April 6, 2021

Simplified menus using versatile ingredients was a trend that started prior to the pandemic but has become more important as businesses look to drive costs down for survival. From quick-service to fine dining, streamlining is happening in every segment of the restaurant industry. Operators are downsizing menus to make their businesses more efficient and profitable during these critical times.

The challenges of 2020 forced many businesses to look closer at their menu items and concentrate on items they know their customers enjoy and crave. This focus has allowed restaurants to eliminate items that don’t boost sales, while also minimizing inventory costs. “Items not driving sales and contributing little to profitability are taking time and focus away from those that do,” says Maeve Webster, President of consulting firm Menu Matters. By removing least popular or more expensive menu items, there should be limited impact to the bottom line.

There are several cost-cutting benefits that are achieved with streamlined menus:

  • Offerings featuring the same ingredients in multiple recipes allow operators to order in bulk and achieve better economies of scale.
  • By focusing on top-selling items, operators can place efforts on finding ingredients that are guaranteed to travel well.
  • Smaller menus have made it easier to meet demands for curbside, pick-up and delivery orders.
  • Streamlining has allowed operators to be able to work with a reduced staff.

As we enter the post-pandemic era, streamlining is an effective strategy to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, while still pleasing customers.



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