How many times have you seen this? A restaurant you frequent with the same “daily specials” or “NEW SOUP!” for months on end.
How long can something be new for?
Things like this make a menu feel outdated, out of season, and lazy. However, it’s understandable why businesses do this. For one, there was certainly a time where this was a new menu addition and something to be highlighted. The mistake comes into play when they permanently print that on the main menu, as opposed to having a seasonal or specials menu that can be rotated more frequently.
According to Touch Bistro, a menu should always be changing. This isn’t to say you want to remove your best sellers every 4 months. That’s not the point. Simply use a seasonal menu so when you have a limited time item, or a short-lived special, you can have that secondary place to house that, without having to reprint your whole original menu and waste time and money.
Taking it a step farther to a recommendation we gave in a previous blog post, use a QR or online seasonal menu. This would completely eliminate the need for reprints or extra costs.
This QR menu works even if your menu doesn’t lend itself to being seasonal, or you want to have the same menu items most of the year with a very select few specials peppered in’; QR menu is the way to go. You can alter prices and or make changes moment by moment, even for something as simple as being out of stock on a popular dessert.
Having a seasonal menu is important.
Gourmet Kitchen actually claims it can make or break your reputation and provide a little pizazz to entice more repeat business. Customers do love their favorite order, but they also like to try new things from quality restaurants they trust.
A full menu revision takes time, and your additions or replacements may only really need to be there for a few weeks. It is unrealistic to get a new menu any time an items composition changes. This leads to another unsightly mistake on restaurant menus.
Crossing out, whiting out, and or simply removing a page from a menu is just as unsightly as having an eternally “new” menu item. This should be avoided at all costs. Of course initial mistakes will happen, and that is why as recommended in previous post we suggest you use a professional copywriter and designer for your menus; to avoid mistakes like those. Beyond the planning phase, there should be no spelling or grammar mistakes or overlapping text/photos. These common mistakes can be avoiding with proper tools and planning.
The menu is often the first impression a customer gets to read the ‘feel’ of a restaurant. Seasonal or in-stock menus help a customer know they are getting a quality, fresh, and thought out product. Hard-to-read fonts and too much text can make it difficult for customers to take in. Again, you don’t want to overwhelm or give them the wrong impression.
New menu items are great to implement sporadically to keep it exciting. Exciting however, shouldn’t be expensive. Save yourself time and money while growing your market by simply being smart with your menus and how they are designed.