Menu strategy is about far more than just putting food on the menu. It’s about pricing, menu size and real estate, marketing, packaging and more. This year’s National Restaurant Association Show will provide forward-thinking operators with ideas, data and insights for shaping their menus for today—and tomorrow. From May 18-21, more than 2,300 exhibitors and roughly 65,000 foodservice professionals will walk into Chicago’s McCormick Place for the biggest show in foodservice. The takeaways from those four days will be seemingly endless. Those looking at their menu strategy can expect to learn about these actionable topics and more to help them grow and improve their business.
Food and beverage trends for next year and beyond
As operators explore limited-time offers and new permanent menu items, it’s key to know what foods and flavors will catch consumers’ attention—as well as what has lasting power. Show attendees will get data-driven insights into top menu trends and will have access to the top culinarians in the business. This year, at the World Culinary Experience Center, operators can learn even more about new techniques, the latest flavor and preparation trends and more.
What’s new and next in off-premise
There’s no denying that takeout and delivery remain the hot growth vehicle for foodservice. Now the off-premise market is maturing, as third-party delivery partners expand their services with offerings like subscription models, and technology companies continue to explore innovations such as robot and drone delivery. Operators looking to grow their business can learn about these evolutions, as well as the growing alcohol-to-go market and its implications for restaurants.
Managing pricing strategies
Often, during periods of challenging sales, restaurants lean on specific menu items or adjust prices to meet financial goals—sometimes resulting in lost traffic and other challenges. This year’s Show will address the common pitfalls of pricing strategies, and operators will learn how to assess the risks and opportunities to effectively manage their pricing strategies.
Attacking the snacking craze
Competition for share of foodservice dollars continues to grow, and snacking is one of the key areas operators are turning to to drive traffic during off-peak hours. Show attendees will learn about major trends impacting the between-meal and late-night segments, as well as menu strategies and marketing moves that have helped operators increase snack sales.
Understanding—and learning from—retail competition
A big part of developing a menu strategy is understanding what competition outside of restaurants is doing—and how they are winning over your customers. This year’s National Restaurant Association Show will address how grocery retailers and convenience stores are increasing their efforts to take foodservice dollars, diving into their strategies and tactics for this year and beyond. Operators will come away with stealable ideas to bring back to their businesses.
Marketing tips and tricks
Smart marketing can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch, promoting a specific item or putting out messaging about menu initiatives. At the Show, operators will hear successful marketing and branding strategies that can help drive profits. Additionally, operators will be able to take deep dives into the modern diner—understanding their wants, preferences and habits—in order to better target and win over customers.