2010 October: Simple Ideas

2010 October: Simple IdeasWine & Dine ‘em

If you have a wine list, then perhaps you are schooled in the fine art of pricing. Diners in this lean economical atmosphere are looking for ways to maintain luxuries –– such as dining out –– without busting their wallets. Spirits are one of the first items often to go –– but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re offering wines on the low-end, price around three times up, and double on the high end. Aim for $5 to $9 per glass –– that won’t break the bank for diners but will pad checks. Also, some operators have found success offering a weekly or monthly bottle special under $10 to $15. Work with your distributor.

Ahhh, Bacon!

Bacon products –– yes, including flavored lip glosses and shaped Band-Aids –– have taken America by storm. If you’re using it in-house, remember that the lean-to-fat ratio is critical. It should be even, around 50- to 60-percent, for the best flavor profile. Consider crumbling it on salads, using diced bacon as garnish and in white sauces for a salty finish.

Security Alert

Do your employees wear gloves? If so, both you and your staff could be lulled into a false sense of security. More than once, we’ve seen cashiers in gloves put money into the cash register, turn around and start preparing food. Train your staff to replace gloves when soiled, torn or if they touch any part of their bodies. Staying conscientious of their actions is the best way to keep customers –– and your bottom line –– safe.

The Big Dipper

It can be disheartening to see a pile of leftover pizza crusts lining plates after customers finish eating. Consider offering a small container of sauce for dunking –– it can be a signature addition that sets you apart from your competitors. It doesn’t have to be marinara or pizza sauce. For an additional cost, offer nacho cheese, a vodka sauce, buttery Parmesan, ranch dressing or Buffalo sauce. It’s a great add-on customers love!