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Before joining Fooda as Restaurant Sales Manager, Katrina Michael climbed the ranks of the food-service hierarchy from hostess, to bartender, to manager of Chicago’s popular Mercadito restaurants, and was eventually promoted to Director of Operations for the Mercadito Hospitality Group. In 2013, Katrina was awarded the Zagat 30 Under 30 Award. With her strong restaurant background, Katrina deeply understands our partners in her role as manager of Fooda’s restaurant partnership program.

4 Reasons for Restaurants to Mix Up the Menu

Changing your menu can be scary. As the old adage goes, “if it isn’t broke, why fix it?” Because something not being broken doesn’t necessarily mean it’s performing at its best. Menu alterations can benefit your restaurant in the following ways:

Avoid Menu Fatigue:

Menu Fatigue is an issue for massive corporate restaurants and local mom & pops alike. It can cause your most loyal fans to lose interest in what you’re offering. It’s why Chipotle introduced chorizo and queso. It’s the problem Starbucks is trying to solve with items like pumpkin spice lattes and unicorn frappuccinos. It’s why the world has “the Baconator.” Menu fatigue can cause a drop in returning customers, and they spend 67% more than new customers.

Crowdsource Your Creations:

Mixing up your menu gives you an opportunity to test new ideas. Chicago’s Homestead on the Roof regularly adjusts its menu to keep customers interested. Market your tests as “seasonal items” to entice customers who enjoy trying new dishes. Another benefit of the seasonal label, if the new creation doesn’t work out, customers won’t be surprised if the item disappears from the menu. That delicious idea you have could become your next bestseller, but you won’t know until it’s on the menu.

Engagement Opportunities:

Consumers like to see the humans behind the brand, and they tend to be more loyal to companies that show who’s behind the business. Altering your menu is your opening to start a dialogue with your customers. Ask for feedback on a new dish when you’re bussing the table, create a social media showdown between two new items, let customers know you’ve added items based on what you’ve heard around your restaurant (if that’s the case). Chicago’s BRGR Belly pits milkshake creations against one another and let’s it’s social media audiences decide which reigns supreme. A simple menu change could start a conversation that turns a new guest into a regular.

Increase Revenue:

While updating your menu is a great way to keep your regulars interested, it’s also a low-cost word-of-mouth marketing opportunity to attract new customers. More new and returning customers means more tickets. In fact, restaurants with seasonal menus see 26% more orders. And depending on your suppliers, buying fresh ingredients from local purveyors can also help cut costs.

Do you see a benefit in updating your menu? We’d love to hear from you! Find us on Twitter @GoFooda. Learn more about Fooda Restaurant Partnerships.