menu hacks

How restaurant hacks and secret menus could affect your bottom line

Restaurant hacks and secret menus are all the rage on TikTok, with guests posting their favourite ways to customize popular items, sometimes creating a whole new dish or experience. While this may be fun for guests, it’s not always ideal for your staff or your business.

How could this trend affect your restaurant’s bottom line?

More labour and longer waits

Because these restaurant hacks are unfamiliar to your team, they often take longer to prepare, posing a strain on your staff. They also typically take longer to order, which means that the lines are held up as each step lengthens. In these cases, you could be dealing with slower turnaround, unhappy customers, and overworked staff.

Lower profits

Often these hacks are designed to save the customer money, and while there’s nothing wrong with a thrifty shopper, in this case, it could come at your expense. Some customers have discovered ways to order with custom add-ons to build existing items for less money, lowering your profits and costing you money.

The good news

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. These hacks have the potential to negatively affect your business, but all is not lost.

The good news is that you can use this trend to your advantage! Embracing it could allow you to have more control and minimize the possible negative impact on your restaurant.

Part of the allure of this trend is that it has an “exclusive” feel, so customers feel like they are in the know and can share that secret with their friends.

If you market it right, encouraging your guests to come up with unique combinations that don’t exist on your menu could be a great way to create engagement and get people talking about your business. Not only that, but when word gets around, you’ll draw in a new crowd to give these “secret” items a try.

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Plus, if these orders are happening more frequently, you could even add them to your menu, so your staff is trained, making the process easier and less costly.

This is a trend that’s sticking around, made even more popular by social media influencers, so the more you can use it to your advantage, the more your bottom line will benefit.

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