Is Your Menu Meeting the Demands of Today’s Consumer?

Nov 18, 2016

It’s a well-known fact that people eat with their eyes before they get to taste with their mouths. Well-done photography and descriptive menus can really push a customer to choose one dish over another. But what will drive them to keep coming back for more?

You might say service, the quality of the food, and the experience at the restaurant overall. For those things, you’re not wrong, however one thing many restaurants forget to consider when trying to get customers in the door over and over again is how the menu speaks to their customers.

Today’s consumers want something that gives them the feeling that they are eating something unique. For example, no one is going out to eat things that they can cook themselves. They’re going for the fusion foods that millennials helped to create that straddle two or more types of cuisine to create something revolutionary. The result are dishes that consumers gravitate toward because they seem different but aren’t so bizarrely unfamiliar that they’re game on trying them.

Another thing that consumers look for these days are options for eating healthy. Restaurants that offer healthier dishes, or even a small selection of them, are much more likely to get a bigger market share from this group. Farm-to-table concept restaurants also do well in this category simply because fresh is healthier and they tend to customize their offerings better than say a chain restaurant would.

Finally, as more and more people switch to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets, many restaurants are responding to this by creating special dishes for these diners. No one wants to go out for a lame plate of vegetables so it’s crucial to find something that looks and tastes worth the price. It should also be described in an appealing way to entice these consumers to order it.

The rest of course is up to your chef and the team behind the scenes. Creating an idea is one thing but bringing it to life is another. If your head chef can execute brilliantly on these new dishes, there is no doubt that these consumers will return again and again because you spoke to their dietary concerns by reflecting it on your menu.

Take a good look at your menu. If your offerings are all fried or have no option to go meatless or gluten-free, you might be repelling customers from your establishment. There’s no need to go overly poetic on menu descriptions either, particularly if you have a casual eatery, but making things sound more exciting than say “bread, cheese and meat served with fries” will make a major difference in customer perception. And as we know, perception is reality.

If you would like to schedule an informal call to discuss your menu and was to become more innovative give us a call.