If you have decided to open your own restaurant, one of the most enjoyable parts of the process can be selecting your menu. However, you have an important choice to make – will you keep a fixed menu or will you have a menu with specials? The latter can be a fantastic way to shake up the menu a little and offer patrons something new. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits specials can bring.
A Full Menu
Some restaurants elect to have no fixed dishes at all. Instead, they choose to have a menu made up purely of special dishes that change every few weeks or so. This can be a great choice for fine dining restaurants, as it means that you will be able to deliver the very best to your customers regardless of the time of year.
Even if you only elect to have a few specials each day, you need to make sure that you change them out regularly. If you have regular customers, they are not going to want to see the same things on the board constantly. Shake it up, and use the specials as a real chance to celebrate the skills of your chefs.
If you choose to offer specials in your restaurant, it can be a great way to look into seasonality. For example, you might have some fantastic spring menu ideas to really help freshen up palates at your restaurant in preparation for the new season. In doing so, you should have a look for some of the best seasonal food that your local area offers.
When it comes to thinking up spring menu ideas, fresh is best! If your local area is known for a certain type of food, you should definitely think about celebrating when the right season rolls around. Regardless of the type of cuisine you might offer in your restaurant usually, there will always be some way that you can celebrate your local dishes. You might even be able to pull together a brand-new fusion that locals and tourists alike will fall in love with!
Offering specials gives your chefs the perfect chance to be a little creative, and work to try out new skills. You should always push your chefs to excel and learn new skills. The more they can hone their craft, the better the results will be for your business overall.
Why not challenge them to come up with the specials themselves? Rather than focus entirely on the recipes that you or your head chef has created, giving them the chance to make a special means that they will get to flex their arms a little creatively. It gives them the platform to show you what they are capable of as chefs and professionals, and this could also give you a few ideas as to how you might develop their skills to make them even greater in the future.
Should you choose to offer specials in your restaurant, you might have to buy in specialist ingredients. Even if you choose to stay with ingredients that are local to you, there is every chance that they will be a premium compared to your usual ingredients – especially if you have to go to a specialist supplier rather than your usual.
For this reason, it can sometimes be prudent to charge slightly more for your specials than with other dishes that you might offer. The prices should not be too different from your standard menu prices, regardless of what you offering, but there should also be a notable reason as to why these dishes are a premium.
Finally, offering specials is a fantastic way for you to celebrate some of the big events that might come your way throughout the year. Everything from the anniversary of the opening of the restaurant to big calendar events can be an excuse for you to create a special menu and get people through your doors.
For example, it can be a great idea to put together a Christmas menu to offer throughout December. This should prove to be a hit with customers in general, but it can also help you to target others. Many companies like to put together a Christmas party for staff, and this can sometimes mean going out to eat. Offer them a fantastic special menu and there is a chance that they could come!
So, should your restaurant offer specials? If you have the means to do so, they can be a great addition to your company! Take the time to design a special menu for your restaurant and give it a trial run. Doing so can be a great way for you to add some additional deliciousness to your menu without having to chop and change the entire thing.