Thanks to social media, we are seeing a huge rise in the quirkiest of holidays! From Pretzel Day to May the Fourth Be With You, everyone is ready to celebrate any holiday that pops up. You can pretty much call July the Food Month Holiday with all the tasty eats and treats that we are meant to celebrate! Take a look:

  • Blueberry Month
  • Hot Dog Month
  • Ice Cream Month
  • Fried Chicken Day on July 6th
  • Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • Pecan Pie Day on July 12
  • Fresh Spinach Day on July 16
  • Raspberry Cake Day on July 19
  • Chocolate Milk Day on July 28
  • Lasagna Day on July 29
  • Cheesecake Day on July 30

With all these food related holidays, you could almost call July Restaurant Month! The onslaught of food celebrations is the perfect time to look at your menu to help increase sales. By keeping your menu ripe with options without sacrificing the classics, you can keep your guests coming back to see what new dish you are serving up.

Create A Unique Dish

When introducing new menu items, you want them to be attention-grabbing. Introducing a new hamburger with different condiments is a very blah menu change that many people will not get excited about. Instead, try a dish that adds something exotic to your current menu selection. It is important not to get too carried away and keep the new dish in the same general theme as your restaurant. For example, do not introduce a Chinese dish if you have a Mexican restaurant.

Another tactic you can take when introducing a new dish is to go local. Farm to table is the latest craze. Create a fresh dish with ingredients locally sourced from area farmers. Be sure to highlight the farm to table aspect in the menu and train the servers to discuss it when describing the dish. Adding a farm to table dish also helps you build local connections with farmers to further add to your menu offerings.

Get Customers to Try It

Getting customers to fall in love with your new dish can seem like a challenge. But there are many ways you can get the word out about your dish and have customers excited to try it.

  • Tease the new dish on your website and social media. Provide some mouthwatering photos of the new dish as well as a short and engaging description about what the dish tastes like.
  • Create menu inserts that highlight the new dish with the same engaging language and incredible pictures.
  • Train your wait staff to talk about the dish. Allow them to explain the restaurant has a new dish when introducing the menu. You should also let your wait staff try the dish so they can give their personal opinion and recommendation.
  • Add a special offer at the bottom of each customer receipt that gives them a discount on that dish the next time they come in.

Benefits of Menu Changes

Changing up your menu every now and then is great to breathe a little life into your restaurant! There will be your regulars that are always going to order the hamburger or chicken fried steak, but most people are excited to try new dishes that will become their next favorite. If your restaurant develops a reputation for regular menu changes, you will see guests coming back just to experiment with your menu! This is of course wonderful for your sales forecast.

Menu changes also keep your waitstaff excited and on their toes as well. Having a new menu item will be a selling point for customers who are unsure of what they want. The waitstaff can profile the new dish as people begin browsing the menu. The staff will also be able to try the dish themselves to give a personal recommendation as many customers ask for when trying to decide on their order.

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Matt Thompson

CEO of ShiftNote
Matt has let his lifelong passion of food and people lead him to 15 amazing years as a restaurant manager and another 9 years working as a Director with a major food service distributor. He has channeled this passion to help create and run ShiftNote. When he's not dominating the food service industry, he's spending time with his 4 children and cheering on the Tigers as a Mizzou Alumni.