Booming Business: Top Three Qualities of Successful Restaurants

Running a thriving restaurant requires both culinary know-how and business savvy. When forming your plan, it’s best to follow the data. So without further ado, here’s the latest!

Ingredient-to-Cost Ratio
An easy way to assess your profitability is to compare your average cost-per-price percentage to similar restaurants. Quick-service restaurants tend to use ingredients which cost about 15-20% of their menu prices, while in fine dining that number falls around 30-35%. Fast-casual establishments are in the middle, at around 25-30%. One simple way to cut costs while retaining quality is to consider using frozen foods. Chef-ready dishes can help you save time and money by extending shelf life, reducing labor costs, and even minimizing storage and equipment requirements. Plus, frozen ingredients allow you to keep popular seasonal items on the menu year-round! With consistent high marks on taste and texture, frozen is a win-win for everybody.  

Current Trends
When it comes to your menu, you want to hit the sweet spot between timeless and trendy. Recent data shows that 62% of consumers enjoy brunch, a percentage that’s consistently higher than previous years. Within the brunch category, Latin-inspired dishes like cassava and arrepas are most popular, along with healthy options such as beans, grains, and plant-based alternatives. Shareable, tapas-style dishes are also in-demand, such as appetizers and even desserts that can be split among friends. Churros are an excellent option, and come in a variety of flavors which can add to the intrigue among your guests! It’s also wise to add a gluten-free dessert option, as the diet is growing in popularity. Finally, consider adding a fruit-based mocktail to your menu, as more and more people are going alcohol-free in recent times.

Good Timing
Changing your menu is a delicate process, with the potential to bring in new customers and – if done right – retain your loyal ones. Timing is key: 79% of consumers are driven by limited-time and seasonal-based offers, so consider adding a few timely courses to your menu every few months or so. For example, people look forward to mushroom dishes in the autumn, and with dried ingredients it’s easy as pie to add them to your existing entrées! Even if you invest in frozen ingredients – keeping food fresh no matter the season – it’s still important to highlight season-appropriate items. People will return when they know they can expect their favorite classic dishes in addition to exciting new ones. In short, in with the old and in with the new!

If you have further questions about how White Toque can help you refine your menu for the upcoming season, please don’t hesitate to reach out!