Guest Blog - Jim O'Shea
While Bobby Byrne is recovering from his recent surgery I've been asked to Guest Blog for him. For all concerned he's recovering nicely and feeling great.
One of the things I am asked all the time by customers is "What ever happened to my favorite menu item?" "Where did the Baked Stuffed Chicken go?" In this blog Id like to share the process as to what goes, and what stays when we do a menu update. Some of it is seasonal in nature and is dictated by the availablity of recipe items. We generally change the menu twice a year and that process takes place usually in the fall and spring.
The first thing we look at is a process called menu engineering. We put all the data of our menu sales into our program and see just how each item is doing. As you can see from the attached graph we end up with a rating for each of our menu items. It is either a STAR which means its both profitable and popular, or it is a WORKHORSE which means it is popular but not profitable. When we see a CHALLENGE it indicates a item is profitable but not popular and finally if it is neither profitable or popular its a DOG. So the final word on why your favorite item might be missing from a future menu is either you didn't order it enough or we were not charging enough for it.
All things considered we use our best judgement when making these decisions and not only rely on the analysis but also feedback from our staff and consulting with our purveyors as to the changes in the market and trends they are seeing in the industry.