It’s well known that understanding the food landscape is essential to making better business decisions, but how do you go about analyzing the abundance of options out there? Menu analysis is the practice of researching the impact of changes in different food offerings on sales performance, customer satisfaction, and market opportunity. The results of this analysis can then be used to inform buying decisions, price comparisons, and other processes that help restaurants and foodservice companies improve mobility, organizational efficiency, and profitability. In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 things to consider when conducting menu analysis to help you navigate the complexity of today’s foodservice industry.
First, you need to choose the right data source. When researching foodservice data trends across regions and sectors, you need to make sure you’re getting accurate, reliable, and relevant information. Look for an industry-leading source that provides comprehensive data, including menus, pricing, and inventory, that is updated regularly. This will help you to gain insights that will give you a competitive edge when making decisions about your business.
Second, consider the technology in use. Technology plays a huge role in the success of any foodservice business, and it is important to understand how different technologies impact the menu analysis process. You’ll want to look for technology providers that offer an array of data-driven solutions specifically built for menu analysis, such as front-of-house systems, customer experience management, and kitchen operational technologies.
Third, investigate customer segmentation. As a foodservice provider, you need to understand the needs of each customer segment to ensure you can deliver the best customer experience possible. Menu analysis should include a deep dive into customer segmentation and targeting to ensure that the menu is tailored to each segment.
Fourth, research competition. Every foodservice organization has competitors, and it’s important to understand their strategies in order to stay ahead. Conduct research on competitors’ menus and areas of focus, as well as their pricing structure, to identify areas where you can differentiate yourself.
Fifth, look for trends. Keeping up with foodservice industry trends is essential for success. Make sure to assess the current trends in the market and use that information to inform your menu analysis. Data from industry experts can also be useful for uncovering trends that will help to shape the future of the foodservice industry.
Sixth, understand customer preferences. When conducting menu analysis, you need to take into account customer preferences. Analyze customer feedback, surveys, and other data sources to understand what customers like and what changes they would like to see. That way, you can make informed decisions about what items to add or remove from your menu.
Seventh, analyze pricing. Foodservice organization operate on thin margins, so pricing is essential for success. Conducting an in-depth analysis of how different menu items affect pricing is key in setting the right price for each item. In addition, this type of analysis can help you identify areas where you can reduce costs by adjusting your pricing structure.
Eighth, consider digital menu optimization. As more and more foodservice providers switch to a digital-first approach, it is important to tailor your menu for digital channels. This means looking at how items can be organized for ease of navigation, how images can be used to attract customers, and how items can be presented to maximize conversions.
Ninth, optimize the user experience. User experience is key in menu analysis. Conduct research on customer navigation patterns and make changes to optimize the user experience both in-store and online. This will help to reduce customer confusion and ensure a seamless user experience.
Finally, use analytics & reporting. Using analytics and reporting is essential for gathering data that will guide your decision-making process. Make sure to track customer feedback, sales performance, cost analysis, and other metrics to get a full view of how your menu is performing.
Menu analysis can be a complex process, but armed with the right data and insights, you can make informed decisions about how to optimize your menu for success. Use the top 10 considerations in this article to start on your journey into understanding and optimizing your foodservice menu analysis.