I have been carrying out some research for a client based in the hospitality & tourism business. The body of research is based around new dinning trends & customer/consumer habits. Here’s a quote that I came across “I am looking for products and brands that are real, authentic and honest, because I know I can trust what’s in them and where they come from”. Catering for taste, or giving the customer what they want. I don’t believe this statement is a trend, if you run a pub hotel, restaurant, café then surely this should form the core of the kitchen or menu.
Back to Basics still resonates among people in NI. Its Often is associated with, mums home cooking – balanced meals made from scratch or value ingredients.
So how do you get right balance? It’s important to offer the right balance of professional cooked food & descript a menu that makes you want to eat. Looking at classic or basic dishes doesn’t require a dummying down of what you offer, neither is it an opportunity to cut corners or drop standards. To produce a back to basics menu containing some classic dishes such as fish pie or roast chicken with lemon thyme stuffing doesn’t require a plethora of ingredients or ready made products. Uncomplicated, tasty simple food is not labour intensive. It is straight forward to produce & these dishes will develop almost a cult following; most customers are creatures of habit – have a look at your EPOS or your till read. You will be able to build a clear picture of what your customers enjoy
This approach to buying and preparing food –from using seasonal and value ingredients, to more time cooking from scratch –has grown in importance. Again, people are focusing on the tangible benefits of these approaches, such as better quality and freshness or supporting local business.
May be now is the time for you to look at your “kitchen/menus” – we are still firmly in the eye of this economic down turn. Customers are looking at what is coming down the economic road. Can the basics give your business a boost? Is it time to shrink your menu, are they to long. Long listed menus mean you are carrying stock – money is tied up in stock. The shelf life of the stock & all the implications in relation to food safety comes sharply into focus. Local pub or neighborhood restaurant are you ignoring great classic dishes? Could you put in a classics section on your menu or included it in the daily specials. Focus on your the customers
Do what you do best, do it often. Customers expect this – it’s why they visit your business