the plunge and give up the card, only to work with the slate. This practice has its advantages: customer loyalty, reduced fresh produce inventory, less routine for cooks. But be careful to keep consistency in the rotation of dishes! A good compromise is to alternate card and slate, a solution that more and more restaurants are adopting.