Save 5 or 6 hours a week with an automated inventory. Learn more trending_flat

5 Unique Ways Your Daily Business Practices can help Revamp your Menus

December 17, 2018 by FoodBAM Admin

As the holiday season approaches, many chefs are looking at ways to revamp their menus to maximize profits and increase restaurant traffic. While larger chains often work with marketing gimmicks like rebrands and social contests to add new menu items, many restaurants rely on inventory, vendor relationships, and top-selling items to reframe their restaurant menu offerings. Chefs everywhere, from fast-casual chains to high-end restaurants are focused on adding new menu items as well as how to calculate food cost per menu item. At FoodBAM we have an intimate relationship with the day-to-day business practices of running the back-of-house and see some unique ways daily business practices can influence your unique holiday menus. From inventory to menu placement, here a few ways you can find inspiration for your menus.

While revamping your restaurant menu is costly both in time and cost, LTOs give you a chance to entice your customers with something refreshing. An LTO is a great way to test the market, attract new guests, and keep your menu fresh and exciting by playing into trends outside of your normal offerings and enticing a new audience into your restaurant. For instance, if your restaurant wants to intrigue the influx of students coming home for the holidays, they may want to introduce some LTOs that appeal to the millennial audience. 39% of millennials, more than any other generation, would like restaurants to offer more ethnic foods and beverages and 45% of millennials say made-from-scratch or scratch kitchen menu items are important at family-style restaurants, so it might be an opportunity to try an LTO that plays into either of those categories. Additionally with holiday seasons around the corner, perhaps your restaurant wants to try a special menu offering with a seasonal item like cranberries or a global take on one of your normal items.

At FoodBAM we know that one-way to help you boost your profit margins during the holidays is by maximizing your inventory. When you know what’s in your walk-in (down to the last forgotten black bean can) you can create menu items that whet appetites and save pennies. Turn those leftover black beans into a winter black bean soup or forgotten chicken tenders into a tortilla soup lunch special. Your inventory is a direct guide into two things: menu items you may need to re-work and menu items you are selling quickly that probably shouldn’t be interfered with. By using FoodBAM’s inventory tool, you also even have access to your order history and historical data tied to your current inventory. Armed with that information, you’ll have insight into items with favorable pricing that may have started off as LTOs that can become full-time restaurant menu opportunities!


Ordering History
By taking a look at your order history, you get direct insight into items that you re-order frequently or items that end up as waste. For example, if avocados are a central part of your menu but the commodity pricing has increased, you know that you may be looking forward to a few weeks of rising food costs where those menu items are concerned. This could be an exciting time for you and your culinary team to innovate a replacement or a different take on the same menu item until pricing stabilizes. For example, during the last avocado shortage of 2016, many restauranteurs looked to varied takes on the traditional guacamole appetizer and beefed up their hummus and tahini-based dips instead.

Crunching Numbers
While we might not all like paperwork, we all like money. By paying attention to your weekly order history as well as accounting documents, you’re already on your way to simplify your new menu creation. Use your previous orders, price histories and accounting documents to analyze last year’s purchases compared to YTD. Ask yourself, what worked and what didn’t? By taking a look into your older menus, LTOs and holiday specials from previous years, you can craft a menu item that could positively impact your bottom line. Knowing that your polenta side dish was a standout on last year’s restaurant menu, perhaps it’s time to incorporate it into an entrée.

Having More Time
One of the biggest prohibitors to menu changes, is time. The New York Times recently detailed the struggle that one New York chef had in allocating resources and time to perfecting his menu that fit seasonal needs as well customer demand. “For Mr. Fox, a restless chef who goes to bed and wakes up thinking about flavor combinations, the dish he had in mind was a puzzle requiring both creativity and practicality.” Allow your chefs to invest time in developing special menus by encouraging them to save time by using FoodBAM for ordering, receiving and inventory. By taking advantage of the FoodBAM software, chefs can re-allocate the time they would take counting inventory or converting pack-sizes, and take time to execute and experiment with different recipes.

Back To Blog

Customer Stories

“Best software I’ve seen in the industry, I’m looking forward to growing with you”


CEO at City Greens, New Orleans, LA


“It used to take me hours to do my ordering, now I have it down to 15 mins thanks to FoodBAM!”

Richard Dennis

Chef/Owner at Stars on Hingham Harbor in Hingham, MA

You are in good company

Ready to try FoodBAM?

Easy to set up. Cancel any time.