One of the biggest reasons why a restaurant has a hard time growing is because the owner is so stubborn when it comes to improving his menu. This is especially true of chefs who move over from Europe and have been cooking the same dishes for years and years. They have such high egos that even when customers complain about their menu items they can’t see the truth and think all their customers don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t make this mistake if you plan to open a second restaurant in the next city over. Rarely a restaurant’s menu never needs to change, and it’s not because of luck. Usually these people did immense research before making their menu in the first place. They handed out surveys to figure out what kind of restaurant was needed in this area and what people were expecting when it came to taste and variety.
So I warn you as soon as you get more than 3 complaints about one item on your menu, remove it and replace it with 2 new items because another big mistake owners make is not having enough options to choose from. Of course some customers will order the same thing every time but all the ones who don’t will stop coming once they’ve run out of new things to order, so change your menu!
A perfect example of why this is so important is this story: My father ran his business so strictly and was so unwilling to change his menu that he openly argued with customers whenever one said his menu sucked. My father moved to Vancouver BC from Italy and he made all his sauces the same way every time. When someone said his sauce was too plain he lost his mind. His ego was so attached to his food that it was a personal insult to him whenever someone complained. Watching him fail was how I learned so much. Of course he learned to change over time. To have that attachment to your menu is dangerous and will restrict growth for your business. Learn to adapt and change, and only then can you grow. Think of McDonald’s and all the other big timers that constantly update and improve their menu.
Get into the habit of adding something new to your menu every month and you’ll find that it acts as a form of free advertisement as customers tell their friends about it. With more variety in your menu, you’ll get more variety in the kind of people who come into your restaurant. And unless your an idiotic racist, you’ll know that’s a very good thing; variety!
So take this lesson seriously, study your menu. Hand out a survey to your customers at the door. Learn how to improve that which is your service and in turn what you earn and deserve will improve. Thanks for reading and good luck with your endeavors! More coming soon!