How To Optimize Your Menu For Profitability With Clover Reporting
As a premier provider of restaurant marketing technology, we know a thing or two about what it takes to increase sales in the industry. Even in today’s trying times, our customers are experiencing periods of growth when most businesses are struggling to stay open. Why? Because they’re leveraging our technology to automate the visibility & engagement of their brands with the world.
With that being said, running a restaurant is extremely difficult. But now more than ever, restaurants need to look for ways to optimize how they do business. In our 20+ years of working with local businesses across the nation, what have we found? Success starts with your menu.
Unfortunately, a lot of restaurant owners miss this crucial point & their businesses suffer as a result.
Nevertheless, it’s important to constantly review your menu & update it as needed. What’s on it, how you present your best sellers & the level to which you’re catering to the ever-changing desires of a famished customer base are all factors that need to be taken into consideration.
But many business owners don’t know where to start, which is understandable due to the daunting nature of the task. Luckily for you, Clover makes it easy for you to see which menu items are underperforming and which need to be upfront & center for all to see.
The rest of this article explains how to optimize your menu with Clover reporting.
Monitor restaurant menu performance
As a restaurant owner, I’d assume that you have a passion for food & how it brings people together. Although your cause is noble, you are running a business & will need to take a critical look at the numbers so you can maintain a healthy financial situation that enables you to keep doing what you love.
With Clover, there’s thankfully not much work for you to do as your point of sale allows you to break down your sales on an item or category level. As such, proper setup & management of your inventory is of the utmost importance.
Nevertheless, depending on your business goal, you can use an item or category filter to measure your restaurant’s performance.
For example, if you have the goal of increasing sales during your slow period of the day. Let’s call it 2 pm – 6 pm on weekdays. You may start a happy hour during which you offer a special menu with discounted drinks & appetizers.
In order to measure performance, you can create a category that all discounted happy hour items will reside in. This will allow you to easily measure the success of your happy hour menu & reference sales against historical data.
If your new happy hour is successful, you may even take things a step further & use our frictionless rewards program to remind customers that you have the “best happy hour in town”, but that’s the beauty it: Clover makes it easy for you to make informed business decisions.
Cater to customer needs
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that paying attention to the needs of your customers is no longer the key to success, it’s the key to survival.
The most obvious example is how many restaurants started offering family-style feasts, take-and-bake meals, to-go specials & take-home drinks. Although these pivots were done out of desperation, we can all take a lesson from these menu “optimizations”.
Again, Clover reporting makes it easy for you to judge the performance of your menu items, which can be a good reflection of what your customers are liking. But proactively catering to customer needs requires you to be a little more forward-thinking.
With that being said, it’s important to closely monitor the performance of any new offerings so you know if you’ve hit it home.
Trim the fat
When you think about reporting, your first inclination may be to look at your top sellers or most profitable items. And rightfully so. Luckily for you, Clover shows you both metrics. However, keep in mind that your bestseller may not be the most profitable item you offer. And vice versa.
Nevertheless, it’s important you know what your best-sellers are & prioritize them accordingly.
On the flip side, knowing what’s not selling gives you an opportunity to remove under-performing items, freeing up viewable real estate on your menu & reducing ingredient costs at the same time.
With that being said, you may not want to remove an item just because it’s underperforming. If it has a high profit margin, it may just need more eyeballs on it. In order to increase the viewability of these items, you can highlight those items on your menu to draw attention to them.
Again, you’ll need to monitor the performance of the item, which is made easy by Clover reporting. If the item is still underperforming, try improving it or creating a new item altogether with the same ingredients so you maintain your margin.
Don’t forget your supply chain
The last step to optimizing your menu for profitability is to take a look at the ingredients your menu requires you to have on hand.
Some ingredients obviously are more available than others, resulting in a higher cost for some. This is where maintaining good relationships with your suppliers is key.
After all, the less you spend on ingredients, the higher your profit margin, which is the whole goal of optimizing your menu in the first place.
In the event that there’s some shortage of a particular ingredient you need, the effects can be detrimental to your business. As such, there’s a balance between simplicity & excitement that you’ll need to determine for yourself.
With that being said, should you find yourself unable to make a certain item, Clover apps like BigCommerce and Ecwid let you sync your inventory across online and offline channels so your customers only see the menu items that are still available. As a result, you’ll avoid supply chain issues.
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To learn more about how Clover POS can help you optimize your restaurant menu & gain insights into your sales, request a free consultation.