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Blog posts from April, 2015

16 Phenomenal Restaurant Menu Optimization Tips You Need to Apply Today

Blackboard Menu

Menu optimization is a fine balance between attracting and pleasing customers while meeting the needs of a restaurant’s profits. It’s easy to focus too heavily on marketing while forgetting about the bottom line or focusing too much on the latter and not enough on the former. Not only that, but coupled with the overwhelming number of articles and books on menu optimization and lack of time everyone these days seems to face, it’s enough to drive someone crazy.

To help you use your time most efficiently and learn something new to make you better at your job (and hopefully more money in your pockets), we’ve compiled 16 of our favourite menu optimization tips. Study them! You’ll learn fantastic new tips you can implement on your menus to squeeze the most value out of your menu.

On Menu Items:

1. Keep track of what your customers order most and which menu items will generate the most profit for your bottom line and highlight those prominently. Source.

2. Update your menu seasonally – not only does this ensure you’re taking advantage of lower cost, in-season produce, but it also keeps the menu just fresh enough that repeat visitors are attracted back again and again. Keep the favourites and signature dishes on the menu but use seasonal specials as a way to try new menu items that can hopefully replace underperforming dishes with a high popularity, high profit margin winner. Source.

On Menu Design:

3. Never forget the attraction of mouth-watering, taste inducing descriptions combined with delicious food photography. Something that looks and sounds amazing to eat can increase sales by up to 27%. Source.

4. On average, customers only spend 90 seconds reading a menu. Reduce your menu length by eliminating under-performing menu items and increase white space making the menu easier to read while increasing the likelihood of high-margin items being chosen. Source.

5. Instead of featuring drinks and desserts on the main menu, where they can get lost, use separate menus for drinks and desserts to make them stand out. Also consider putting higher margin drinks and desserts on table tents to tantalize the appetite and leave them wanting more. Source.

6. Consider pushing more alcoholic beverage sales by highlighting complementary pairings on the menu. On average, the margin from a single-portion alcoholic beverage was nearly twice that of the average non-alcoholic beverage. Source.

7. Reduce visibility of lower margin menu items by relocating to back of menu. Source.

8. Utilize borders and shading to highlight and emphasize higher margin menu items to draw the eye. Source.

9. Reference Grandma’s homemade peach cobbler or Mama’s Succulent BBQ & Beer Pork to tug on heart strings. Utilizing menu psychology, customers like the names of mothers, grandmothers and other relatives on their menus – research shows they are much more likely to buy. Source.

10. You can also impact the sales of certain items based on their position on the page. Hot spots include the first page’s top right corner and the top or bottom item in each category. Source.

On Menu Pricing:

11. Embed price in the description of a menu item so you don’t attract attention to the price alone and unintentionally highlight all lower-priced items. Source.

12. Alternatively, remove dollar signs from the menu because it immediately reminds customers they’re spending money. Source.

13. Ensure your pricing speaks to your brand and restaurant concept – if you’re a high-end full service restaurant, pricing items with .99 is tacky and aggressive and doesn’t denote quality. If you’re a restaurant focused on providing value though, pricing that includes .99 works, but .95 works even better as it’s friendlier and more effective. Source.

14. Price the highest markup to be on the second-least expensive bottle of wine as many diners will order the second least-expensive bottle or glass of wine to avoid looking cheap. Source.

On Menu Strategy:

15. Learn to say no. In restaurants (same as in business) it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be all things to all people by trying to put too many items on the menu to please everyone. Not only does this drive up food costs, but can also confuse customers. Focus on a niche that works with your restaurant brand. Doing this will ensure the critics fall by the wayside while the evangelists sing your praises far and wide. Source.

16. Ensure an open feedback loop exists from front of the house to the chef so guest feedback can be taken into account when revising the menu. If you don’t know what customers rave about and can do without, you won’t be able to know what to scratch off the menu and what needs more prominence. Source: March/April 2015 Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News Print Edition

Any additional menu optimization tips you’ve used that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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How strong is a Lifetime 6ft fold in half table?

Everyone wants to make sure that the products they buy are good quality products and because of that the stress test series was born. It has become one of our most popular blog series as it showcases how strong the products we sell are.

Continuing on with our stress testing series, we have a new video for you today. Because of how well-known Lifetime Products brand is, we often get asked how our tables compare to them. Last week, we showcased our 6ft fold in half table by stress testing the table using 44lb bags of salt until the table broke. This week’s post shows a video of us testing the lifetime 6 foot fold in half table to see how strong a lifetime fold in half table is. Check it out below!

