When it comes to the restaurant menu, many restaurant owners tend to think bigger and longer is better.
While this may work for a few select restaurants, we want you to know smaller menus are often better for you and generate more revenue.
What’s more, in this article, we look at why your customers love smaller menus. Let’s look at the many reasons you may want to consider moving toward a smaller offering on your menu.
Small Menus Make Decision Making Easier
Did you know that many of your diners have a hard time deciding what to eat when visiting your restaurant?
The psychology of choice says that your customers want assistance with their purchasing decisions. This holds true when they’re trying to decide what to eat.
Some people feel overwhelmed by too many choices. They often want a little help. By providing them a smaller menu, you make it easier for them.
In addition, the Covid pandemic led many restaurants to shorten their menus. Those same restaurants are deciding to keep those small menus because their customers like it, and it’s easier for them to manage.
Finally, smaller menus fight decision fatigue. This is a real syndrome for some people. How? When you offer too many choices, they are unhappy when they choose one because they continue to second guess that choice.
Small Menus are Customer Friendly
Your customers don’t want to flip through a 10-page menu. It’s confusing and overwhelming.
It can take them extra time to plow through a long menu. Then they start to feel bad that they are taking up your server’s table for so long.
Overall, a longer menu is frustrating for your customers and can create feelings of frustration.
Imagine the diner with a limited amount of time. They want to quickly browse your menu. They certainly don’t want to spend 15 minutes trying to decide what to eat.
Your customers like smaller menus because they are customer friendly. Provide them what they need, and you’ll have loyal, brand ambassadors who are satisfied customers. (tweet this)
Smaller Menus Define You
With a smaller menu, your customers know just who you are. Your brand is easily identifiable, and they’ll think of you when they’re craving the dishes from your downsized menu.
It’s easier to define your restaurant concept with a smaller menu. If you’re confused about how to shorten your menu, ask your wait staff.
They can tell you more about the dishes your customers like and those they don’t. Then, ask your customers why they like certain dishes.
This will help you decide what to shorten so you can define your overall restaurant concept.
For example, if you are an Italian restaurant, you certainly don’t need to offer a cheeseburger.
Be proud of who you are. Craft your menu as it aligns with your concept. Your dishes should only be the ones that showcase who you are and define your vision.
Smaller Menus Mean Faster Service
Another reason customers like smaller menus is because they can generally get their food faster.
Kitchens that prepare multiple dishes from a 10-page menu are often chaotic, overworked, and terribly slow.
When you streamline your menu, your kitchen is better able to handle the busiest hours.
Smaller menus are easier on your kitchen staff, your stove, and your storage spaces.
The most efficient restaurants are the ones working hard to cater to their customers and provide excellent customer service. Remember that efficiency and an improved customer experience go together.
Smaller Menus Equal Better Trained Staff
When you have a smaller menu, your servers are better trained and better equipped to talk about your options.
Your servers also have a better chance to have tasted all of your items when your menu is small. This gives them first-hand experience to share with your customers who want a little help deciding.
You’ll also find that servers can remember your menu when you have fewer items on it. They are then more familiar with the dishes and again can make better recommendations.
Smaller Menus Improve Consistency
You want to ensure your food is prepared the same way every time. If your customer comes back every week for your vegetarian lasagna, you want to be sure it tastes the same, and has the same consistency and portion size.
With a smaller menu, it’s easier for you to provide a higher quality of dishes every time.
Smaller Menus Showcase Quality
You can’t be everything to everyone, and your customers know it.
So, when you provide a smaller menu, you let your customers know that everything on it is high quality. They know instantly you love each of the dishes and are proud to serve them.
Your customers see your quality with a defined menu. They know you are focused on specific dishes and doing them perfectly.
In other words, with a small menu, they know everything on it is your specialty.
Smaller Menus Reduce Waste
Many people today are concerned with sustainability and waste.
They don’t really want huge dishes that have to be thrown away. They also will like the idea that you have less waste in your kitchen as well.
A small menu reduces waste because you can keep better track of your inventory and lose less food.
Let your customers know your smaller menu is dedicated to less waste. This helps improve your brand loyalty.
Consider the overall experience of your customers. Then consider your absolute best dishes. These are the ones you’re known for.
Those are what should land on your menu. Oftentimes smaller and shorter menus are better. So, why not stick to the dishes that define your restaurant?
This can mean as many as you want, but certainly not a five or 10 page menu.
Don’t forget, you can always offer a limited time special menu on occasion when you want to try something new!
Let your customers eat what you want to serve them. This way they are getting the best of your restaurant, and they’ll keep coming back for their favorite dishes time and again.