Small Plates, Big Profits
Smaller, sharing dishes are a great way to boost income and bring people together.
Why it works?
Whether it’s daytime grazing, weekend socialising or a romantic night out, sharing dishes are a popular choice among diners. Not only do they meet the customers’ changing dietary needs and cravings, but they encourage diners to stay longer – and order more drinks and dishes – by making their experience a more leisurely event.
What to serve?
Tapas, meat platters or fish sharing boards…the list is endless! Whether you serve them hot or cold, with or without bread; opt for either a fixed, regular choice of boards, a mix and match or daily specials. Make sure that you provide vegetarian options and ones suitable for diners following a gluten-free diet.
Stick with tradition
Cheese and pâté selections are the original sharing boards and remain popular. To help raise revenue on this familiar sharing dish, why not offer a wine pairing option and brief staff on the best matches? That way, when a board is ordered, they can suggest the perfect wine to complement the customer’s choice.
Our appetite for US-style smokehouse BBQ meats is still on fire! Ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork and beef brisket are showing no sign of falling out of favour. Perhaps add a steak (with an extra supplement) for those hearty eaters, and don’t forget to add sides – slaw, fries and onion rings being the most popular.
Sing for seafood
Fish is an ideal sharing board. It not only ticks the boxes for customers who follow a gluten-free diet, but with the rise in the numbers of people who are cutting back on meat without going vegetarian, fish consumption is increasing. Mix the board up with fish and seafood – depending on price and availability. Just make sure that if you are promoting the fish platter as gluten free, any fish served isn’t breaded or battered or cooked in, or served, with a sauce containing gluten.
With 1.2 million people in the UK now not eating meat or fish, according to the most up to date figures*, catering for vegetarians is a must – and menu choices can no longer be limited or dull. Hummus and pitta boards that include olives, falafel, tzatziki and salad are popular. No.73 Delicatessen at Uppermill has nine speciality boards; five of which are vegetarian. They include a cheese board, vegetable platter, mezze, bread board and breadsticks and aioli.
Make an offer
To boost trade during quiet times why not offer a deal? Early bird menus bring in the custom and if you don’t have a second booking on that particular table, the customers will tend to stay for the evening; meaning you gain from their bar bill. Or why not offer wine with a platter? The Royal Hotel, Kirkby Lonsdale offers Platter & Prosecco for £30 per couple every day. Perfect for a quiet night, but together this also encourages groups who are looking for a cheaper way to dine.
*Source: National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 2012