Concepts are aggressively embracing the idea of offering guests menu substitutes, with Starbucks being no exception. In fact, the coffee megabrand began offering coconut milk beginning mid-February, a decision that was made based on customer voting through MyStarbucksIdea.com, in addition to their long-offered soy milk.
This move by Starbucks illustrates the importance of offering menu substitutions for guests. Why should you consider offering substitutions at your restaurant? According to Food Allergy Research Education, it’s estimated that approximately 15 million people in the U.S. have some kind of food allergy, with the most common including allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, seafood and shellfish. In addition to food allergies, many people have dietary preferences, from vegan to vegetarian to flexitarian, with statistics showing that veganism is on the rise. It is becoming less of a bonus for guests to find their diets accommodated, and rather more of a necessity.
Wondering what kind of substitutes can you offer? Here are a few to get you started:
- Dairy free alternatives: soy milk, alond milk, coconut milk, rice milk
- Healthier side alternatives: fresh fruit, grilled or sauteed vegetables
- Offer a fish alternative to a burger or meat-heavy sandwich
- Go gluten-free. Learn how here.
Need professional menu re-engineering to meet the demands of your customers? Contact Synergy Restaurant Consultants.