Operators have cut down the number of dishes on menus by 32% as they adapt their offer to the reduced post-lockdown demand, the latest analysis from Lumina Intelligence has revealed.

According to its Menu Tracker, MCA’s insight arm has found that, on average, operators have reduced menu counts to 39 items post-lockdown, from 57 in 2019.

When broken down by dish type, starters saw the biggest cut back – by 43% - but the number of main dishes (down 27%), side dishes (down 38%) and desserts (down 31%) were also significantly reduced.

With historically larger offerings, managed pubs and bars have reduced their menu counts by 56% on average, from 81 to 36 items, while chain restaurants have opted for an average reduction of 26% (from 53 items in 2019 to 39 in 2020).

“Making menus more focused and reducing options is a necessary tool for operators in the current post quarantine stage of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Katherine Prowse, insight manager at Lumina Intelligence. “Upon reopening under strict safety regulatory measures, smaller menus ensure that the ordering process is straightforward and timely.

“Less menu items means that for back of house staff, distancing and ensuring safety guidelines are met is more achievable. A focused menu also translates into cost savings for operators who can reduce food costs whilst boosting margins from cutting the most unprofitable items from their menus.”

Lumina Intelligence’s upcoming webinar focusing on menu composition, dish complexity and pricing strategies post-lockdown, will take place Thursday 10 September.

Registration is now open at https://www.bigmarker.com/lumina-intelligence/menu-engineering-pricing-simplification-strategies?utm_bmcr_source=social.

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