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Maximizing Menus

MAY 2024

Serve up a winning menu strategy for restaurants and their guests.

Two women in casual outfits looking at a menu in a fast food place

a crossroads for the restaurant industry

Restaurants with sustainable operations have pressure from a variety of causes—inflationary and supply chain strain, evolving consumer expectations and channel blurring.

  • 42% of operators cite the costs as a top business concern.
  • 2 out of 3 consumers have taken note of increased prices, and are now being asked to tip 5x per week.
  • 51% of consumers rated hot food items from convenience stores as “just as good” as fast food.

Maximizing a menu can be a resourceful and engaging strategy for both operators and guests. It can streamline back of house, deliver on promised brand equities and increase diner experience.

Whether your strategy emphasizes driving traffic, growing checks, or costs of goods and productivity, there are plenty of tactics to explore.

What is leading your strategy?

After assuring the strategy has clear priorities, there are two avenues of possibility:


Be a snack worthy stop

More and more consumers are looking for smaller occasions and low-cost entry ways to engage with your brand.

  • Make snacks a featured item, not an after thought.
  • Develop snack-specific menus.
  • Create pricing promotions specific to snack occasions.


Innovate within the box

Deliver on new experiences while reinforcing simplicity in the back of house by leveraging current dishes in new formats, combinations or sizes.

  • Immerse in ingredient cross-utilization.
  • Employ the creativity of staff and loyal customers to identify new ways to use existing inventory.
  • Repackage existing items so they feel fresh, new and exclusive.


Regardless of which strategy is chosen, it’s important to implement it seamlessly. This can be a true balancing act, but with measurable goals, helpful tech and a supportive team, a well-crafted strategy can create growth. ■

Infographic showing three circles of different sizes, with copy that says as follows: Small: “Train staff early and often, bring them along on the journey.” Medium: “Implement additional tech that can absorb cadence of updates you plan to execute.” Large: “Establish clear and measurable goals, but don’t be afraid to pivot.”


Discover more through the lens in the articles below.