Your restaurant can provide a much-needed place for your guests to reconnect with friends and family this year. As you plan your menu, consider creating dishes that are presented in an easy-to-share form. Offering a dish designed to be shared with one or more table mates can help you entice guests to boost check totals with an added appetizer or dessert. Plus, offering a shareable item is an easier sell to guests looking to eat more mindfully in the new year.
At a time when restaurants need to find every opportunity they can to carve out a profit, your dessert menu needs to earn its keep. That can be difficult when desserts are often shared by guests, there is a limit to how expensively they can be priced, and they increase the time it takes to turn a table in-house. To help, consider adding some lighter and more savory items to the menu to balance any heavier, sweeter items that many guests feel they must try to resist. Reduce portion sizes where possible so ordering an individual portion of dessert doesn’t feel like such a splurge. Finally, suggest some alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to complement your dessert offerings.
It seems like a long time ago that restaurant guests would gather around big tables at restaurants and share overflowing platters of food, family-style. But doesn’t that sound great after months of eating at home and away from groups? As we ease back into gatherings, your menu can safely promote the sense of community that people have been missing. Consider offering some comforting appetizers and entrées that can be shared. You might provide individual serving spoons to promote safety or serve up individual portions tableside.