Earlier this year we ran a customer survey and one of the biggest pieces of feedback we had from our customers around their current challenges was rising costs and not wanting to pass too much of this on to their customers. If you are looking at making cost savings in your independent pub, restaurant, hotel or catering business, one avenue you could go down it to create a ‘capsule menu’. Much like a capsule wardrobe, limiting the amount of produce but getting creative with how you use it can help you cut costs whilst still producing excellent dishes for your diners. Here are some tips on how to create a capsule menu:
- Choose a theme: One route is to offer a limited menu that focuses on a specific cuisine or theme. This can help you to reduce your food costs by streamlining your ordering process and eliminating items that are not popular or that require a lot of preparation. With a bit of creativity this can still ensure an excellent experience for your customers, for example as part of a theme night of the week.
- Use seasonal ingredients: As you well know, seasonal ingredients are often more affordable than out-of-season ingredients and diners are becoming increasingly discerning about the provenance of their food. Of course, seasonal ingredients are also fresher and tend to taste better too!
- Keep it simple: AS well as keeping costs low by limiting the number of ingredients, simple dishes are often easier and less expensive to prepare than complex dishes. Ensure you use high quality produce and you can afford to let the flavours speak for themselves. Depending on your clientele, they may also prove more popular with customers.
- Use less expensive cuts of meat: There are many delicious and affordable cuts of meat that are often overlooked in the catering industry. With a bit of creativity and culinary flair, these cuts can be used to create flavorful and satisfying dishes without breaking the bank.
- Offer smaller portions: Do your plates come back clean or is there often a good few mouthfuls left? Offering smaller portions can help you to reduce your food costs without sacrificing quality. They can also help you to control portion sizes and prevent food waste.
- Promote your capsule menu: Let your customers know about your capsule menu and why they should try it. You can do this through your website, social media, and signage.
With a dollop of imagination and a pinch of flavour, you can create a capsule menu that is both delicious and affordable. Don’t forget to talk to your suppliers about what options are available to you, for example less expensive cuts of meat. At Cooper Foods, our friendly sales team are always up to date on what’s in stock and can advise you on the best options to suit you.
Head to our website to apply for an account if you’re not already a customer, or give our customer service team a call on 01264 321050.