Social Question

food's avatar

Is it better to offer few products if you are starting to sell food products?

Asked by food (790 points ) December 14th, 2009

I have heard before that it’s better to have a short menu to offer, because that way you reduce costs and can make sure that everything is in stock. I´m curious to see what others’ opinions are. In addition, if you take into account that you’re starting a business and want to see what your customers prefer, would it be worth it to offer a lot of items at the beginning to later streamline the list?

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7 Answers

anon's avatar

I’d start with a shorter menu and then increase it as the customer base increases.

If I found a great new restaurant and started eating there but noticed the menu getting smaller I’d probably start eating elsewhere (unless it was really amazing food) because it wouldn’t appear to be a very stable business.

However, I’ve never run a restaurant or any other such place so take my opinions lightly ;)

Lua_cara's avatar

When you start i think its best to have a few well made dishes which compliment your signature dish.That way you make a name for yourself and a reputation.

As you gather experience in your craft and also know more about your client’s tastes you can add more dishes to the menu.

azlotto's avatar

Yes…Specialize and develope your top selling items.

strange1's avatar

yes, small range top quality premium stuff

FishGutsDale's avatar

Smaller menu means you can get it right, it will take you a while to source the best suppliers that will deliver just in time, work out what your customers want, find the right cost for that market and so on. If you try and do too much too soon you may get none of the above right and the customers will notice and word will spread.

Good luck!

YARNLADY's avatar

Try to limit the selections to the things that you do really well, with an eye to what the customer base in your area will be wanting.

food's avatar

Well, I´ve noticed that it´s annoying to see an outdated menu that shows a lot of products that aren´t available anymore, and that tends to happen when the business started offering too many items. I thought it might be OK if you just made sure to update the menu. Good point Anon-sometimes a client gets mad when they get used to a product and they can´t purchase it anymore. In my particular case, the food is made when the customer makes the order.
Nonetheless, I see that if everyone agrees with what is usually taught in class, and what reduces costs and makes it easier to guarantee availability, then it seems that just trying to offer too many selections would possibly have a less professional appearance.
Clients tend to have the signature dish in mind anyway and end up buying that most of the time for that very reason.
I guess if one wants to try new products, one can do so during a holiday season (Christmas for example) and specify that it´s only a seasonal item. Plus as yarnlady says one can try to have an eye to what the customer base will be wanting before adding something to the menu, instead of adding things like crazy to the menu without really figuring out what the market wants first.

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