Your traditional menu offerings may be part of the past, but updating your menu with low-prep, takeout, curbside, and delivery friendly options are part of your future.

Operators are changing or limiting menu items for several reasons:

  • Your kitchen can execute dishes faster.
  • Customers can order quicker.
  • It will reduce dead stock and lower waste, which will aid in food cost and profit control.
  • Easier to train new hires.

You can also increase turnaround and profits by:

  • Offering a pre-fixed menu to increase check and tip averages.
  • Running a monthly report to identify the best and worst selling items, then using this information as an opportunity to quickly change out unsuccessful items for more successful ones.
  • Using the same menu for table service and to-go.
  • Minimizing wine and cocktail menus. Consider focusing on pairing suggestions with menu items to help increase check average and profit.

Keeping your staff safe is also important right now. Limiting prep across your menu can help with this. Consider incorporating the following types of products on your menu and in your recipes to help provide consistency and speed.

  • Pre-portioned fresh-cut steaks, fish filets, pizza dough, burgers, and desserts can help with low touch and speed.
  • Pre-cut vegetables, pre-made sauces, pre-sliced meats, pre-breaded items, and cheeses can be used throughout your menu while minimizing touch and prep.
  • Fully cooked heat and serve items can also enhance your menu offerings.

Certain cooking methods and dishes also allow food to be fully prepared in advance, increasing speed of service and reducing labor costs. Some examples of this include:

  • Braising and stewing
  • Boiled or steamed items
  • Smoking and BBQ
  • Pasta and noodle dishes
  • Lasagna, pot pies, or roasts

Additional Resources:

Pro Tips for Protein Alternatives


*This information is presented for guidance only, and is not a formal endorsement or recommendation of a particular response. This information is not legal, financial, medical, or safety advice. Please consult the CDC and your state’s department of public health for up-to-date guidance for your location.

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