A snack menu can open your venue to new customers and provide the opportunity to capitalise on a nation with a penchant for food at any time of the day.
According to research from Mintel, 31 percent of Australians regularly consume snacks in place of a meal, signalling a demand for smaller food options. Afternoon snacking is also on the rise, teamed with shorter dining periods and the prevalence of casualisation.
A snacks menu offers customers a relaxed, no-frills experience at a venue.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SNACK?
The consensus of a quality snack revolves around morsels that are salty, fatty and can be enjoyed with a drink — but it’s equally important to offer dishes that reflect a venue’s overall food ethos.
“Ideally, snacks should be fun; whimsy is an ingredient we use a lot in our snack offerings,” says Sears. “I also like things that are eaten with your hands and have a messy, tactile quality.”
Staples including a vegetarian or vegan option along with charcuterie and cheese dishes. “The pretzel with bottarga is always on the menu because it’s salty and goes well with wine,” he says. .”
ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS
Not all diners want to invest in a three-course meal, so a snacks menu available at the bar or in the restaurant is a good way to cater to a diverse range of consumers.
Due to the low price point of snacks, there aren’t many dollars to be made. However, a snacks menu can help minimise food waste and people are more likely to indulge in another cocktail or a glass of wine if they’re enjoying food, too.
“Snacks on their own are not necessarily profitable, and the price and amount someone consumes is low,” says Sears. “But when it is combined with a drink or two, then it becomes profitable.”
“If you’re smart, you use off-cuts or other products from the main menu,”
From catering to after-work consumers or providing options to those who stray away from conventional meals, snacks are a tiny but mighty addition to a menu.
This is an abridged version of an that article originally appeared in Hospitality‘s April issue.