A new approach to menu planning
From “something for everyone” to “we’re the experts at one specialized concept,” Focused Energies is about streamlining to succeed. This mindset has operators hyper-focused like never before.
A highly competitive restaurant market, driven by increased consumer access to digital options, has forced chefs and operators to excel at a very narrow concept to stand out.
Not only does this strategy elevate the culinary focus – it combats rising ingredient costs and supply chain challenges through an efficient, streamlined menu – eliminating waste by using nearly every ingredient in a multitude of ways.
Whether this specialized food results from generations of passionate home cooks refining a recipe until it is near perfection or simply a career chef recognizing a cuisine gap in their neighborhood—specialization is the key to success.
What's the rice equivalent of "snout to tail?"
Expect to see concepts built around a single offering, like calzones or vegan barbecue.
Gone are the days of printing a five-page menu with a plethora of options to choose from. This operator knows what the top-sellers are, focuses on them, and forgets the rest. This choice is bold, and it’s not offering something for everyone but instead optimizing a few ingredients to do many things.
It’s time to feast your eyes on a little menu with a lot of promise.
Now is the time to take that MVP and really make it the star of the show.
Are you hyper-focused on the competition or conceiving new brands around the same niche offering? Then you’ve got Focused Energies. Operators with this mindset are wondering, “how many ways can I do pizza?”
Feeling the pressure to streamline, restaurants are focusing on what they do best, and getting rid of the rest.
Chik-fil-a has mastered the concept of a hyper-specialized menu, being named the no. 1 restaurant (chosen by half a million consumers) for the sixth straight year. The chicken chain has set a pretty high bar, scoring 84 (out of 100) on the ACSI Index, four points more than No. 2 Chipotle and six points more than the limited-service segment average, beating out other chicken heavy hitters like McDonalds and KFC.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Applebee’s decided to cut nearly 40% of its menu items, and plans to keep it that way permanently.
Similar to the uptick in highly specific D2C brands like Away, Harry’s, Casper, Quip ….. Consumers are gravitating towards brands that claim to disrupt the status quo, and are reliable experts.
Back to the mindset
“We started Kororin simply because we couldn’t find any Onigiri in Chicago.”
– Yuta, a virtual restaurant operator in Chicago
Next (Gen) Mindset
← 01 Trial & Error
02 Focused Energies
03 Agile Identities →