Lunch can be one of the trickiest meals for a restaurant. Customers are looking for a quick, in and out meal that will satisfy their appetite and not put a strain on their wallet. It can be hard to keep a consistent, full dining room during the lunch hour. Here are 5 tips on having the most profitable lunch hour for your restaurant.
1. Quick Service
Most workers have a very set amount of time they can take on a lunch break. Streamlining your lunch menu and service will keep customers coming back, knowing they can get a good meal in a short amount of time. Quick service doesn’t just mean your servers are running around the floor. It also means making sure the kitchen has as much prepped as they can so ticket times are quicker and plates are brought to the table even faster. Focus on being "rush ready" - a pre-shift meeting that gets both front and back of house prepared for prompt service.
The most versatile of foods- you can make an infinite number of different sandwiches. They are easy to prep for, easy to prepare, and can help you get that quick service so needed during the lunch rush. They also lend themselves well to carry out and grab and go.
3. Weekly Specials
Keeping your customers excited about your food can be a difficult task. Having weekly lunch specials will keep them coming back to try new things. Not only will it keep your menu fresh, it will also give you opportunities to use excess product to allow your inventory to keep moving.
4. Brunch is King
Adding brunch to your menu has seen great success over the past year. Read our article on Why Breakfast Is The Fastest Growing Restaurant Segment. Brunch foods tend to be easy and quick to make- eggs, bacon, and toast. Omelettes that you can prep all the ingredients beforehand. Pancakes you can quickly make with homemade batter. The list goes on and on!
5. Have a Take Out Menu
Some customers might not have time to sit down at your restaurant. Give them the option of coming to pick up their meal and take it back to their desk. If you’re in a more metropolitan area it might be worth looking into local delivery or partnering with companies like UberEats or Postmates to deliver for you. When people are in the middle of a project sometimes they just can’t leave their desks!
Lunch could be the next best thing for your restaurant. Following these 5 strategies will help get more people in the door and keep your dining room full! You could be the next best lunch stop in your city or town.