Planning a new menu is always a mixture of excitement and stress! It takes a lot of time and effort to develop the menu, but in the end it's worth all the craziness. While we don't make a complete change all at once, the menu goes through major revisions twice a year.
Some of our new menu items from our first taste-testing!
Ideally the process starts months in advance, but we always end up with some last minute decisions to make. We take a look at past sales to see what should stick around and what items should return from old versions of the menu. There are some staples that we can't part with, like the Billy Burger and Old Fashioned Curds. With a fairly small menu and specific layout that we want to use, and taking into account the variety we want to capture, there are limitations to how many new items that we can add at any one time. Then comes the fun part: developing fresh ideas and the taste-testing that comes with the territory!
Taste-testing, take two!
There are a lot of factors and opinions that we consider while piecing together a new menu, but it comes down to creating a unique menu that we think our customers will enjoy. The seasons also help dictate the changes that we make to keep things fresh!
The drink menu is a whole other conversation! We follow a similar process to update the drinks, but we also work with many distributors on availability of products, especially beer and wine. One of our pet-peeves is to be out of something on the menu, and beer seems to cause difficulty, so we try to stay ahead of the curve. Cocktails are our opportunity to have a little fun with things and keep things interesting!
New cocktail line-up!
Once all of the decisions are finalized, that's when the real work starts - product descriptions, pricing, formatting, reviewing, printing, and updating the POS system and website. But perhaps the most important step is our all-employee meeting to introduce the new items in an effort to make a smooth transition. This time around, we're closing for one day to make the necessary changes and will open on June 1st ready to go with the new menu!