If you are opening a Food Shop and is making a choice of food items menu offering. Considering to offer a huge menu or a limited specialized menu. Which is better?


Sometime ago, i was talking with an Asian culinary chef from a restaurant chain who is considering to start his own restaurant business.

His wealth of Asian culinary knowledge and experiences spurs him. As a potential business owner he needs to weighs the decision to either offer a wide variety of menu items or a smaller selection of specialized dishes.

So we did a summary below of the Pros and Cons for his consideration:

For Menu Items with a wide varieties of dishes:

the Pros:

Attracts a broader customer base: A menu with a wide variety of options can appeal to a wider range of customers with varying tastes and preferences.

Increases the average check size: Offering a lot of menu items can encourage customers to spend more on their meal, as they may be more likely to order additional courses, drinks, or desserts.

Provides more opportunities for upselling: Servers may be able to suggest additional dishes or menu items, leading to increased sales..

the Cons:

Quality control issues: A wide variety of dishes can be challenging to execute well consistently, and can increase the risk of quality control issues in the kitchen.

Difficulty in inventory management: A large menu requires a higher level of inventory management, which can lead to more waste and spoilage of ingredients.

Complexity in kitchen operations: Preparing and cooking a large number of menu items can put a strain on kitchen operations, leading to longer wait times for customers.

For a Smaller Selection Specialized Dishes:

the Pros:

Consistent quality: By focusing on a smaller number of dishes, a restaurant can develop a deep expertise and consistently execute those dishes well.

Lower food costs: A smaller menu can help to reduce inventory and food waste, leading to lower food costs.

Faster service times: A smaller menu can streamline kitchen operations, leading to faster service times and a better customer experience.

Strong brand identity: A smaller menu can help a restaurant establish a clear brand identity and differentiate itself from competitors.

the Cons:

Limited customer base: A small menu may limit the appeal of a restaurant to a narrow demographic, potentially reducing the overall customer base and revenue.

Limited revenue opportunities: With a smaller menu, there may be fewer opportunities for upselling or increasing the average check size.

Risk of becoming stale: A smaller menu may be challenging to keep fresh and relevant over time, potentially leading to a stagnant brand and customer base.

Limited opportunities for experimentation: With fewer menu items, a restaurant may have limited opportunities to experiment with new dishes and ingredients.



And which approaches to choose based on the Pros and Cons must also consider the viability and sustainability of the choices. Manpower, food material cost, location, human demographics, IT sales systems are all inter-linked.

So for this Chef friend of ours, he reckon limited specialized dish is more suitable upon considering the limited restaurant space and other costs. And also since it’s a first venture, he prefers to be cautious and mindful.

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