When the terraces close and temperatures cool, foodservice operators capitalize on the cozy flavors of autumn to attract and retain customers. As food costs continue to reach record highs, developing a seasonal menu that is both exciting and profitable may be a challenge.
While pumpkin remains the star ingredient of the fall months, other budget-friendly culinary trends can make an impact. Try these cost-saving tips and purchasing strategies to engineer a fall menu that doesn’t compromise quality or profitability:
Plant-Forward. Reducing animal proteins can save money and lower your business’s carbon footprint. Seasonal fruits and vegetables with texture and versatility (think brussels sprouts, turnips, and squash) can fill up a plate and satisfy hungry diners.
Fermentation: Fermented foods are low-cost and trendy among consumers due to their digestive and detoxifying benefits. From homemade sauerkraut to pickled carrots, fermented vegetables can add a new wow-factor to classic dishes without breaking the bank.
Portion Control. There are two reasons to revisit your portion sizes — excess food waste and takeaway containers. They both eat into your already thin profit margins. Remember, the single-use plastic ban takes effect in 2024, and sending guests home with leftovers is not required.
Purchase Smarter. Take full advantage of the money-saving offers and purchasing power that come with a foodservice buying group like Groupex. Groupex can open the door to new vendors, expand your resources, and identify opportunities to stretch your budget. Even better, they research and negotiate the best possible deals with suppliers, so you don’t have to.
No matter the season or trend, knowing how each menu item contributes to your profits is critical . The science behind menu engineering can help you find the right balance of low and high-margin dishes without tarnishing the guest experience or skimping on quality.
The key to re-engineering your menu and maintaining profitability begins and ends with your suppliers. Monitoring invoices and any influx within your supply chain costs will make it easier to adjust pricing, shop ingredients across different suppliers, or 86 a dish from the menu. Leading buying groups like Groupex audit existing contracts for their members and provide recommendations year-round to cut costs and maintain profitability.
To learn more about the cost-saving benefits of a foodservice buying group, click here.