Over 900 Rockstar’s in over 80 countries, give us the amazing power that a smoking hot rock provides an amazing dining experience. With many new sites opening, I’m blown away with the diversity and creativity that many chefs use to launch Stonegrill bars and restaurants that reach such huge successful levels.
Over the past 10 weeks, I’ve been writing menus for some of my own hospitality sites. I have put a lot of new items to the test, with new and innovative plating options, most menus see 6 to 8 new Stonegrill Items ticking the box over this next 90 days. My latest menus will feature a good number of custom options, smoked duck, even wrapped fish and a BBQ Boil on the stone. Because for me, getting the very best from my Stones means I keep kitchen costs down and speed service up, the two things I need most.
In one of the sites, I have added 4 main meals, 2 lunch meals, and 6 brand new offerings in their own Stonegrill® section. To find help, I often look across many of the globally successful Stonegrill sites to find some of my inspiration, so I wonder to myself, have many of you really given your stones the development attention they deserve? Has your kitchen team even changed a single menu item in the last few menus?
I’m an ‘Old School restaurateur’, I do the basics well I believe in 4 menus a year. That’s one every 3 months. I focus on the sections one at a time and work hard not to overbalance the menu with entries into sections that do not help my core business goals.
When I look at many of the menus across the NZ market, many have not changed the Stonegrill section for a long time, some not for over 3 years … Some have not changed in over 4 years, and a very small section have not really changed at all.
Failing hospitality operators are often fast to hit the excuses button. But the real truth is… menu development and staying relevant to your guests takes’ a genuine amount of structured work. For me, in my most successful brands, I spend over 4 weeks, every 3 months, building new flavours, researching trends and exciting my guest with every new menu I launch. I know it works because ‘the money’s in the bank’ as they say.
Across the board when looking at well-balanced menu development, successful operator’s do one thing that the rest do not. That is to devote time for every menu section and make sure new options, styles and even left field offers are used to help power struggling shifts throughout the week.
Take lunch for example. If your lunches are massive and you don’t need more traffic you are in very rare air, but for the rest of us, lunches always need innovation and traffic drivers. A simple Rock and Roll added on to your menu will deliver over 80% GP and drive some sales. It takes innovation and work, but if you do this work you will be rewarded.
Par-baked bread with great meat presentation, the Meat sushi has worked for me. The ‘Pork and Pineapple’, or ‘Beef and Peppers’, lead the way but that does not mean you cannot come up with a Venison and Smoked Mushroom, or a Lamb & baby peas, as your sushi style. This looks amazing, but really it keeps costs down and drives a lunch trade into your business.
And a great lunchtime price point you will win Market!
In today’s modern Stonegrill venues speciality meats, delicious sides and amazing presentation is important, but so is taking the time to write great menus. Look at the placement of your sections, using good locational eye placement and enticing wording on the copy, both can make $1000s of dollars difference, but so does failure to do so.
I have hundreds of new SG menu items, some of which are the standout sellers from our last 90day menu, plus they have made the top 20 sales list which is excellent.
So, the big question this month is:
“How many of you want to increase turnover, slash some wage costs or generally build a better business?”
Because if you do, it’s ready and waiting.
Building a better, more successful menu, and Stones that excite your guests is simple. But so is doing nothing!… It’s not hard to be better and it’s far easier than most think, to redefine your business and drive new traffic “think you can or think you can’t…either way, you will be right”
So, will excuses get in the way? Or will your venue hit month on month growth like mine are?
My build your own Tacos will ROCK, so are we getting better? Or circling the wagons, hoping someone like me doesn’t open beside you?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you have said, people will forget what you have done,
but people will never forget the way you made them feel.”
“We sell the sizzle, we always have”