This blog post is written to give you some ideas and perhaps some direction to use this time of isolation. It’s an opportunity to get experimental in the kitchen and to rethink your menus – setting you up to come back in full force when this all blows over.
These testing times have led the food industry to come to a complete halt, leaving many of us sitting in uncertainty about what the future holds for small businesses in NZ. It is difficult to feel inspired in such an unsettling time, but with that being said, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or perhaps grab the tequila ? ) It’s up to you.
WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE TO RETHINK YOUR MENU:
COVID-19 has shaken up a storm over the entire globe. No matter how big or small, all businesses are feeling the effects of this pandemic. Whilst we sit in the unknown, there are things we can do to best prepare ourselves for the future. Recovery is a journey, we won’t just pick up where we left off and, for some of the following reasons, rethinking your menu might become more of a prioritised task:
- You may be low on staff
- Your hours may be limited
- Demand for delivery services may be higher
- People will be seeking reassurance over food safety
- You may be attempting to cut costs
- You may want to gain an edge on your competitors.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN RE-THINKING YOUR MENU:
The following list highlights some things to think about when re-thinking your menu, and ways you can be strategic in creating a successful menu post-pandemic.
- Prep time
The less prep time the better. If you can reduce prep time, this means less staff required, fewer hours of work required and ultimately less stress on business owners and workers.
- Dietary Requirements
For dietary requirements, it’s great to hit three birds with one stone. If you can create a menu with options that are Dairy-Free, Vegan Friendly and Gluten-Free, it will make things a lot easier for you and the customer.
- Reducing Food Handling
When recovering from this pandemic, food handling is a big thing that we should look to reduce. Customers will also want reassurance that dining out is a safe option. Creating meal options that don’t involve a tonne of food handling is something that will add a lot of value to your menu.
Consistency is incredibly important as a menu focus. Can returning customers expect the same quality every time they purchase the same order?
Quality and creativity in meals are what will keep people coming back as it is something they cannot replicate in their own homes.
- Whole foods
The already booming plant-based food world will be even more sought after as people appreciate and value their health, even more so than before. Having a variety of plant-based options will be a strategic route to go down as many people will be searching for yummy, wholesome and healthy food options to indulge in.
YOUR OWN FLARE
With all that being said, the most important thing about re-doing a menu is that you get to add your touch and creative flair. It is also important to keep coming back to these key questions:
- What makes your menu unique?
- What is your point of difference?
- What is your focus?
- What are you trying to achieve?
GET YOUR CUSTOMERS INVOLVED:
A benefit of isolation is our ability to stay connected with people from the safety of our own homes. Use your social media platforms to start a conversation, get customers involved and excited about when they can return to your café or restaurant.
No one knows what your audience wants better than they do. Post pictures of what you’re working on from home, get people having their say in what they want to see on your menu. You can get people commenting on posts, engaging with polls on your story and seeing your menu in the making. Now is the perfect time to be creating and putting up content as people have never had more time to browse and scroll their devices than now.
WILD CHEF WILL BE HERE TO HELP:
We want to be here to help you get back on your feet in these difficult times. Wild Chef can offer a solution in all of these areas. Our chef-quality pre-made meal components take out the prep time because we do it for you. We offer vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options which are consistent in quality. Using pre-made meal components also reduces the amount of food handling involved in preparing a meal. Our products are made using whole foods – giving off that chef quality, wholesome taste that people love to eat. Ultimately our goal is to reduce stress for chefs whilst still allowing room for creativity.