11 Tips on Creating A Winning Restaurant Takeout Menu
With sharp declines in same-store sales in both casual dining and fast-food restaurants, this year has been challenging for many restaurant owners. As a result of a drop in customer traffic, and rising food costs, restaurant owners are searching for ways to trim costs and increase sales. Some restaurants are broadening their menus and experimenting with new business models, while others have gone to a more tech-savvy route.
Sandy Korem, CEO and founder of The Festive Kitchen, suggests the answer to these problems may be in your own restaurant’s kitchen in the form of take-home catering. In a previous Socialdraft article, Sandy discussed how this was a huge revenue stream that kept her going through the 2008 recession.
Take-home catering is simply the packaging of food for easy pick up for customers to serve at home with a little preparation. Since you already have the staff, the recipes, the kitchen space, and customers, Sandy insists the concept is a gold mine, and will improve your restaurant’s bottom line by reducing waste, lowering the cost of goods sold, and increasing profits.
And providing a takeout menu is a great opportunity to attract customers who may want to purchase your food for picnics, parties and other events. According to the book Restaurant Marketing for Owners and Managers, if you own a quick-service establishment, takeout business could account for up to 70% of your customers. However, even if you own a full-service restaurant, takeout can probably add about 10% to your revenues.
The real bonus in establishing a takeout (and possibly a delivery) service is that you can increase business without significantly increasing your standard cost of operation. Of course one additional but necessary investment will be in creating a takeout menu for your restaurant.
Here are 11 tips on planning a takeout menu, courtesy of Cadence Michaels:
1. Plan the food items that you would like to offer on your takeout menu. Selecting a simple menu will make order fulfillment easy for you and make choosing a takeout meal easy for your guests.
2. Divide your takeout offerings into categories, should you choose to do so. For example, you could have a category for appetizers, which could include garlic bread, french fries and mozzarella sticks. Then, move on to entrees, sides and desserts.
3. Determine prices for each menu item. Ensure that your pricing is consistent. You may want to price items in full dollar amounts or ending in 50 cents, or price items ending with nine cents. For example, a tuna sandwich can be priced at $4.00, and fries can be $1.50. Or, the tuna sandwich can be $3.99 and the fries can be $1.49.
4. Design Your Menu. Open Microsoft Word (or other word-processing software) and begin a new document. Save your document before you begin entering any information. Save your menu periodically as you create it.
5. Create a border for your menu. To do this in Word 2007, click the “Page Layout” tab and select “Page Borders.” A simple border is best so people can focus on the menu choices, although a border with pictures of ice cream cones can be appropriate for a takeout ice cream shop. If you would prefer to make your menu fancier, you can purchase pre-printed stationery and print your menu on the already decorated paper.
6. Place a menu title at the top of your menu using Word art. Select the “Insert” tab, and select “WordArt.” Follow the prompts until you create a header that matches your restaurant’s attitude and theme. Headers such as “Takeout Menu” or “Casey’s Restaurant Takeout Menu” are simple, easy-to-understand options.
7. Add your restaurant’s logo to your menu. On the “Insert” tab, you will see the option to add a picture or to add clip art. Choose the option to add a picture, and add the restaurant’s logo.
8. In bold, type the category header for the first section of your menu. Enlarge the font to at least font-size fourteen. Center the heading, if you choose. Press enter twice.
9. Type the name of your first menu item. Press tab repeatedly to move the cursor toward the right of the page and enter the price of the item. Do the same for all of the other menu items in this category.
10. Enter the header and menu items for the remaining menu categories. If your menu continues onto a second page, ensure that the second page begins with a new category. Do not begin a menu section on one page and continue it onto the second, because restaurant guests may not realize that the menu options continue on the second page.
11. If your menu is two pages, ensure that your menu is set to print on the front and back of the same page. Select “Print Preview” and ensure that the menu fits well on the desired number of pages. Make any necessary font adjustments to your menu and save the finished product.
How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts
Now that you have a gorgeous take out menu, it’s time to share the news on social media. Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:
- Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
- Monitor your online reputation
- Have multiple people create and post content
- Pull Reports
- and much more