Foodservice

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Reopening Ontario: Patios Return Friday

Reopening Ontario: Patios Return Friday

by David Klemt

Outdoor seating on restaurant patio

There’s great news for Ontario and the province’s new reopening plan: outdoor dining is returning three days ahead of schedule.

From June 11 on—barring any governmental changes—the province of Ontario will enter Step 1, which focuses on outdoor activities.

Due to favorable indicators such as the province’s vaccination rate, Reopening Ontario will kick off early.

A Welcome Surprise

Ontario has been in under heavy restrictions for nearly two months. So, this news represents a refreshing glimpse of light at the end of a ridiculously long tunnel.

Initially, Reopening Ontario was slated to begin Step 1 on June 14.

The earlier date and announcement should help restaurant and bar operators take advantage of the coming weekend. After weeks upon weeks of living under a stay-at-home order, the decent-at-best forecast should be clear enough for Ontarians to get outside.

Step 1

Reopening Ontario is focusing on the following to progress through the three steps:

  • the provincewide vaccination rate; and
  • improvements to key public health and health care indicators.

Per the plan, the province will remain in each phase of the plan for a minimum of 21 days.

The first step allows for outdoor gatherings of ten or more people. And, for restaurants and bars, outdoor dining with a limit of four people per table.

RestoBiz is reporting that there will be an exception allowing for households with more than four people. The publication also reports that nightclubs may offer delivery, drive-through and takeout as long as they only operate as food or drink establishments.

To move to Step 2, 70 percent of adults must receive at least a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Additionally, 20 percent of adults need to receive a second dose (of a two-dose regiment).

Two weeks after Ontario reaches that target, the province will move forward.

Step 2

In this phase of Reopening Ontario, restaurants and bars can seat six people per table outdoors.

Per Ontario’s official government website, restaurants and bars will also be able to offer karaoke. Of course, in this phase it must take place outside.

The single-dose target vaccination rate to move on from Stage 2 is 70 to 80 percent of adults. Also, 25 percent of adults must receive two doses (of a two-dose regimen).

If those targets are hit and key public health and health care indicators are favorable, the province will progress further.

Step 3

Obviously, this the least-restrictive phase of Reopening Ontario.

In Step 3, restaurants and bars can once again return to indoor dining. There will be capacity and other restrictions in place.

Also, buffets can return.

Outdoor dining capacity will focus on social distancing: there must be two metres between tables.

Should the vaccine rate and other indicators continue to improve, it’s possible that Ontario will reopen fully as soon as 21 days after Step 3 begins. Of course, we’ll monitor the situation and see what Ontario officials say about a return to “normal.”

For now, things are looking up. To review the Reopening Ontario plan, click here.

Image: Taylor Vick on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: June

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: June

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and June is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to food-centric to weird.

Focus on the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For last month’s list, click here.

June 3: National Egg Day

How are your sour cocktails? Celebrate the egg on this day by featuring your egg white-powered drinks.

June 7: National VCR Day

Leverage nostalgia by showcasing an outdated way to enjoy movies and TV shows. If you really want to immerse yourself and your guests in this holiday, find a VCR and some movies on VHS, come up with some themed cocktails, and lure in nostalgia-thirsty guests. (Make sure you have the proper licenses in place to play music, movies, TV shows, etc.)

June 8: National Name Your Poison Day

Talk about a perfect holiday for a bar! This is an excellent day to design a call promotion around or to highlight your bar team’s ability to create delicious cocktails on the fly based on guests’ spirits preferences.

June 13: International Axe Throwing Day

Are you one of the operators who has introduced axe throwing to your restaurant, bar or eatertainment venue? Then do we have the holiday for you and your guests…

June 16: Bloomsday

This holiday honors revered Irish writer James Joyce. The story goes that Joyce’s favorite dram was Jameson, so get those bottles and specials ready.

June 18: National Splurge Day

Have some high-dollar spirits, beers, wines and dishes? Promote them loudly on this day and encourage your guests to truly treat themselves.