Have you tested your lifetime fold in half table? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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The Best Suppliers of Restaurant Uniforms in Canada

Waiter in Uniform

Let me preface this blog post by saying we do not sell restaurant uniforms. We do however sell tabletop supplies to restaurants and other hospitality companies across Canada. As a company, we’re all about providing our customers with need to know, relevant information so they can easily and efficiently make decisions for their foodservice operation which is the reason for this post.

Because restaurant uniforms are one of the many ways guests judge a restaurant, ensuring the front of the house staff is putting their best foot forward is of utmost importance to any operator. It’s human nature to want the best of whatever product you’re purchasing so we’ve rounded up an unbiased viewpoint of the best suppliers of restaurant uniforms in Canada.

1. Canadian Linen and Uniform Service

Headquartered in Toronto, ON Canadian Linen and Uniform service is one of the largest uniform and linen supply companies in North America. They operate more than 115 production facilities and service centers throughout the US and Canada and service nearly 150,000 customers every week. They service the hospitality, automotive and manufacturing industries. One of the more flexible suppliers out there, they offer full service rental, flex lease and purchase of restaurant and chef uniforms. They offer customizations, and in some instances laundering, repairs and upgrades.

2. Cintas

Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, Cintas is a global company operating more than 430 facilities in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, including six manufacturing plants and nine distribution centres. Some of their more well-known customers include McDonalds, W Hotels and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Like Canadian Linen and Uniform Service they give restaurants the option to rent, lease, buy or have uniforms designed for a custom one of a kind look. Personalization is also available.

3. Lotus Uniforms

With warehouses in Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON (just like us!), Lotus Uniforms has an ecommerce website allowing restaurants to shop 24/7 for whatever restaurant uniforms they desire. They offer restaurant uniforms, aprons and chef wear with free shipping on orders of 48 + pieces. They provide logo work in the form of embroidery, screen printing and digital printing.

4. Blue Riband Uniforms Inc

Located in Quebec, Blue Riband Uniforms inc features an impressive client list including (but not limited to) Etihad Airways Lounge staff, Compass Group, The Ritz-Carlton, Hilton Hotel and Sunwest Aviation. They have a wide range of bar & banqueting uniforms, aprons, chef and food preparation uniforms. They also offer uniform personalization in the form of tabbing, badges, screen printing and embroidery.

5. Chef Works Canada

One of the only companies on this list that caters exclusively to the foodservice industry, Chef Works is headquartered just outside of Toronto and has over 200 distributors across the country. They have a fantastic style guide that gives foodservice operators options to visually decide on, an ecommerce site to shop 24/7, personalization available and some of the broadest range of restaurant uniforms around. They don’t offer rent, lease or laundering options if that is a need of yours.

Share your favorite suppliers of restaurant uniforms that we missed in the comments or on social media.

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New Product Alert: 24 inch Spandex Cocktail Table Covers

When we first introduced our spandex table covers back in January of 2014 we brought in 6ft rectangle spandex8ft rectangle spandex, and spandex cocktail table covers that fit 30” round cruiser tables and 32” plastic folding cocktail tables. We knew that spandex table cloths were something of interest to party rental companies, event venues, hotels and golf courses but were unsure of how popular they would be.

The 30” spandex cocktail table covers turned out to be an even bigger hit than we initially thought possibly and with that addition to our inventory, we started getting more requests for other sizes available.

I’m pleased to announce we now have 24 inch spandex cocktail table covers in stock.

24 Inch Black Spandex Cocktail Table Cover

Available in black, white and ivory, these spandex cocktail table covers fit cruiser tables that are 42 inches high, have a 4 pronged X base and a 24 inch diameter round tabletop. They’re a fantastic addition to any event space for cocktail receptions and can be dressed up with multi-coloured sashes and bling.

If you’re interested in receiving a quote including shipping for our 24 inch spandex cocktail table covers:

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How strong is a 6 foot fold in half table?

6-ft Rectangle Plastic Fold in Half table

6 foot fold in half tables are the perfect addition to an event rental company’s inventory. Not only are they more compact to store but they’re perfect to rent to condo and apartment customers. No need to lug 6ft and 8ft plastic folding tables through back hallways to their freight elevator.

We are in the practice of stress testing all our folding tables to ensure they’re strong and durable for our customers. The video below showcases our stress test on our 6 foot fold in half table. How we test the strength of the table is by piling 44lb bags of salt on the table to see at what point the table breaks. Check out how the fold in half table did.


If you’re interested in a quote of our 6ft fold in half table including shipping:

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