It may appear easy to come up with new ideas for deli menus at first. You have to pick something and put it between two slices of bread.
Would that it were so simple. It takes time and thought to come up with new ideas for a deli menu. As a deli owner, you need to balance the traditional with new ideas. You must also make sure that all of your ideas will be both profitable and popular.
The deli menu is not a perfect solution. It’s not easy to meet customer expectations and satisfy your business needs. Don’t worry; we have a list of solid ideas that will help you make the most of your new Deli’s menu.
Balance your deli menu for profitability and popularity
The curation of deli menus is about coming up with new ideas that satisfy the public while increasing your bottom line.
You will be expected to offer a certain number of items on your menu. Sandwiches must be on the menu. Soups and Salads are expected. Once you have checked off the essentials, the rest is up to you.
You’ll find entrees, sides (both classic and inventive), baked goods, beverages, and more. Don’t forget about the fun that you can have creating salads and sandwiches. You can create so many different combinations using seasonal and local ingredients, not to mention the variety of cuisines that you can be inspired by.
Here are three ideas that will help you find a happy medium while adding fun and creativity to your deli menu:
Learn the basics
Most of your first-time customers will be looking for a sandwich or other deli staples. Your Deli should be rooted in good sandwich making, even if you want to add your flair. Customers will always request staples like pastrami or egg salad sandwiches.
If you want to guarantee success with your sandwich, lock in your process. No matter how unique or classic the sandwich is, all of its components, including meat, cheese, and vegetables, must have a harmonious flavor. There’s also the issue of bread. Heftier sandwiches might require heartier bread. Lastly, be disciplined in your stacking of ingredients. After the first bite, customers don’t like their sandwiches to spill onto their plates or laps.
These details apply to both your classics and your original creations. It’s best to make a classic potato salad before you try a new, funky version.
Restaurant Cost Control Guide
This guide will help you learn how to maximize your profits by learning more about the costs of your restaurant, tracking them, and taking steps to reduce those costs.
Modifiers and Add-Ons
Don’t forget to offer modifiers and extras.
This is particularly true of condiments such as extra sauces or pickles. These items are usually low-cost but high-margin and in demand.
It would be best if you found the right balance when customizing your sandwiches. You don’t wish to be known for being the Deli that charges a lot of money for small additions. You can counteract this by comparing the modifier prices of local restaurants and pricing your extras within a competitive range.
Calculate your cost
Your deli menus, old and new, must all contribute to the profitability you are aiming for. Controlling your costs is the key to achieving and tracking the profitability that you desire.
For restaurant cost control to be successful, you need a solid database and systems that allow you to calculate costs consistently. Invoice automation is a great foundation for food costs. The same is true for restaurant-specific payroll systems, with the exception of labor costs.
These systems help you track your costs. They allow you to identify trends and adjust recipes, ingredients, and portions, as well as prices and labor. There has to be some balance.
If you focus too much on profits, it could lead to the most expensive menu (and even worse, the most boring) in your town. You can be creative in your new deli ideas and find ways to offer customers what they love at a price you like.
Effective deli menu design examples
You can prepare many deli menu items in advance. Pre-packaging to-go items of your most popular items is a great way to take advantage of this. It will keep your lines moving and allow your customers to feel more comfortable, knowing that they can quickly enter and exit your Deli. Grab-and-go items can also be used to test new menu options.
Joe’s Deli, located in Buffalo, NY, is a perfect example. In their coolers, they keep a variety of delicious grab-and-go options.
Add deli trays to your catering menu.
You can cater if you have the space. If you structure your catering strategy correctly, it can be an excellent way to increase profits from your food. You can control your catering costs once you have established the quantities and prices.
Catering has a marketing advantage. With every catering order, you reach a large number of potential customers. If your Deli offers amazing catering, this will boost your business across the board.
Luca’s Gourmet Deli & Catering, located in New Jersey, offers both full-service catering and a dine-in deli.
Breakfast should be on your menu.
When you hear “deli,” it’s natural to think of lunch. This doesn’t need to be the situation. Breakfast is a delicious, popular, and profitable option that you can add to your menu. Check out the competition before you announce new breakfast hours and menus.
Leven Deli Co, Denver, CO, doesn’t only offer breakfast but also caters, has a retail store, and offers happy hours.
Bread and Spreads: Get out of the house!
It’s not wrong to use good breads and spreads. To be successful, don’t be afraid of expanding your menu.
You can do this by drawing inspiration from your locality and region. You can test new menu items and gauge customer interest by offering a special on a few appetizers or entrees.
Redbud Deli, Morristown, TN, offers a menu that includes grits, meatloaf, and the “Carolina Pork Pile” pictured.
Refine the Classics
Innovations are wonderful. You can include your funky flavors and ingredients on the deli menu, as well as the classics everyone expects. Balance is key when it comes to your menu. The cool new items on the deli menu shouldn’t be at the expense of classics. If you are doing classics, do them well.
The menu of Murray’s Deli in Midland, TX, is an excellent example of combining classics with local flair.
Improve restaurant operations
Although the idea of updating or reconfiguring your operating procedures may seem overwhelming, focus on one area and then move forward. Start with these few items.
Sandwich your new deli ideas to increase popularity and profitability
There are many options available, whether you’re looking for an idea for your first menu or an established deli that wants to spice things up. You should always approach your menu carefully and intentionally, ensuring that you strike a balance between profitability and popularity. You, your staff, and your clients will all benefit!
We’re confident that you will create a new and exciting deli meal with these ideas and tips.