Too Many Items on Your Restaurant Menu? Here’s How to Focus Your Offerings

In some cases, restaurant menus can look like small novels. After all, the more options you have, the less likely it is for diners to take their business elsewhere. But while lengthy menus might work for some restaurants, customers can also be overwhelmed by too many choices.

Consider trimming down your offerings to create more concise food lists. If your restaurant needs to scale back its menu, deciding which items should stay and go can be challenging. Here are a few helpful hints for trimming your menu offerings, without sacrificing the food diners love.

Identify your best sellers – and the options that aren’t too popular

Your restaurant likely has that favorite dish, the one that every review raves about. Similarly, there are menu options that aren’t too popular, or may have just never caught on with customers. Keep the diner favorites as menu staples, and eliminate the not-so-popular options. It’s a quick way to trim down offerings without a complete overhaul. If customers end up sharing feedback that they miss a menu item you’ve eliminated, you can always add it back.

Narrow your menu’s focus

Bulky restaurant menus often include a variety of foods spanning from pizza to tacos and everything in between. But too many options can overwhelm diners. Instead of food fare that spans multiple continents, narrow your focus to just one. If pizza has always been a hit, stick to an Italian-themed menu. If tacos are popular, consider Mexican or Tex-Mex options. Creating a single menu specialty allows you to get rid of excess offerings, while perfecting the options you choose to keep.

If you’re concerned about redundancy, rotate menu options

You might have avoided narrowing your menu options out of concern that diners wouldn’t feel like they had enough variety. Luckily, there’s an easy way to combat food boredom – without overdoing it on the menu. Rotate menu options by season, weekly specials, customer favorites and more. You’ll keep your food list light, while avoiding boring, redundant options.

Offer personalized dishes

If you really want to offer your customers variety, instead of having a wide range of set menu items and cuisines, consider adding customized dishes to your menu. This can include anything from a make-your-own-salad to a build-your-own-burger. The possibilities are endless – all you have to do is make sure the ingredients are on hand and customers can create a menu favorite of their choosing.

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