Foodies have been around forever, but in today’s day and age, competition has reached newer heights. With so many restaurants vying for the number one spot, what can you do to stand out, if not stand first? A signature dish that is unique to your restaurant might just be the right answer to this. Since your restaurant business is not only about the acquisition of new customers but also retention of old ones, it becomes essential for you to have something that will keep them coming back for more.
The big question is, how do you find out which of the menu items should be your signature dish? It is no easy task to point out any one food item and label it your signature dish, especially since it is going to be a permanent staple on your food list. You need to be sure it appeals to a customer’s taste buds, his eyes, and of course, your profits. All of these rolled into one cook up an exclusive signature dish of your restaurant. Let’s see how it works.
What is your Chef’s favourite?
Not the one he/she likes to eat, but the one he/she likes to cook. Anybody who is in a certain profession has his/her favourite task and they always do that task the best. Well, for a chef, if they enjoy cooking a particular food item, they will certainly be excellent at doing so. They will put that extra effort in making it perfect. Therefore, this is one of the factors that is very important for your consideration while deciding the signature dish of your restaurant.
The most popular dish on the menu
Do most of your customers order a particular food item uncountable times and the rest of your menu literally feels like a sidekick in comparison? Then you already have a winner here. You know you need to make this your signature dish with a few alterations if need be.
On the other hand, if customers often ask for something that does not exist on your list, you need to fill the void. If a majority of customers have been asking for one particular food item repeatedly, start preparing it and make it your signature dish.
The unique one in your cuisine
If you are a restaurant serving Chinese cuisine, then you have all of the authentic Chinese dishes in your menu. Obviously, other restaurants serving Chinese cuisine will also have same food items in their menu as well. Look closely and carefully. Are you serving something from the Chinese cuisine that is unique and unavailable in other restaurants serving the same cuisine? You have just struck gold. This is your signature dish.
The premium aspect
A signature dish needs to be slightly premium in its pricing because after all, it is a signature dish! Figure out from your menu, if there is a highly priced dish already that people don’t hesitate paying for. This only goes on to mean that this is a popular dish and people are okay paying more for this one.
Once you have weighed your options and narrowed down on one food item to become your restaurant’s signature dish, don’t go and add it to your menu right away. You need to test it by preparing it over and over again. Experiment with all kinds of ingredients as well. Once you are sure that you have reached a taste that is absolutely irresistible, go ahead and launch it in the menu.
You are proud of your signature dish already but you need to know whether or not your customers are equally proud of you as well. Don’t start giving out the dish to everyone by charging for it right from the start. Start with very small portions as a promotional tactic. Give it to every customer and request a feedback. In a few days to a month, you will know if this signature dish is a winner or not.
Keep it ready
Once your signature dish is a hit with your customers, you can’t have any excuse like ‘Sorry, we ran out of supplies’. There is no way you can say a no to a customer asking for your signature dish and for this, you will need to stock up on your ingredients and raw materials needed to prepare this food item. Keep all of it ready at all times. You can do this with the help of good restaurant software that manages your inventory effectively and keeps track of the stocks so that you don’t need to check on everything manually, every time.
Well, pointing to one dish as a signature dish for your restaurant is quite a task but is a necessary one. You simply need to follow everything step by step and you will not make a mistake. Once you have nailed it, you will have customers pouring in just to have that one food item they are unable to find anywhere else. Be the only one serving this piquant delicacy and see the customers and profits pouring right in!