One of the first things your customers judge is your menu. It can be what makes customers walk in or walk on.
With 15 restaurants under his belt and investment stakes in numerous others, how does Marco manage his menus?
Marco oversees when and how all menus in his restaurants change, this way he maintains tight creative control of consistency and standards.
Take a look at the menu across his ‘Wheelers’ brand of restaurants. This control over consistency creates a standard to be relied on.
Marco believes it’s key to making customers happy – it’s important that your customers know they’ll get the same great experience time and again.
Big menus can have their appeal, but don’t make a rod for your own back. Don’t overpromise on the number or variety of menu options. Not only is there nothing worse than sitting down to a meal and being told that half the menu is no longer available, but it’s also likely to lead to much more wastage that will hit your gross profit.
In most of my restaurants, my menus are made up of top sellers and culinary classics offered with slight variations to appeal to a wider range of customer tastes.
“Don’t try to be all things to all men”
For example, in my MARCO’s Restaurant menu we serve Dover Sole in 4 different ways.
Small variations to really suit customers tastes - but keep it simple.
• sauce tartare grilled
• sauce vierge au basilica grilled
• à la sicilienne with lemon grilled
• à la Grenobloise with brown shrimps
I like menus that let the season dictate their specials.
Make your specials about the foods in season. Even though we’ve got used to having ingredients available all year round, sourcing produce in season means they are at their freshest and most flavoursome. They are also at their best price, which means a fantastic opportunity to boost your gross profit.
Make sure you make it clear to your suppliers that you are always interested in all their seasonal produce deals – you’re guaranteed to find a recipe to make it work for your menu.
Every year, I look forward to eating
seasonal treats such as British asparagus in late spring, soft fruit like strawberries during the summer, and British apples and wild mushrooms in the autumn. I like the sense of anticipation this brings.