Running a café is not for the faint of heart. You’re in charge of everything from making sure customers are happy to ensuring that all your employees are adequately trained and that your menu is always fresh and exciting.
To help you get started on the right foot with your café, here are six tips for planning out a successful menu:
Take a good look around
Now, take a good look around. What are your competitors doing? How can you improve on what they’re doing? How can you differentiate yourself from them? If there’s a new restaurant or store opening up in your area, how will that affect your business?
Get social (media)
Social media is an important tool for small businesses. Thankfully, it’s also a tool that’s easy to understand and use. To get the most out of social media as a small business owner, make sure you’re doing the following things:
- Promote your business on social media
- Engage with customers who follow you
- Get feedback from customers about your products/services
- Make sure you’re posting high-quality content regularly
- Know your customers
Be creative with your pre/post-rush hour offerings
Offer a special menu for pre and post-rush hour. This is where you can really get creative with your offerings. What do people crave when they’re rushing to work? What do they want once they’re satiated from their morning cup of joe?
Offer a special menu for the weekend. What do people like to eat when it’s Friday night? Saturday afternoon? Sunday brunch?
Offer a special menu for the holidays. This is something that big chains often do, so if you want to stand out from the competition, think about how you can offer something unique in this category too!
Offer a special menu for summertime activities (BBQs and cookouts) or winter weather conditions (hot chocolate).
Don’t be afraid to change up your menu
Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you have a good idea, don’t hesitate to put it out there. Your customers will appreciate it, and if something doesn’t work, you can always change your mind later.
If you decide that your current menu just isn’t working as well as it could be, don’t worry about changing everything at once—make one small alteration at a time so that customers have time to adjust their expectations.
Instead of just increasing prices across the board by 10%, try raising them on some items first (such as those that are more expensive) before making changes elsewhere. This way, people won’t feel like they’re being taken advantage of or being ripped off by having their most expensive items raised in price by 20%.
You might find that people start ordering less food overall after this initial increase but spend more money per order—a win-win situation!
With just a little bit of creativity, you can create something that works for your business and helps bring in new customers. Just remember not to overdo it on the specials because then you’ll end up losing money instead of making it!