How to test a new menu in a restaurant using customer feedback
Managing a restaurant can be an exciting process, particularly if you regularly introduce delicious new dishes to your menu. By switching things up every so often, it offers a varied and entertaining experience for customers, leading to positive reviews, long-term loyalty and an increased retention rate. However, introducing a new menu can be risky; if you don’t know whether your customers will like it before you roll it out across multiple venues, you might lose money and customers further down the line. To make sure that your new menu is a hit, test it first and incorporate customers in your processes. In this blog post, we discuss how to test a new menu in a restaurant using customer feedback.
Create a customer insights strategy
You might have an idea of which dishes to include on your new menu, but did you ask customers about it? When you listen to your customers, you’re putting their needs at the forefront of your business. Before you start planning your new menu, create a customer insights strategy to ensure that your proposed changes will be received positively. Start your customer insights strategy by reading our recent blog post. A customer insights strategy requires targeting a specific audience type, mapping customer journeys and gathering qualitative data, with an outcome of receiving enough information towards making changes that you know will be well received by customers.
Collect customer feedback
When you’re introducing a new menu, gather some feedback on your existing offerings first to make sure that you’re not scrapping a popular dish. Use your customer insights strategy to set a suitable time limit for experimentation, and start collecting customer feedback on your existing menu in a time-sensitive manner. Use collection methods that receive a high response rate, for example, QR codes and social media channels. For some more ideas, read our blog post on 5 ways to collect customer feedback. During this process of gathering feedback, you can also ask your customers which dishes they would like to see on your new menu, and stay on top of the trends. You can then decide which dishes to ditch and which to add to your new menu or create a variation of.
Gather data on order habits
Whilst you’re still in an experimentation phase, you can create a sample menu at a limited number of restaurants or for a limited time only. Test the popularity of your new dishes by analysing your customers’ ordering habits using an online system. YOOLOX offers a self-serve ordering system for restaurants and cafes that’s powered by a QR code and unique device recognition technology. By tracking customer preferences and prioritising their favourite dishes, you’ll learn what your returning customers enjoy most. The proof is in the pudding; with technology to help you gather customer feedback, you’ll soon learn whether your new menu will be a success.
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