What’s the Fixation on Prix Fixe?
Depending on what type of restaurant you run, you have a myriad of options when it comes to menu creation and management. In more upscale establishments, customers might find something called a prix fixe menu. However, a restaurant doesn’t have to be fancy to do it: Any full-service restaurant can offer a fixed price menu to their guests, and there are tangible benefits for those that do.
What is Prix Fixe?
Prix fixe menus refer to offering multiple courses for a set price. It allows minimal customization by guests and much less work for your kitchen staff, although some restaurants give customers a choice between a couple of different prix fixe meals.
Although the practice is generally limited to fine dining, there’s still variety in how and when to offer prix fixe meals, which leave restaurateurs with options about what suits their business needs best.
Daily prix fixe rotates the menus each day. It’s an excellent way to incorporate variety, upsell particular specials, or for upscale places to convince customers who can’t usually afford to splurge to get more bang for their buck.
Special occasions warrant special menus, particularly during holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or entirely long weekends and restaurant industry events.
Tasting menus are filled with a lot of small plate courses so guests can try a little bit of everything you’ve got up your sleeve.
Prix fixe menus certainly aren’t right for every restaurant, and they’re not going to be suitable for every customer either. Identifying your target audience and your core, most loyal customers can be an asset in this momentous decision about whether to overhaul your menu or add a few prix fixe courses to your specials deals.
Pros of Prix Fixe Menus
There is such a thing as too much free will. Studies show that presenting too many options makes it difficult for customers actually to settle on a dish. With prix fixe, the courses are decided for them so they can focus on enjoying time with friends or family. A better time out leaves them with a better impression of their experience with you overall.
Your kitchen staff will appreciate having some of the load off their shoulders, too, especially during busy holiday seasons. Cook dishes in bulk when chefs already know what everyone’s going to order; this prevents too many ingredients going to waste and avoids a bottleneck during peak times when they’re trying to get meals out quickly. Operations run smoother without the guesswork, human error in inputting orders, and exaggerated wait times.
All of this adds up to greater profits for you. If you price your menu right, ultimately, the customers get more food for their money while your ticket average increases because they’re purchasing courses that they might not have ordered on their own. Do the math right, and everybody wins.
How to Make a Good Prix Fixe Menu
So you know that prix fixe would be a good idea, whether you want to offer one full time or only on special occasions, and if your customers would enjoy it like you think they will. Now it’s time to actually create a full prix fixe menu that fits your brand and will be as lucrative as you expect.
First, decide how many courses to offer and if you’re going to give customers any choice; some restaurants offer several dishes in each section for customers to choose from. If you do this, make sure that the menu is cohesive; appetizers and desserts make sense with each entree so every customer is guaranteed a great experience no matter what dishes they choose.
Make smarter business decisions with advanced Point of Sale devices that have automatic reporting capabilities: You’ll see your most popular dishes and lowest-cost ingredients, as well as other critical sales data that will help you save and earn money. Building these into the menu not only ensures that your guests are happy with the options available to them, but your profit margins will be higher too. In-season ingredients, pasta, and vegetarian options are all great jumping-off points when creating your prix fixe menu.
Now you know what prix fixe is and how to build your very own specialized menu that caters to your best customers, restaurant’s theme, employee optimization, and overall business operations. If you’re a full service restaurant looking to build your own to replace your current menu or simply add to it, why not start now?
At eatOS, we’ve developed cutting-edge Point of Sale technology and associated devices to help with menu management, sales reports, and more. Get a better understanding of how your business is doing and make smarter decisions as a result. Book a demo with eatOS today, and together, we’ll bring your restaurant into the future of foodservice.