6 Golden Rules You Need to Abide By While Designing Your Menu!

You may serve the absolute best food in town, but if your customers don’t order it, what good will it do you and your brand? We’ve often said that a good menu is the heart of any successful restaurant. After all, your menu is the showcase for your restaurant’s signature dishes as well as a representation of the theme, ambience and the style of your establishment.

A properly designed menu will also serve as a powerful tool to persuade and influence your customers to order more. Therefore, as a restaurant owner, it is extremely important for you to carefully plan, organize and design your menu!

Before you begin: The Food Cost

Food cost simply refers to the menu-price of a certain dish when compared to the cost of the ingredients used to prepare the same dish. In layman terms, the amount you pay for the dish will determine the amount you charge for it.
The food cost is generally 30-35% of the final price. That means that if you are paying ₹100(food-cost) to prepare a dish, you should charge about ₹286(final price) for it. It may seem a bit inflated at first, but this cost encompasses everything from paying someone to make the dish, to serve it and to clean up afterward. Everything in your restaurant, from your electricity bill to the payroll has to be covered by the food you serve.

Price is Right

Figuring out what the right price for your dishes is one of the most important steps in designing your menu. You have to keep in mind the food cost, while providing Value-for-Money to your customers.
A simple formula you could use to find the minimum menu price is:

Min. Menu Price = Food Cost/0.35

This will give you a rough idea on the minimum amount you must charge to make a profit. You could, of course, charge more or less! You could even use relative pricing.

Pick the Right Material

The answer to “What is the right material for my menu?” depends entirely on your restaurant. Keep in mind that your menu is an accurate representation of your brand’s image. Different materials can provide different impressions to your diners, just by their overall look and feel.
If you are, let’s say, a high-end, classy space, you could use hardcovers; whereas, a simple paper menu on a cardboard will do the trick if you’re a simple café.

In addition, think long term – if you laminate your menu, every reprint will be expensive. You’d be better off using simple plastic covers in which updated items can be slid in.

Design Logically

Your customers want to eat; not go on a scavenger hunt! Avoid incorporating huge chunks of text in your menu. Your menu should be very easy to read and very well organized.

Do not have illegible fonts. An old English font may seem very classy, but it is very hard to read. Also, make it very easy to find items. A simple way to do this is Appetizers first, desserts last!

Build up your Vocabulary!

The description of your menu-items is a prelude to the actual eating. You should spend time on your choice of words, for words are a useful tool to fire up your customer’s imagination!

You don’t have to use sophisticated language; your aim is to educate and entice the diners about the dishes. It may seem tacky, but we believe that buzzwords usually get the job done!

Promote your Signatures

Your signatures are usually your highest selling dishes. Your menu should be such that the signature dishes catch the eye of your customers. A box or well-placed-space will draw attention. You could also emphasize the importance of the dish and promote it using a simple “Chef’s Recommendation” tag! 😊

Get Customer Feedback

Now that you’re finished with the price and design of the menu, you have to constantly test its effectiveness. The best way to do this is to ask your customers.

How InResto DineIn Helps You Upsell Your Dishes!

With inResto DineIn, you can create a digitized menu that diners can view with the help of a link while they wait for a table. This digital menu can highlight your signature dishes on top and even help you promote combo deals. Another great feature of this digitized menu is that it gives you great insights on your top-selling dishes.

Did you know that 80% of all diners look for a menu online, before physically visiting your establishment? Well, now you do! It is a very nice idea to have your menu and your own online-presence, not just to let the customers know, but also to promote your own brand. inResto is a suite of products that will help you manage your menu, as well as your restaurant.

Remodelling Your Space? 8 Tips You Must Follow to Successfully Transform Your Restaurant!

Have you ever felt that your restaurant has lost some of its shine? Seen a few regular customers become not-so-regular, maybe? Perhaps you’re wondering why the new Italian joint across the road is attracting longer queues, even though you know that your food offerings are much tastier?

The reason is quite simple – if your restaurant has been around for a while, your policies, menu and even the ambience may feel a little tired. Diners’ these days love to have an ‘experience’ every time they go out. This ‘experience’ is what separates the best from the rest!

You may be serving the best food in your genre, yet, unless you keep on improving the customer experience, you’re unlikely to see much growth. As a restaurant, if you’ve waited till the time it seems like you need to start afresh and remodel, you’ve waited too long.

That being said, renovating your restaurant is a hard task. Here’s a simple and effective guide to get you started.

  • Customer is King

Without a doubt, your customers are the single most valuable resource you have. Before doing anything else, you have to listen and analyse what your guests say.