June 24: National Bomb Pop Day

There’s more than one way to celebrate this fun, refreshing and nostalgic holiday. For instance, there are various versions of the Bomb Pop cocktail. Another example is offering housemade boozy Bomb Pops. And then you can always simply garnish drinks with Bomb Pops.

June 25: National Take Your Dog to Work Day

If you have a dog-friendly restaurant, bar or lounge, encourage people who have brought their dogs to work to pop in for a well-deserved bite and drink.

June 30: Social Media Day

Feel like your social media savvy could use some work? Want your guests to plaster your business all over social? Use this holiday to improve your social media skills, add followers, and increase engagement with the help of the people who support your business.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: June

5 Books to Read this Month: June

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s fun and informative book selections will help you develop next-level culinary, beverage and leadership skills.

To review last month’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s dive in!

The Japanese Art of the Cocktail

Available as of today, this is the first cocktail book written by Masahiro Urushido, the award-winning bartender from NYC’s Katana Kitten. After just one year with Urushido at the helm, Katana Kitten took home a 2019 Spirited Award. The Japanese Art of the Cocktail features 80 recipes and serves as a deep dive into a unique approach to cocktails and technique.

Hennessy: A Toast to the World’s Preeminent Spirit

In a nod to today’s episode of the Bar Hacks podcast, we’re happy to share this amazing book that has something between its covers for everyone. Hennessy is equal parts history, humor, lifestyle, recipes, and illustrative and photographic work of art. Shepard Fairey, Nas, Fab 5 Freddy, and others contribute stories and insights in this amazing bar book.

Cocktail Dive Bar

The subtitle of this recently published book is “Real Drinks, Fake History, and Questionable Advice,” which should tell you this is going to be a fun read. In Cocktail Dive Bar, T. Cole Newton, the operator behind NOLA’s Twelve Mile Limit, mixes classic and original cocktail recipes with essays, advice and coloring book elements. Bars are supposed to be fun, and this book is a welcome reminder of that fact.

Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave

Robert Simonson is a New York Times writer and James Beard Award-nominated author who has written an impressive amount of cocktail and spirits books. His latest, Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails, shares more than 60 recipes that feature—you guessed it—mezcal and tequila. Most of the recipes aren’t at all complicated but they’re still full of agave flavor and an array of profiles. Whether you’re a neophyte or an aficionado, this book is for you.

Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar

Yep, I’m 0nce again promoting a book from KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey. Hey, I didn’t mention one last month, so cut me some slack. Bar Hacks is Doug’s first book and the title of the eponymous, KRG-produced podcast. Looking to hone the fundamentals? Want to develop effective strategies? Eager to open or grow a profitable, scalable, sustainable, consistent and memorable venue in one of the most cut-throat industries in the world? Grab this book today!

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

State of the RRF: By the Numbers

State of the RRF: By the Numbers

by David Klemt

Wad of dollar bills with red rubber band

The “tale of the tape” of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund tells a clear story: the RRF needs an injection of tens of billions of dollars.

Clearly, $28.6 was nowhere near enough to award every eligible restaurant and bar with a grant.

In fact, the RRF would need at least another $50 billion to serve all eligible applicants.

The Numbers

First, the Small Business Administration is to be commended for setting up the RRF portal, making the application process clear, and handling applications well.

However, there’s one glaring issue with the RRF and the review and awards process. I’ll get to that in the next section.

Per the National Restaurant Association, more than 362,000 applications were submitted via the RRF portal.

In total, the applications add up to $75 billion in grant requests. Again, the RRF was funded by the government with $28.6 billion. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that the fund was severely underfunded.

Controversy

Last week, a number of Republican members of Congress sent a letter to the SBA. The gist of their message was that the RRF’s closure was premature. Therefore, the group concluded, non-priority applicants wouldn’t receive grants or even have the opportunity to apply for grants.

In the letter, which can be reviewed here, the authors also took shots at Democrats, the Biden Administration, and undocumented immigrants.

Setting politics aside, the announcement of the RRF’s portal closure was inarguably premature. The application process was first opened on Monday, May 3. For the first 21 days, the SBA announced that while all eligible entities could apply, only priority applicants would be processed and awarded grants.

