By Niki Pacheco, Kulture Konnect
On average, restaurants need to change their menus twice a year to keep patrons coming back.
“Diners prioritize delicious food when choosing a restaurant to visit, followed by quality of service.” (Source)
Contrary to restaurateur’s general belief, 58% of diners choose where they will dine based on the quality of food, while only 22% of diners choose where they will dine based on the quality of service. This goes to show how important your menu is and how it must showcase the wonderful dishes.
Below we’ve outlined eight simple tips for your next restaurant menu launch:
Make Your Menu a Money-Making Machine
Strategize your restaurant’s menu. Do you know which menu items are your stars, dogs and workhorses? Design your menu to highlight your most lucrative items and drive guests to order meals that will get them coming back for more. Put your best margin items at the top of your menu and look at how you display menu prices. For more in-depth details on designing your menu, check out this free menu design guide.
Contact Your Local Restaurant Bloggers & Social Media Influencers
Email every local food blogger and foodie social media influencer informing them about your new menu launch. Invite them to come try your new menu items. Not only will they critique your food but make sure your customer service is on point.
Educate Your Restaurant’s Staff
When guests begin to order, they will no doubt have questions about the food you’re serving. Make sure your staff members understand each menu item. They should know what it tastes like, the main ingredients and the price. Your guests count on your servers to answer all of their questions and be knowledgeable about each menu item.
Become a Vendor at a City-wide Event
Your local city usually will throw an event especially during a holiday such as July 4th or Thanksgiving and Christmas. Visit your city website to find out how to become a vendor. Have your business cards and flyers ready, but most important be sure to pass out small samples of your most popular menu item. Pass out bounce back incentives to potential guests and have them sign up for your email list so you can reach out to them at any moment.
Blog About Your Restaurant’s Menu Launch
If you have a blog page use it to your advantage. Write about your new menu launch. Include enticing photos of your menu items and briefly explain each menu item. Diners like to learn behind the scenes details, so your blog is a great place to share the inspiration behind the new specials. Don’t forget to mention your menu launch date and push out your blog post throughout all of your social media channels.
Send Out a Press Release
Don’t sell yourself short! Not only should you invite bloggers, but don’t be afraid to invite the media. Write a press release outlining all of your new dishes and put it out there to the public. Think big and small. Try to reach out to food critics working for your local newspapers or local news channels. You might want to look into radio stations or podcasters. There are several out there that have restaurant segments.
Announce It on Your Restaurant’s Website
Your restaurant’s website can be a powerful marketing tool if you have the right amount of traffic coming through. But if not, don’t worry, you can always work on this along the way. In the meantime, make sure a couple of your new main menu items are front and center on your homepage. Include images and a short, enticing description.
Join a Food Festival
There are plenty of local beer and wine festivals, cultural food festivals and many more food festivals all over the U.S. Do your research and check your local cities and county events to find out if any food festivals are happening in the near future.
Just remember: the main key is to spread the word about your new menu launch. The eight tips above should help you get a good start on your successful menu launch.
About the Author
From the very beginning, Niki Pacheco has been very creative, writing, illustrating and binding with packing tape her very own children’s book at the ripe age of 8 years old! She began her professional creative studies in Santiago, Chile then went on to graduate from The Art Institute of California – Orange County in 2004. After a year of working in the corporate world, she decided it was time to go after a long time goal and opened the doors to Kulture Konnect Marketing & Design Studio.