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How to Boost Sales of a Less Popular Dish in the Menu? A Food Distributors Guide.

In the world of cooking and food, there’s a big challenge for people who deliver food to restaurants and cafes. They need to figure out how to make dishes that not many people order become really popular. These people are like the guards of delicious food between the chefs who make it and the hungry customers who eat it. They have an important job in making eating out a special experience.

Even though everyone loves the famous dishes that everyone knows, there are also secret, tasty dishes that not many people try. These hidden gems have a lot of potential, like hidden treasure waiting to be found. In this guide, we’re going to explore how to make these secret dishes more popular. We’ll learn about the ways that the food deliverers can use to make people want to order these special dishes. It’s not just about selling more food – it’s also about being creative, celebrating different types of food, and making eating out really enjoyable for people with different tastes.

So, let’s begin this adventure in cooking! The food deliverers will be like magic chefs who can make these not-so-popular dishes turn into superstars. They’ll make restaurants and cafes grow, and they’ll make people’s taste buds really happy, one dish at a time.

1. Analysing the Situation

When it comes to making a not-so-popular dish a hit, it’s important to start by understanding what’s going on. This means looking closely at the situation and figuring out what’s not working. Let’s break down how to do this:

A. Identifying the underperforming dish

The first step is to spot the dish that’s not doing well. Take a good look at your menu and see which dish isn’t getting as many orders as the others. It might be a dish that doesn’t get picked often or is left untouched. This is the dish we want to turn around and make more popular.

B. Understanding the reasons for low sales

Now that we know which dish needs some help, it’s time to find out why it’s not selling as much. There could be a few reasons for this, and we need to dig deeper to find them. Here are four important factors to consider:

  • Customer preferences: Different people like different things. Maybe the dish doesn’t match the tastes of the customers who come to the restaurant. It’s important to think about what your customers enjoy and want to eat.
  • Presentation and description: Sometimes, a dish might not sell well because it doesn’t look or sound appealing on the menu. The way a dish is described and the picture of it can make a big difference.
  • Pricing: The cost of the dish matters too. If it’s priced too high compared to other dishes, people might choose something else. On the other hand, if it’s priced too low, customers might think it’s not good quality.
  • Ingredients and sourcing: The ingredients used in the dish and where they come from can affect its popularity. If people are concerned about the quality or source of the ingredients, they might not order it.

2. Market Research and Customer Insights

To turn an underperforming dish into a customer favourite, we need to understand what customers really want. This involves gathering information and insights directly from the people who matter the most – your customers. Let’s explore how to do this:

A. Conducting surveys or feedback forms

One of the best ways to know what your customers like and dislike is by asking them directly. Surveys or feedback forms are like little questionnaires that customers can fill out. You can ask them about their favourite dishes, what they think about the menu, and if there’s something they’d like to see added or changed. Their answers can give you valuable clues about how to improve the dish.

B. Analysing customer reviews and feedback

Customers often leave reviews or provide feedback after their dining experience. These comments can be like hidden treasures of information. Pay attention to what customers say about the dish you want to improve. Do they mention specific things they didn’t like? Or maybe they praise certain aspects? This feedback can guide you in making changes that will make the dish more appealing.

C. Observing dining patterns and preferences

Sometimes, you can learn a lot just by watching and paying attention. Observe how customers behave when they’re looking at the menu, ordering, and eating. Are they skipping over the dish? Are they asking questions about it? Also, keep an eye out for trends – are certain types of dishes becoming more popular lately? This can give you hints about what customers are interested in.

3. Revamping Presentation and Description

How a dish looks and sounds can make a big difference in whether customers choose to order it or not. To give your underperforming dish a makeover, let’s dive into the art of presentation and description:

A. Eye-catching menu design

Imagine your menu as a canvas, and the dishes as colourful strokes of paint. The design of your menu matters because it’s the first thing customers see. Use appealing fonts, colours, and layouts to make the menu visually attractive. Make sure the dish you want to promote stands out and catches the eye. A well-designed menu can create a positive impression and make customers curious about trying something new.

B. Vivid dish description

Words have the power to make mouths water! When describing the dish, use language that brings out its flavours and uniqueness. Instead of just listing ingredients, create a picture in the customer’s mind. Use adjectives like “succulent,” “crispy,” or “delicate” to make the dish sound irresistible. Customers should feel like they can almost taste the dish just from reading the description.

C. Storytelling and cultural connections

Every dish has a story to tell, and sharing that story can make it more appealing. If the dish has a special history or cultural significance, share it with your customers. People love to feel connected to their food. Whether it’s a family recipe passed down through generations or a dish inspired by a faraway land, weaving in these narratives can create a sense of intrigue and make the dish more memorable.

D. High-quality food photography

A picture is worth a thousand words – and sometimes, a thousand orders! High-quality photos of the dish can make mouths water and tempt customers to give it a try. Invest in professional food photography to capture the dish in all its glory. Make sure the lighting, angles, and composition showcase the dish’s best features. When customers see a mouth watering photo, they’ll be more likely to choose that dish.

4. Strategic Pricing Adjustments

Pricing plays a key role in influencing customers’ decisions when it comes to choosing dishes from a menu. To boost the sales of your less popular dish, let’s explore some smart pricing strategies:

A. Comparing prices with similar popular dishes

Take a close look at your menu and identify dishes that are similar to the one you’re trying to promote but are more popular. Compare their prices to see if there’s a significant difference. If the underperforming dish is priced higher, customers might be choosing the more affordable options. Adjusting the price to be in line with similar dishes can make it more appealing and competitive.

