Where to Begin
How should you change your menu to accommodate today’s health and dietary concerns? Here are a few tips for starting off on the right track.
- Start with the crust. “First make the crust fresh and in-house, and let the customers see that it’s real,” says Patty Scheibmeir, Pie Five Pizza vice president of research and development. “Then work towards fresher toppings and cheeses.”
- Check your suppliers. “The first step I’d suggest for independent shop owners is to go back to their distributors and seek education on the manufacturers’ options,” says Jim Minidis, founder of Redbrick Pizza. Economies of scale make this a far more feasible option than developing new products or sourcing solely from local markets.
- Test it out. Use promotional deals and samples before placing all-new items on your menu. “We do limited time offers with different ingredients and let the customers tell us what direction to take,” says Drew French, founder of Your Pie.
- Don’t change everything. Add in fresher ingredients, accommodate special diets with substitutions and advertise your local and sustainable purchases –– but don’t change the core of your menu. Putting a fresh twist on your existing products will satisfy current and new customers alike.
David LaMartina is a Kansas City-based freelance copywriter who specializes in the finance, food and health industries.