Data Intelligence

When Is the Right Time for a Menu Overhaul?

Like an old loaf of bread, a restaurant’s menu tends to go stale when it’s left alone for a long period of time. This can drive down sales and increase the price of retaining your customer base. But, how do you know when it’s time to revamp your menu? How do you do it without driving away your most loyal customers? Below are some things to consider.

Does your menu offer value?

If not, then it’s time for an overhaul.

This was one of the problems which beset Ted’s Montana Grill before the company decided to overhaul its menu back in May. After months of customer perceptions testing, the restaurant found that most of its customers no longer saw the menu as one which offered something of value. Instead, most customers saw their food options as a “one-trick pony” offering $20 bison burgers and fries, according to a company report.

Now, the restaurant that branded itself as a staple of Western food offers lighter and more flexible items such as a salmon burger, turkey burger, and more healthy sides like roasted Brussel sprouts.

Does your menu offer customization?

If not, then it’s time for an overhaul.

Customization is one feature that Famous Dave’s is looking to incorporate into its redesigned menu. The company told National Restaurant News it wanted to overhaul its menu to “showcase the chain’s commitment to giving customers higher quality foods and customization.”

Have-it-your-way cuisine is one of the fastest growing niches in the food industry. Some industry experts point to the spending power of the millennial generation as a reason for its growth. No matter what the reason, a restaurant menu needs to offer customizable features in order to keep up with the demand of their customers. Plus, it gives restaurants a chance to step outside of their brand in order to win new customers. This can have a large impact on a restaurant’s bottom line.

Has your menu kept up with modern trends?

If not, then it’s time for an overhaul.

Julia Stewart, the chief executive and chairperson of DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee’s, said she wanted the restaurant to become a “modern grill” shortly before the menu overhaul took place.

Applebees’ decided to add new burgers to its menu in 2015 once their selections became outdated.  After doing so, sales jumped from just over $19 million to nearly $30 million the next year.

Overhauling Applebees’ menu was about more than food. It also helped revamp the restaurants perception and brand among its customer base. This is an important feature of any menu, whether it’s for a national chain or a mom-and-pop shop.


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