Using a sharing menu to entice people through your doors.
Traditionally Monday to Wednesday are the quietest times in the foodservice industry, and the toughest nights for any venue to get bums on seats and make the most of their biggest resource – their tables!
To attract customers to your café or restaurant it can sometimes be as simple as offering them a budget-friendly, casual and easy-going approach that will have them feeling comfortable and happy with their midweek dining choice. This is where a sharing menu steps up to the plate - read on to see how you can use sharing plates to your advantage…
1: Encourage sharing
Restauranteurs who make it clear from the start customers shouldn’t feel guilty about buying one dish to share, will reap the rewards from budget conscious diners. This way, after work drinks with one shared plate between three, can quickly turn into a high-value order once the customers have settled in at the venue. Instruct your waiters to encourage sharing, and make sure you have items on your menu that are easy for customers to graze on. Warm Turkish bread and dips are always a people pleaser that are perfect matched with a few drinks.
2: Embrace the snack
No longer are people consuming three solid meals a day. Snacks and light meals have completely taken over from ‘proper’ meals in the dining-out stakes. And this can’t merely be put down to millennials or dine-and-dash customers. Growing numbers of Australians snack four or five times a day. Restauranteurs should embrace this trend. Sliders and smaller offerings such as bruschetta are the perfect snack size offering and are also at home on a sharing style menu. Quick to table, these options allow diners who aren’t after a heavy meal to still take part in and enjoy a dining out experience.
3: Sharing for Solo
In the last year, the number of solo diners in Australia has increased by 59 per cent. Savvy managers know to make their venue more appealing to lone diners by offering bar seating, communal tables, seats with window views, Wi-Fi access and quick service. But what about the menu? Despite first impressions, offering a sharing menu is perfect for solo diners too. Restaurants and cafes should offer single serves of each of the sharing options to solo diners, so they can still try a variety of menu items without ordering multiple full meals. A single serve slider, bruschetta or antipasto offering will keep many solo diners happy and keep them coming back for more as they feel welcome and well catered for.
With a casual, well-priced sharing menu, customers will be coming in the door seven days a week – for after work drinks, pre-show dinners and relaxed catch-ups. Tip Top Foodservice have a range of products perfect for sharing menus, which can be ordered through your local distributor. With the Tip Top Gourmet Burger Range including seeded hamburger sliders and brioche style sliders as well as Speedibake’s rustic sharing range with ciabatta, sourdough and Turkish options, foodservice operators will be well-placed to cater for customers no matter what their needs.