You’re not going to fool your guests if you rely too much on smaller portions or inferior quality product as they’re not going to come back. It’s a very delicate balance when you weigh out the experience for the guest.
Here are a few of the strategies which may work for your restaurant.
- Don’t focus on selling menu items that don’t make a lot of money. Lower cost doesn’t necessarily mean a lower margin. Items with a high cost and a high margin are much better than those with a low cost and a low margin.
- Know what is available seasonally and use those products, as they often have low costs and high margins.
- Purchase product carefully. Too often chefs and kitchen managers purchase too much product and sell it at a low price, driving up cost.
- Consider creative plating and pairing higher-cost proteins with lower-cost choices. For example, a pork chop can be plated with a house-made pork sausage to enable operators to offer a smaller chop while still satisfying the guest.
- Fixed-price menus offer value to guests while allowing operators to limit portion sizes.
- Build strong relationships with vendors, and communicate with them to find out when their oversupply issues might translate into good deals for their customers.