However, the RRF portal closed to applications on Monday, May 24…21 days after it first opened. The members of Congress who penned the letter to the SBA have a point: the SBA closed the RRF portal after only operating within the priority window.

Now What?

There’s no other way to put this: The RRF needs more funding.

Essentially, it needs twice the funding it had when it was first seeded. There’s zero guarantee that Congress will address this matter, but at least a handful of lawmakers are aware of the dire situation.

Two weeks ago, the NRA launched a petition urging the government to replenish the RRF. Of course, the RRF also needs to be reopened for applications, and the application process needs to be open to all eligible applicants.

There’s no promise the petition will achieve the desired result but we must do something. Click here to sign the petition and tell Congress the RRF needs to be replenished and reopened.

Image: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

What the B.C. Restart Means for Operators

What the B.C. Restart Means for Operators

by David Klemt

The Next Step chalk concept with footprints

In news that’s not exactly surprising, the British Columbia “circuit breaker” expiration didn’t lead to a full reopening.

Instead, the province is launching the B.C. Restart plan.

Obviously, not returning to restriction-free restaurant and bar service is disappointing. However, the plan does give operators dates against which they can plan for staffing, inventory, and other aspects of running their businesses.

Of course, that’s only if officials execute the plan as-is.

Not Surprising

As B.C. operators are well aware, the expiration of the province’s “circuit breaker” doesn’t mean they can return to pre-pandemic operations. Clearly, it would’ve been helpful to the province’s hospitality operators for officials like Premier John Horgan to have made that clear last week.

Resources are razor thin and have been since the start of the pandemic and pandemic-driven shutdowns and restrictions. The more lead time officials can provide hospitality operators to prepare for changes to Covid-19 operational protocols, the better.

Let me say that again for any officials who may read this: Restaurant, bar and other hospitality businesses need more than a few days’ notice to prepare for rule changes.

As long as B.C. Restart targets are hit and numbers don’t head in the wrong direction, at least the new plan is clearer than last week’s expiration announcement.

Four-step Plan

B.C. Restart targets four dates that should remain in place as long as Covid-19 case, hospitalization and death rates remain low. Conversely, the province is seeking increases in adult vaccination rates (for dose one).

Unsurprisingly, the province is now in step one of the four-step B.C. Restart plan. The goal is to achieve a 60-percent dose-one vaccination rate among the province’s adult population. A mask mandate is in place provincewide, as are safety protocols like social distancing. Indoor and outdoor dining is restricted to a maximum of six people, with safety protocols.

The earliest date for step two to begin is June 15 and targets a 65-percent adult vaccination rate. B.C.’s mask mandate remains, as do business safety protocols and physical distancing measures. Interestingly, the province’s travel restrictions are removed.

Step three starts on June 1 at the earliest, targeting a 70-percent adult inoculation rate, low Covid-19 case rate, and decline in hospitalizations. Officials will announce new PPE and social distancing guidelines, organized indoor and outdoor gathering capacity will increase, and nightclubs and casinos will reopen (with capacity limits and safety protocols).

If all goes to plan, September 7 is the earliest start to step four, which targets a dose-one adult vaccination rate of more than 70 percent. B.C. will permit a return to “normal” social contact.

For Operators

Restaurant and bar operators—at the moment—should focus on steps one and two of B.C. Restart.

The reason is simple: During steps one and two, restaurants and bars must operate under the pre-circuit-breaker health and safety protocols.

So, operators must follow these rules for step one:

  • Indoor and outdoor dining capacity: 6 people
  • Liquor service curfew: 10:00 PM

And the following for step two:

  • Indoor and outdoor dining capacity: 6 people
  • Liquor service curfew: Midnight

Should things stay on track, step three will rescind the liquor service curfew, and there will be no group limit for indoor and outdoor dining.

Obviously, B.C. Restart isn’t what operators wanted when officials announced the expiration of the circuit breaker. However, the new plan does allow operators to plan ahead and gives us a glimpse of a light at the end of a very long, very erratic, very dark tunnel.

To review the plan in more detail, click here.

Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Remote Restaurant Workers are Here

Remote Restaurant Workers are Here

by David Klemt

Remote, work-from-home setup

When people think of working from home, rarely do they picture restaurant professionals working remotely.

Normally, people associate working from home with desk and cubicle jobs across an array of industries.

A newer technology company is trying to change that perception.

New Restaurant Tech

Bite Ninja seeks to match restaurants with remote workers to online ordering and drive-thru operations more efficient.

Let’s say your business has a drive-thru window. Obviously, someone has to work that window, meaning there are labor costs that accompany it.

As operators know, it’s difficult to recruit, hire and train right now. Some states point to the $300 federal boost to unemployment as a main culprit for the labor shortage restaurants are facing currently, announcing exits to the program.

According to Bite Ninja, remote workers are a feasible solution to labor and cost challenges (at least for some operations).

The tech company trains “Virtual Cashiers” and provides on-demand access to these remote workers.

Benefits

Per Bite Ninja, the company provides operators with several benefits. First and foremost, it would seem, is an answer to staffing challenges.

Obviously, if utilizing virtual cashiers costs less than recruiting, hiring, training and employing their counterpart, that’s a benefit. Another benefit? More staff is available to engage with and serve dining room and patio guests.

On the subject of no-call no-shows, the platform claims that simply doesn’t happen with their remote workers.

While not a solution for every operation, Bite Ninja also claims upsell averages of between $40 and $60 per shift. More importantly, the company says order accuracy through their virtual cashiers is nearly 100 percent. According to Bite Ninja, the average upsell per shift pays for a venue’s hired ninja. If that’s the case and virtual cashiers pay for themselves while making an operator more money, perhaps employees can see a pay bump.

Additionally, the company tracks some key metrics for their clients, including customer volume, order accuracy, and upsells.

KRG Hospitality Takeaway

We appreciate restaurant and bar tech that helps operators lower costs, increase profits, solve problems, improve the guest experience, and increase guest visit frequency.

However, we’re not fans of tech that eliminates a position from the industry and takes someone out of the workforce.

Bite Ninja isn’t a labor solution for every hospitality operation. For those who see the value in remote restaurant workers, at least the company isn’t building robots that eliminate one or more human jobs outright.

Image: Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

California Announces Major Shift

California Announces Major Shift

by David Klemt

Face masks forming an X on a red background

California is planning for a major shift in Covid-19 protocols and there’s a date set against the state’s most recent announcement.

In three weeks, restaurants and bars will be able to return to pre-pandemic operations, essentially.

This stands in stark contrast to the Golden State’s initial response to the pandemic: they were the first to implement a shelter-in-place order officially.

California Covid-19 Numbers

Due to vaccination rates and other numbers, California plans to reopen completely on June 15.

As of the end of last week, California’s Covid-19 vaccination, infection and death rates are favorable. The numbers are driving the June 15 reopening.

For example, half of adult residents—those age 18 and up—in California are fully vaccinated. Nearly 70 percent have received at least a single vaccination dose.

The numbers are even higher for those who are at least 65 years of age:

  • Single dose: 90 percent
  • Full vaccination: 70 percent

California is achieving their numbers by vaccinating more than a quarter-million residents per day. Nearly 40 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered.

Most recently, the most-populous state in America is seeing a weekly Covid-19 infection case rate of approximately 1,200.

California Restaurants and Bars

What Covid-19 restrictions will California foodservice and drinking establishments operate under on June 15?

Not many.

There will be no capacity restrictions for indoor or outdoor service, nor social distancing requirements on-premise for guests. If there are no social distancing requirements, it stands to reason that guests will be able to move freely inside restaurants and bars.

However, California will follow—according to available information—the CDC’s most recent mask guidance. The agency’s recommendations pertain to those with full vaccinations.

Of course, operators still have the right to keep some or all of their own Covid-19 protocols in place. Indeed, some team members and guests may feel safer if masks and social distancing remain past June 15.

Operators who plan to maintain Covid-19 protocols need to provide staff and the public that information. Also, operators must keep in mind that guest-facing employees will be in the crosshairs if mask and distance requirements remain. It would be wise to set and announce vaccination and infection rates against the rescinding of such protocols and share those numbers.