People love to see effort and will leave constructive feedback – 8 times out of 10. You can even host a contest, or a giveaway (discount coupons etc.) to give them an added incentive. Usually, this process of ‘asking’ should be done when they’re waiting for the bill.

One quick way to get started with this is to visit inResto’s feedback and let us do it for you. 🙂

  • Outline and stick to your budget

Here’s a fact: Remodels and renovations always cost a lot more than you expect them to and a lot more than you want them to. Let us give you an example, – You want to change your restaurant’s wallpapers, but upon removal, you find mould underneath. You need to remove this too, of course.

Respect your investors and stick to a budget that you can spend. It’s always wise to have a contingency budget, usually 5-10% of your total budget. So if your total budget is Rs 50 lakhs, you must keep 5 lakhs as a buffer.

  • Consider your Revenue Generators

Suppose your bar and terrace are your biggest revenue generators. Renovations offer a perfect chance to improve upon them!

You could add a bigger, better and a more spectacular bar to increase your alcohol sales. You could perhaps change the entire décor of the terrace area, while keeping your theme consistent.

  • Take Inspiration!

For instance, one of the most trending restaurants in the country; Robot in Chennai is a success story because of massive renovation and remodelling. Earlier known as MOMO, the owners have retained the Thai and Chinese menu but revamped the entire theme along with introducing robots in lieu of waiters!

  • Prepare Your Checklist

You need an architect, a designer, an equipment supplier and a general contractor at the very least. The contractor will then provide you with sub-contractors, workers and all the manpower you need.

If your team and vision is strong, it would go smoother than expected.

  • One fell swoop?

Do you wish to stay open during the renovation? Are you willing to put in the extra effort to manage your bookings, while fielding complaints of noise from your guests?

You need to be clear with your goals. If there is only a minor renovation needed, you could stay open. However, major projects are not a good time to stay open.

  • Your team is your biggest asset, not the four walls

Your staff will look at you for guidance during and after the renovation. They’ll need money to sustain themselves and keep them happy! You could either get them a  temporary job somewhere else or send them on a paid vacation.

  • Let the world know

Use your ‘legacy-data’ and reach out to all your customers. Unless you let people know that you’re open, they will not know!

Send out SMS’s, start email campaigns, offer discounts, and light up your social media accounts – your imagination is your only limit.

Successful renovation and proper advertisement will let you see a 10-25% increase in sales straight away. Afterwards? It’s all about maintaining and increasing your value.

Just remember, inResto is always here to help you!

Efficiency

Basics to Brilliance: Incorporating Technology in Restaurants to Increase Efficiency

These days, employing the latest technologies is playing a huge role in raising efficiency, cutting costs, minimizing staff requirement and enhancing dining experiences. So, along with basic technology like online table reservations, restaurants have started adopting the latest advancements to stay up to speed and be as efficient as possible.

A Tablet For Everything!

Do you handle all online reservations and feedback via tablets? What if you had a tablet to manage everything? From an app to order right from the table, taking customer details to get to know your target audience to creating loyalty programs; tablets help store data in one place and also improve your diner’s experience. If you employ these technical advancements, your diners can order without waiting for servers, they would respond to your loyalty programs better and you can also save their preferences and allergies for further use. It’s a win-win!

Customizable Feedback Technology

You might be using a tablet to record feedback, but it wouldn’t be that helpful if you’re still following a simple format. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the feedback form could automatically ask the customer to elaborate through follow-up questions on elements that got a low rating? That way, you could get deeper into the problem without any follow-up calls or angry diner rants on facebook. Fortunately, there is a solution that takes all this into consideration. We’ll come back to that in a moment.

Order From the Table

Wouldn’t it make life a lot easier if people could order online right from their table, with all orders show up on a single tablet that gets automatically updated on your POS system? Ordering online also has an advantage of a digital menu. You can introduce new items and update this menu quite effortlessly, not to mention the level of detail you can give for every dish, with images, descriptions and maybe even calorie and allergen information.

Multiple Payment Avenues

Paying by cash or debit/credit cards has been a regular practice for ages. Now, when e-wallets like Paytm, Mobikwik and Freecharge are gaining popularity, one must give their diners other options too.

Adopting these emerging trends in technology is a must these days! With inResto, you can handle almost everything smoothly through a tablet! For instance, with inResto DineIn, your diners can order online straight from the table and wouldn’t have to wait for servers. With inResto Feedback, you can customize your feedback forms. Once you gather valuable feedback, you could use it to create apt loyalty programs through inResto Loyalty and parallelly run campaigns to re-engage diners via inResto Campaigns.