I meet with store owners and key decision makers on a weekly basis. You have those that are always looking for whats new and others who just keep doing things the way they have always done it. I am a big proponent of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”. However, just because sales are good and volume is up does not mean you should not offer new items or try new specials.
New items and specials are not something you only do when there is a problem.
It is what you do to keep your current customers engaged while attracting new patrons to your location. Let’s think about this for a moment. Have you ever ate somewhere and tried their special? Did you order that new small plate, appetizer or entree to make your standard meal more adventurous? Did you tell others about that experience or share the joy with your dining party? Word of mouth advertising is the best in the biz. Use new items to build upon your locations customer experience. Keep the wow factor alive and well.
Now say you didn’t like that new item or your customers are not satisfied. That is the big fear of “Try New Things”. I don’t care who you are, this will happen to all food locations whether it is a new food item or a proven menu staple. Don’t let fear stop you from trying something new in your location. How you respond to customer issues is what makes all the difference. You want to hear feed back, both good and bad. Acknowledge their situation and thank them for their input. Then seek to find them an alternative they will enjoy. How you handle objections can build loyal fans of your establishment.
Turn potential negative situations in to a wins by resolving issues with thoughtful care.
My fear for those who keep doing the same old thing is that over time they will start to loose their customer traffic. I am not suggesting you have to have a new item each week, but instead take thoughtful planning to at least have quarterly or bi-monthly menu specials. This keeps your menu fresh for both your customers and your staff. New menu items will give your staff a talking point to connect with customers. The more you can connect with your clientele the more of an experience it is verses just being a transaction.
In the competitive world of food people have a lot of options. Stick to your core menu items that perform well, but always be thinking ahead. All major brands adapt their menu offerings over the years. You would be surprised how by just having a new food promo item it turns into an automatic up sell. The customer will get their usual favorite but try the new item to share among their dinning party.
I hope you found this post helpful. My mission is to make operations easy to understand. It would be a huge blessing to me if you would take a moment to share this post on your social media sites. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to share them below. I look forward to hearing from you.
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