Making the Modern Menu

Reducing time to launch

February 14, 2017 // Restaurant Business Magazine

The menu development team for sports bar chain Native Grill & Wings sets a date for a new menu rollout and then works backward, setting deadlines and using a spreadsheet to track progress, says Marketing Manager Cynthia Velasco. For example, new breakfast-inspired items such as the hangover burger (topped with bacon, hash browns and a fried egg) that debuted on a fall menu update were in the works for three to four months prior.

The spreadsheet outlines timing for each step, such as time for research and development and consulting with franchisees on pricing, two weeks for menu design, two days for photo shoots, and then updating spec sheets of the new menu to go to the printer.

In addition to representatives from operations, training, marketing, procurement and a franchisee advisory group, Native Grill’s menu development team also includes someone from the information technology group. That way, the tech team can start making adjustments earlier to the POS system as well as online ordering, delivery and the restaurant’s mobile app.