Does your restaurant serve dinner, but sit closed and empty throughout the day? Does your coffee shop offer a few baked goods in the morning, but offer no food by the afternoon? It might be time for you to consider adding a day program to your business. Adding a coffee, breakfast, brunch, or lunch program to your establishment is a great way to boost sales, build customer loyalty, and re-brand your business. With thoughtful planning and careful execution expanding your menu in this way can bring your business great success.
In creating a new program, it is important to consider the following:
1. Can the current staff accommodate this shift? Consider the hours your staff usually works. Will you be asking them to come in at a time when your restaurant is not typically open? If this is the case, it is important to talk with your staff and see how they feel about this sort of change. Are they are willing to take on the new hours? If it does not seem possible for your staff to accommodate, you may want to consider hiring a separate day staff.
Are you adding brunch or lunch to a coffee shop that will be fully staffed throughout the day? If this is the case, it may be as simple as teaching your baristas how to assemble a few sandwiches or hiring a cook to make some items ahead of time that the baristas can heat and serve to customers.
2. Identify potential clientele. Who will be ordering from your new menu? Day programs are great for the worker bee type. The customers who spend hours a day on their laptops at a coffee shop will undoubtedly be eager to try your new lunch specials. Perhaps with the new program they will be able to stay longer when they would usually move on to a new location by lunchtime.
Perhaps you own a full restaurant. Brunch and lunch menus are a great opportunity to encourage people who work in the area to sit and grab some food outside of the office or have a lunch meeting with a colleague.
If your business is in an area where a lot of other folks in the food and beverage industry live, it might be a great idea to start offering coffee, breakfast, and brunch until early afternoon. These customers are typically up late and need to grab a coffee and bite to eat before heading into work.
3. Create a menu that complements your existing menu. Menu items on your day program should reflect those on the existing menu. If you have a 5 course prix fixe menu in the evening, tacos probably are not the best option for lunch. Be sure the ingredients and themes are similar but not repetitive. This saves money in food cost and it will ensure the two programs promote one another. Don’t forget to market your new menu! Regulars will be excited to try things out!