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Literally, the menu may be the most important marketing tool a restaurant operator can develop. In many instances, it's the first information a patron uses to honestly assess the quality of the restaurant. If well thought-out, the menu will positively affect the restaurant operator's bottom line.

There are several strategies successful operators use to decide what restaurant meal ideas work for them.

One strategy is to ask, "What kind of foods do I like to eat?" Answer that and you are on your way to developing great meal ideas. It is easy to see that the food drives a restaurant's identity. You want your patrons to know the restaurant as a part of you yourself.

Another strategy is to survey your immediate competition. It may be that your restaurant meal ideas work well within your area, but you have local competition serving similar dishes and taking business from you. Look into creating new dishes that can be highlighted on your menu as "Signature" dishes.

Signature dishes are uniquely interesting and delicious dishes designed to consistently attract patrons to the restaurant as regular customers. A signature dish is supremely familiar to you and your staff because you have made it so many times you could make it in your sleep. They are unique to your immediate market and fill a specific taste niche. And, your signature dish is always available, no matter what.

Here's three more restaurant meal ideas to help you decide on which signature dish to call your own:

  • Find a dish that you absolutely love to eat and that others love too. It can be as common as pulled pork barbeque or as special as gourmet ravioli stuffed with Portobello mushrooms.
  • Survey the market and determine what is missing. Learn how to make it your own and stick with it. This could take some trial and error, but you can find it.
  • If nothing stands out as missing in your area, invent something absolutely different! Take chances and be bold. Something could take off and start a trend!

Yet, another strategy to generate menu ideas is to consult with a foodservice broker on popular restaurant meal ideas, available manufacturers he represents and possible recipes that fit your requirements. Windsor Foods is a leading foodservice manufacturer with restaurant meal ideas like pre-prepared frozen foods for restaurants, school districts, institutional and industry feeders, and C-stores throughout the country. Their traditional ethnic foods—Asian, Mexican and Italian cuisines—as well as their BBQ and chili, are well known standards in the industry.

Contact Windsor Foods today for more restaurant meal ideas that work for you, and to arrange for a broker in your area to demonstrate the quality of their lines, or to discuss custom foods manufactured to your strict specifications.

Windsor Foods is dedicated to making your operation a success.

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