Keeping Guests Coming with Menu Innovation


Why Constant Menu Innovation is Key by Kevin Hardy, QSR Magazine, March 2019

Today’s restaurant reality is that food savvy customers demand new offerings, surprises and exciting new dishes on menus. Limited time offerings, new menu additions and secret menu items are ways to keep things fresh and keep guests coming in.

“Consumers are always interested in something new and trying new things, especially millennials,” says Kara Nielsen, of CCD Helmsman. “The best innovation is meeting some kind of unmet need or driving business and stealing or keeping share.”

Like every other element of the service, menu innovation should align with a brand’s overall identity. Customers aren’t necessarily craving something new from Chick-fil-A or In-N-Out, Nielsen says. But fans of Sonic Drive-In expect to see the brand roll out fun new items. Nielsen says Sonic’s buzzy Pickle Juice Slush fits well with a brand known for its lineup of shakes and slushes. “It’s back to all publicity is good publicity. It sure got a lot of attention. Radio DJs were talking about it and people would think, ‘Oh, I want to go try that,’ and they tried it.”

Restaurants compete by having corporate chefs track trends, take trend tours to new cities, and keep up with what the small guys at food trucks and independent food stands are doing. Read More >>

Hey! CCD Helmsman leads food trend tours for clients; contact to learn more.

photo credit: cheba hut

Chris Lauer