Menus on a podium. Bottom menu falling into a bin

How often do restaurants change their menu?

How often do restaurants change their menus?

Or... how often should I change my menu?
Most restaurants change their menu too often and not often enough!
Let me clarify: what I mean is that many restaurants change their menu content too often while not getting rid of grubby menus soon enough.
What's right?
Well, getting rid of grubby menus really cannot happen soon enough.

But wait. What you were really asking about; is how often to change the content of your menu?

Aahhh. Right. OK, that's different.
Probably too often is the answer to that. Unless you pick things from your own garden or a local market daily, you probably want to set your menu and run with it as long as possible. Like a year? Possibly more ( you might want to update your prices every year), but if it ain't broke...

'Why?' you say? Well, the longer you keep your menu the same, the more efficient the kitchen will be at making it.

A good, profitable kitchen is a well-oiled machine churning out the same wonderful dishes meal after meal day after day, near as dammit the same every time.

Change it every few months, and they have to learn the dishes all over, which creates waste food and wastes time...and those both hit profit.

So don't change your menu every month or so. Customers learn to know what to expect, waiters know what to describe, suppliers know what to provide you with gives win, win and win.

But we need to have a few changes now and then? That's what specials are for. Testing, developing, trying out new stuff. Seasonal changes - keep them on the specials list.

But some dishes don't sell anymore? Really? Check! Do your "Boston Matrix" analysis. Do the numbers, what sells, when, how many, and how much money it makes. Find out what's driving the profit in your business. Put the winners on a pedestal and sell more of them, quietly usher the ones not helping you off the menu.
Once a year, kill off the dishes that are killing you. Replace them with the specials that wowed the audience. But don't do it constantly. 

But while we're here, briefly think about the second part of my answer.

Do you have a tired-looking menu? Frayed, dog-eared, a bit sticky? Bin it now!
You'd throw out a chipped plate, wouldn't you?
You'd throw out a cracked glass... wouldn't you?
So please don't give your customers a grubby tatty sticky, greasy menu. Please?

Either get replacements or get menus that last, and you can keep clean.

Funny you should be reading about that here ;-)

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