Image: Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Return of the Indoor Diners: B.C.

Return of the Indoor Diners: B.C.

by David Klemt

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada skyline

Good news for operators, foodservice professionals and the public as British Columbia prepares for a return to indoor dining.

The ban on indoor dining is set to expire tomorrow, along with the rest of B.C.’s so-called “circuit breaker” restrictions.

However, it remains unclear still whether restaurants can throw their doors open and welcome guests first-thing Tuesday morning.

Confusion

Some operators and restaurant advocacy groups believe the restriction on indoor dining expires at 11:59 PM tonight.

It follows, in their opinion, that the expiration means operators can offer indoor service the following morning, Tuesday, May 25.

Of course, it’s never that cut and dry, is it?

Much like the CDC’s recent update to mask and social distancing recommendations in America, B.C.’s restaurant restrictions are only causing confusion.

While the “circuit breaker” restrictions put in place back in March are set to expire, Premier John Horgan and other officials haven’t made it clear if more restrictions will be put in place.

Additionally, restaurant and other hospitality operators haven’t been given much notice. They’re simply aware that current restrictions expire before midnight tonight.

Consistently Inconsistent

It’s never great to feel like you’re on the back foot. Unfortunately, operators still don’t receive much in the way of a heads up when rules and recommendations change.

Once again, officials and the public make it clear that they think restaurants and bars can simply flip a switch and return to regular service. Once again, the industry and its challenges are ignored.

When those with the power to impose restrictions are vague about what operators should expect after their rules expire, it makes it nearly impossible for operators to prepare properly for what comes next.

Should operators plan on an increase in traffic because they can once again fill their dining rooms? Will they need to prepare for 25-, 50- or 75-percent capacity restrictions? Are their going to be limits to outdoor dining, delivery, carryout and curbside pickup?

How much F&B and other products should they order, planning for a return to indoor dining or more restrictions? In terms of staffing, should operators plan to run with a skeleton or full crew?

Every one of those questions—and several more—have an impact on resources, revenue and survivability. When officials fail to provide all the necessary information when making important announcements, they only cause confusion and create more questions than answers. Too often, they foist their responsibilities onto business owners and the public.

There’s no excuse.

Preparation

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet to offer operators in this situation. They’ll need to monitor the situation in B.C. and await clear guidance from government officials pertaining to any upcoming restrictions.

Yet again given no meaningful notice, it’s going to be difficult for operators to plan to get the most out of this week and the near future.

Still, operators will want to give staff notice that they should plan to work. It’s less than ideal but operators should plan to schedule against a few possibilities: a new indoor dining ban, indoor dining with capacity restrictions, and a full return indoor dining.

One of these days, perhaps politicians will listen to our massive industry’s requests and serve us better.

Image: Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Tell the Government to Refill the RRF

Tell the Government to Refill the RRF

by David Klemt

Piggy bank wearing a face mask

The National Restaurant Association is urging restaurant, bar and other hospitality operators to sign a Restaurant Revitalization Fund petition.

Put concisely, the NRA’s petition asks the federal government to replenish the RRF.

Grants are going out and there’s no guarantee the $28.6 billion fund is enough for every eligible business. Therefore, the NRA is calling for more funds.

The Petition

Now, there is good news regarding the RRF. Per the Small Business Administration, 21,000 applicants have received $2.7 billion in grants.

However, when one considers that well over 180,000 grant applications were submitted within the first 48 hours, the $28.6 billion will more than likely run out before every eligible business receives a grant. The first 16,000 grants alone total $2 billion.

According to one source, priority applications carry a value of approximately $29 billion. Obviously, that’s more money than is in the fund.

And that’s only the value of applications receiving priority for the first 21 days. Clearly, more funding is necessary.

As the NRA’s petition states, “We are urging policymakers in Washington—from the White House to Capitol Hill—to replenish the RRF to maximize relief for small independent and franchise restaurant operators. Americans can’t wait to get back into their favorite restaurant with their family and friends, and the federal government can play a key role in making that a reality.”

Click here to sign the NRA’s petition. Our industry is the hardest hit by the pandemic and every eligible business deserves funding.

