It is important in our game to be constantly changing and attempting to improve on our menu. My biggest problem and you might call downfall there is I don't always know what to keep and what to take off which makes the menu quite large. One person even said that it reads like a book. I know that sometimes makes in harder in the kitchen but I just want to give them what they want.
Lately, I have been playing around with two things. Dishes with avocado and a new burger of which I have named the 'Lava' burger.
The lava burger is a stuffed burger that always has some sort of cheese in it thus the 'lava' as it oozes out from within. This weeks lava is the California with Avocado, Bacon, and Swiss cheese inside of it. I have had it on an introductory price of $8.50 of which includes fries and for the coming weeks will have a different one on every lunch special menu. Depending on it's popularity, I will probably try and start a 'Lava' burger section of the menu. Who knows, Jake's might just become the 'Home of the Lava' with maybe a catchy phrase like 'You'll love our Lava' or something like that.
I try and always keep my ear to the ground and have listened lately to a couple of customers who have taken the time to take me to the side with ideas.
On man the other day told me of an old friend of his who had a base similar to ours. This man noticed that I have tried various things to improve and increase the business between the hours of 3 and 5 PM. Those are quiet hours in most all places but also a good play time to work on ideas. He told me how this friend of his ran desert specials during that time targeting seniors who would enjoy coming in at a quieter time.
Now, I have tried a couple of ideas in the past that I have talked up on the floor before doing. The first was copied by another local restaurant close by when I decided to have a non alcohol 'Happy Hour' where my drinks were half price with meals. Since he put it up on his sign in front of his restaurant, I dropped that idea and began to work on another. My thought was to run a burger special during those hours. I talked to a variety of customers first trying to see if this was an idea that they might like. Before I was even able to run with it, that same restaurant had placed it up on their sign and were running with that same idea.
Now, that could be coincidence and I am certainly not accusing them of anything but this time, I am not talking to anyone on the floor but am putting my thoughts out here in the public where all can see my timing. My thoughts are this and are similar to his friends idea. Actually, Judy came up with the main part of the idea when I was brainstorming with her one day. We can call it 'Jake's High Tea'. In England, towards the later part of the afternoon, some places have what they call their high tea. That is where they have a little tea with some savory or scones. My thought is to have a table out with small scones, jam, and whip cream. For all who come in for a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever, they can go over to that table and fix themselves up a small desert to go along with it. It would be an idea that would be targeted to mainly seniors and my hope is that some of them might just find it as a good place to go in the afternoon to just socialize. I will let you know how it goes.