B. Offering limited-time discounts or promotions

Everybody loves a good deal! Consider running limited-time discounts or promotions specifically for the less popular dish. This creates a sense of urgency and excitement among customers. You could offer a “special of the week” or a “buy one, get one half off” deal. These promotions can attract attention, drive curiosity, and encourage customers to give the dish a try.

C. Value proposition enhancement

Showcasing the value of the dish can make it seem like a great choice to customers. Highlight any special ingredients, unique preparation methods, or extra-large portions that make the dish stand out. For instance, you could emphasize that the dish is made with premium ingredients or that it’s a healthier option. By enhancing the perceived value, customers might be more willing to pay a slightly higher price.

5. Ingredient Sourcing and Quality Improvement

The ingredients that go into a dish have a significant impact on its taste, appeal, and overall value. Elevating the quality of ingredients and sourcing them thoughtfully can make a world of difference in turning an underperforming dish into a star. Let’s explore how:

A. Sourcing locally and sustainably

Supporting local farmers and producers not only benefits the community but also ensures fresher ingredients. Locally sourced ingredients often have a story behind them, which can resonate with customers. Additionally, embracing sustainable sourcing practices demonstrates your commitment to the environment. Customers appreciate knowing that their meal choices contribute to a more sustainable food system.

B. Emphasizing fresh and premium ingredients

When it comes to food, freshness matters. Using the freshest ingredients possible can significantly enhance the flavours and textures of a dish. Consider upgrading to premium ingredients that are known for their superior quality. Whether it’s a succulent cut of meat, organic vegetables, or artisanal cheeses, these upgrades can create a noticeable difference in taste and presentation.

C. Addressing dietary preferences and restrictions

In today’s diverse culinary landscape, catering to dietary preferences and restrictions is essential. Make sure your underperforming dish can accommodate various dietary needs, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or allergen-free options. By offering inclusivity and customization, you open up the dish to a wider range of customers who might have been hesitant to try it before.

6. Staff Training and Knowledge

Your restaurant’s staff are the ambassadors of your dishes, and their expertise and enthusiasm can make a significant impact on the success of a less popular dish. By providing proper training and empowering them with knowledge, you can turn them into effective advocates. Let’s explore how to enhance staff capabilities:

A. Training servers to upsell the dish confidently

Upselling is an art that requires finesse and confidence. Train your servers to highlight the unique features and benefits of the underperforming dish. Teach them persuasive techniques without being pushy, such as suggesting the dish as a special or sharing positive customer feedback. When servers can communicate the dish’s value persuasively, customers are more likely to give it a try.

B. Equipping staff with knowledge about ingredients

Customers often have questions about what’s in a dish, especially if they have dietary concerns or preferences. Ensure your staff have comprehensive knowledge about the ingredients used, including any potential allergens or special preparation methods. Well-informed staff can provide accurate information and reassure customers, making them more comfortable trying something new.

C. Encouraging enthusiasm and personal recommendations

Passion is contagious. Encourage your staff to genuinely enjoy the dishes on the menu, including the underperforming one. When they’re enthusiastic about a dish, it shows in their interactions with customers. Allow your staff to share personal recommendations based on their own experiences. Hearing a server say, “I absolutely love the [dish], it’s one of my favourites!” can create a sense of trust and excitement.

7. Social Media and Online Presence

In today’s digital age, harnessing the power of social media and online platforms can be a game-changer for boosting the popularity of your less-known dish. By strategically using these platforms, you can create a buzz and draw attention to your culinary masterpiece. Let’s explore how to effectively utilize social media and online presence:

A. Sharing behind-the-scenes content

Give your audience a sneak peek into the magic that happens in your kitchen. Share behind-the-scenes videos or photos of your chefs crafting and perfecting the underperforming dish. Highlight the passion and creativity that goes into each preparation. This not only adds an element of intrigue but also humanizes the dish, making it more relatable and enticing.

B. Engaging storytelling on social media

Storytelling is a powerful tool to connect with your audience emotionally. Craft a captivating narrative around the dish – its origin, inspiration, or the journey of its creation. Share anecdotes or interesting facts that make the dish stand out. Whether it’s a heart warming story or a quirky titbit, engaging storytelling can pique curiosity and encourage people to give the dish a try.

C. Encouraging user-generated content and reviews

Turn your customers into advocates by encouraging them to share their experiences with the underperforming dish. Create a unique hashtag and encourage patrons to post photos of their meals on social media. Reward them by featuring their posts on your official accounts. Additionally, actively seek and promote customer reviews. Positive reviews can be a powerful endorsement that builds trust and encourages others to try the dish.


In the world of cooking, there’s a special way to make a not-so-popular dish really amazing. You need a mix of creativity, planning, and a touch of new ideas. This guide has lots of great tips made just for Food Distributors who want to make their menus better.

By looking at the situation, making the dish look better, adjusting the price, using better ingredients, training the staff, and using social media, you’ll have a bunch of cool tricks to make your food more exciting.

Don’t see this challenge as just a job. It’s a chance to make trends, make people happy with delicious food, and make your place more special. The good things you can get from this are huge – more money, happier customers, and a menu that everyone likes.

As you start this journey, remember how powerful this guide is. Try these tricks with care, and you’ll see the not-so-popular dish become a favourite. Your place will become really successful and full of great food.

So, why wait? Let the ideas from this guide inspire your cooking adventure. Use them to make more sales and make your place even better. Grab this chance to make people’s taste buds dance with joy and be remembered for making the culinary world awesome. Your journey is ready – may it be full of delicious wins and exciting experiences!

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