It’s not that this industry isn’t grateful—it’s that hundreds of thousands of businesses are fighting to stay alive. They’ve been doing so for more than a year.

The RRF

The SBA’s RRF portal link is https://restaurants.sba.gov. Alternatively, operations can use a POS that’s an SBA partner to apply. Partner systems include Clover, NCR, Square, and Toast.

According to the SBA website, certain eligible entities will be given priority.

For the first 21 days the application process is open, priority will go to small businesses with a minimum of 51 percent ownership by women, veterans or socially disadvantaged people.

The application process should open to every applicant on Monday, May 24. For more in-depth information, operators can follow the appropriate links to review the Small Business Administration’s RRF program guide and sample application.

Applicants do not need to register with SAM.gov (System for Award Management) or provide DUNS or CAGE identifiers.

To calculate a grant amount, an applicant subtracts 2020 gross receipts from 2019 gross receipts. Applicants must deduct first-draw PPP and second-draw PPP loans. Any economic disaster loans—Economic Injury Disaster Loans, for example—are not RRF deductions.

Again, please click here to sign the NRA’s petition today.

Image: Konstantin Evdokimov on Unsplash

by krghospitality krghospitality No Comments

International Chain Slashes Menu

International Chain Slashes Menu

by David Klemt

Applebee's Grill & Bar casual dining restaurant

If you’re curious as to whether “lean and mean” menus are here to stay as a result of the pandemic, look no further than one international chain.

Moving forward, Applebee’s Grill + Bar menus will be some 60 items lighter.

The chain’s menu will be 38 percent smaller, and the change is permanent.

Significant Overhaul

Of course, it isn’t like the Applebee’s menu is tiny now. At about 100 items, it’s still larger than most independent restaurant menus. For contrast, KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey, in most cases, recommends 12- to 32-item food menus.

Still, the casual dining chain cutting 60 items permanently is a big move.

The decision is a direct result of the pandemic and the toll it took on Applebee’s and the industry overall. Unfortunately, like many operators big and small, chain and independent, the chain had to furlough staff. Lightening the menu made it easier for the chain to adapt and shift toward takeout and delivery.

Weak performers and complex items that affect efficiency are gone. According to John Cywinski, Applebee’s president, the decision means faster ticket times, more consistency, and better efficiency.

Among the 60 or so items that are no longer available: the triple cheeseburger, clam chowder, and BBQ brisket tacos.

Streamline Summer

The decision to eliminate dozens of complex and lagging items puts Applebee’s in a better position for Summer 2021, potentially.

Speaking with CNN Business, Cywinski said, “The team will have to be very thoughtful about every single product or beverage they introduce, and the consequence of it from a complexity standpoint.”

That thoughtful approach is crucial in large part because of Applebee’s new menu policy: When a new item comes onto the menu, an old item must go.

Accordingly, Applebee’s can remain innovative while avoiding once again inflating their menus.

With demand for social interaction, a return to normalcy, and in-person restaurant and bar visits set to explode, Applebee’s finds itself with a menu that’s nearly 40-percent smaller. That should make it simpler for the chain’s restaurant and bar teams to fill orders quickly, efficiently, and consistently.

Menu Refresh

Every operator needs to know their numbers. That doesn’t just mean costs and inventory, by the way.

Do you know the cook times for each food item on your menu? Do you know how many dishes you can make with a given ingredient? Is thoughtful cross-utilization an important element of your F&B operations?

The answers to those questions can help you identify bottlenecks in your operation and become more agile.

Another important question to consider: Do you know which menu items are your slowest sellers? If you do, answer this: Why are they still on your menu?

When you eliminate an item, yes, some guests will express their disappointment. You’ll have to weigh the costs of keeping a poor performer against freeing up resources by losing an item that rarely sells. You may even identify an item that you personally love but just doesn’t move. Again, you have to do what’s best for your bottom line.

You may not have 160 items on your menu. You may not have 100. That doesn’t mean you don’t have at least a handful of items that you can eliminate to reduce costs and increase revenue.

Image: Applebee’s Grill + Bar

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