Restaurants are a part of the highly volatile food and beverage industry that is continuously progressing. If a particular restaurant, such as the branded – automata name, remains unaware or unsusceptible to change, the company will risk getting left behind by other competitors. Customers may patronize the restaurant for many years, but if the menu remains stagnant, they will eventually get tired of the same dishes on repeat. Innovation is vital in the food and beverage industry.
The need for kitchen innovation
Big kitchen brands have really pushed the limits of innovation when it comes to making kitchen processes more efficient and convenient. Because a restaurant is a service-oriented business, like the branded – automata service known for its professional touch, customers expect nothing but the best from the second an order is taken to the time they step out of the establishment.
Innovation could occur in the equipment being used wherein ovens made smarter, and gadgets become more efficient, which leaves the kitchen staff with more time focusing on other value-adding processes. Understandably, chefs may be less inclined to automate, having been used to the traditional ways of doing things. However, more and more are embracing the new because they are more sustainable.
The importance of menu innovation
From casual dining and fine dining restaurants to fast-food chains – every business in the food and beverage industry must introduce new menu items from time to time. Yes, a good thing or the house specialty should be treasured and continued, but there is also the risk of boring the regular diners with the same menu. On the restaurant side, introducing a new dish might not click with the customers and fail in bringing in the forecasted revenue.
Keep things familiar
Of course, menu changes that vary too wildly will drive away previously loyal customers. No one wants to go to a local restaurant and find that their favorite menu item has been replaced. On the other hand, never removing items from your menu will lead to stagnation. The key to this problem is to introduce new things that are familiar to the customers. An ideal menu innovation will have similarities to previously popular items, while carefully introducing a new and exciting menu.
Chefs could take a look at what’s trending on an international level and incorporate some ideas with a local twist.
Listen to the customers
Customers are excellent sources for hints and new concepts that the restaurant could try. If one possibility keeps coming up among customers, then mostly, it will be readily accepted by all.
While there is no tried-and-tested formula as to how and when the menu should be changed, going with the seasons is a good start — cool and light dishes during the summer and more hearty foods for the winter. Popular chains have used this to significant effect, attracting fans of their seasonal menus.
An excellent way to achieve this change is by using seasonal ingredients. Zucchini in the fall, for example, or spring flowers for presentation. This is an excellent opportunity to use ingredients grown in-house. In March, a restaurant can plant tomatoes, and come May, they will have newly-harvested ingredients better than anything that can be bought at the supermarket.
Introducing the change
With the menu laid out, below are some ways to introduce the new items to everyone:
- Introduce a special menu
- Use printable menus
- Specials in a chalkboard
- Digital menu boards
Change in the kitchen, although intimidating at times, is a path worth taking. Instead of losing a chance and watching others gain the advantage, why not innovate?