One of the sessions offered on Sunday at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show was called â€˜On the Menu: What’s Hot, What’s Not, and What’s Next.â€™ The presentation was hosted by Nancy Kruse, menu trends expert and president of The Kruse Company.
The session focused on bringing value strategies to life on the menu in this tough economy. Kruse highlighted what she calls the â€˜4 P’s of Menu Valueâ€™: protein, portion, premium, and push-back.
Of these, I thought the most interesting was the push-back strategy. Restaurants are vulnerable to supermarket home meal replacement (HMR) again due to the economy and consumers’ desire to stay at home. In fact, one key grocery culinarian doesn’t refer to the category as HMR, but RMR (restaurant meal replacement). Kruse suggested restaurants should leverage their inherent strengths to combat this resurging trendâ€”freshness, technique, and ability to pamper the patron.
And, perhaps restaurants can learn a thing or two from the grocery industry – namely, the art of sampling. Kruse recommended that restaurants sample their most profitable menu items in the waiting area or immediately after the guest has been seated as a strategy to increase sales. I wondered, â€˜What other things can restaurants learn from grocery instead of the other way around?â€™
Comment on this article to let me know what you think.
Guest Blog from Tona Griggs