Reducing menu size could improve kitchen performance, help with inventory management, and reduce waste.
For example, healthcare sites could consider using well-accepted patient menu items in the retail setting on certain days to streamline food production.
Identify high- cost, low- profit menu items
Replace high-cost items with popular lower cost items
Remove items where cost has risen so much that pricing the item for a reasonable food cost would be considered as a negative in customers’ eyes (last year, blue crab prices rose so much that an 8- ounce crab cake sandwich was being priced at $45 on the menus of casual restaurants in Baltimore).
Look for lower-cost alternatives to the high-cost items ie. Lamb Weston’s costs may have increased, where McCain or Exclusive Branded items present a better alternative - same item better cost
Review your Top 25 menu items regularly
Featuring lower cost menu items or specials can help to reduce overall food cost
Using Specials can reduce waste and push guests to lower cost/higher profitability items and can lead to discovering items that can be placed on future “permanent” menus
Evaluate your side dishes – consider lower cost alternatives for garnish and sides – do not assume Fries will be the customers’ choice. Offer small salads (Panzanella, mixed color slaw) cup-of-soup, etc.
Upsize some sides (baking potato) for plate coverage to allow for a smaller protein portion
Consider oven, grill, or broiler prepared items to replace certain fryer prepared products to save on high-cost frying shortening
Consider pre-cut in-season vegetables to help with reduced labor.
Review your prices – the cost must be passed on to the customer, be creative in how that is achieved – people pay more to be in a Starbucks because of the brand and the atmosphere – consider your end user and think about how you can add more value for little cost if the prices are going up – make it an experience