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How to Simplify Your Menu for Greater Restaurant Profits

Kitchen Management, Restaurant Operations - June 28, 2021 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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In your restaurant, your food and beverage products are your most important assets. The more you optimize what’s in your restaurant’s inventory, the more profitable your business will be. 

So, why is it that so many restaurants have huge menus? The amount of inventory needed back of house to support large menus will only lead to thrown out product, food and beverage spoilage and deadstock. 

All of this has a huge impact on how profitable your restaurant is.

Instead, it’s important to focus on your menu in terms of profitability - not quantity. Maximizing your revenue is all about understanding the menu items that move and building an inventory management strategy that focuses on profits. 

A simplified menu can do wonders when it comes to increasing restaurant profitability. In this blog, Sculpture Hospitality has listed four tips that will help you simplify your menu for improved profits.

Cross-utilizing ingredients

When you bring inventory into your restaurant, it’s likely that it’s used for one dish and nothing else. This greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll end up with deadstock or product spoilage. 

Cross-utilizing inventory across your entire menu, from starters to desserts, will ensure you are able optimize your inventory for maximum profits. 

For example, if you have salmon on the menu as an entree, you should use it in other dishes across your menu. Break it down and make a ceviche out of it, have salmon tartare as an appetizer and include a salmon burger as a main. 

When you bring one product into your restaurant’s inventory, think about all of the other ways it can be used to maximize that asset across your menu. This will limit how much food and beverage your restaurant wastes, and in turn will optimize profits. 

Past purchases

To understand what products to choose when simplifying your menu, it’s crucial that you look back at your restaurant’s past sales and inventory purchases data. This will give you a good indication of what menu items are selling well, and which ones are most profitable.

With some clear visibility into how much inventory your restaurant is using each accounting period, and how much of each menu item you are selling, you will be able to gain clarity into how profitable each dish is. 

This gives you the data you need to clearly understand how to maximize your restaurant’s profits. 

Read our blog, ‘How to Calculate Your Bar or Restaurant Inventory Usage’ for more information.

Guest favorites and daily specials

With clear insight into inventory and sales data, you can begin to scale back your menu so that it includes the guest favorites and daily, weekly or monthly specials that all sell well. 

You want to focus on the items that not only sell well, but also make your business the most money.

Look back at your last few years of volume and really pin down the menu items that are your guests’ favorite and also have the highest profit margins. Keeping these star items on your new simplified menu will almost guarantee that they will sell well and bring your restaurant higher profits.

To calculate your menu items with the highest profit margins, make sure to calculate food costs accurately within your restaurant. 

When you simplify your menu to some favorite dishes and specials, your business will also be able to cut down on labour costs. No longer will you need a huge prep team to get all the dishes on your menu ready, as you will have downsized your menu to the items that sell the best and make the most money.

Get creative

Last but not least, get creative with your inventory! Encourage your staff to be creative with inventory that is sitting on your shelf - not only will it help you shift deadstock, but it’s great for the guest experience.

This could include anything from using a bottle of wine to make sangria, to doing a barrel-aged infusion with a bourbon that’s been sitting on your back bar and not shifting for the past year.

Your deadstock is liquid cash, and you need to find creative ways to sell it on to boost profitability. 

By taking all these tips on board to simplify your menu and be creative, your restaurant will have streamlined its profitability. 

Want to learn more about how effective inventory management is a crucial aspect of driving up restaurant profits? Contact Sculpture Hospitality today. Our team of local inventory management experts would love to answer any questions that you may have. 

Contact your Local Inventory Consultant Today