food and beverage underground

A Fluid Restaurant Menu Is A Must With The Increasing Prices We Face Today

You restaurant menu needs to be fluid. With all the talk about recession you can bet your sales will be down some over the next several months but there are factors that need to be addressed long before you start trying to drive in more business namely costs. A bigger factor effecting the industry today is not the shrinking sales but the skyrocketing food costs we have been experiencing over the last few years. The prognosis for the remainder of this year is looking even bleaker.

We seem to have a perfect storm for pricing this year. With the cost of oil reaching record highs, a drought in Australia, and more and more corn going to ethanol production everything seems to be increasing in price. Eggs were up some 60% last month, milk 20% and pasta items 10% the writing is on the wall.

What does all this mean for your menu? It means that you have to stay on top of things like you never have before. Your menu in these times can make or break your business this year.

For starters you need to go through your restaurant menu and cost each and every item out to see where you stand now. Chances are a thorough costing will point out glaring problems that already exist on your menu. Don’t be shocked but start thinking of how to handle it now.

Once you have your menu costed out its time to evaluate not only where you stand but also to make plans for what the rest of the year is going to throw at you.

At this point you should have an idea of what you need and what cost structure you have to work with. Now you get to be the chef. Remember, being a chef is not the ability to create something that is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it’s about producing an plate for your customers that they love while producing it under the constraints your kitchen puts on you and your operational bank account demands!

The last thing any restauranture wants to do is increase menu prices, especially in very competitive markets, but after all other cost saving measures like portion and waste control have been maximized you are left with little choice but to raise your restaurant menu prices.

The bottom line is to make the price adjustments you need now as almost every newspaper and media outlet has soften the blow for you. Almost everyone has been bombarded with the news that prices are increasing so this is the time to put your menu changes out without shocking your customer base.

Take a look at your competitors as they have either already adjusted, are in the process of adjusting or will follow your lead within days of your adjustments. Bottom line is this; no operation can afford to take the hit on the thin margins we all work on any longer!

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