Pizza Today - June 2020 - 41

social media. You need a way to create
the hype and a new menu is the perfect
opportunity, but they don't magically
appear.

So how does one create new menu
items? I have a six-step process that I
use every time.
1. Two big questions

First, I review my old menu and
decide what's coming off it by raw
numbers. Using the POS system, I run a
12-month report and look for the items
that are deemed expendable. Then I look
at the item, and even though it's not
selling, I ask two questions:
* Is this item unique to me? If it is, I
may consider keeping it because it is an
item that customers cannot get elsewhere.
* Can I rename the item to something
catchy and create new buzz? This may
sound like a corny idea, but it works.
Time and time again we have changed
the name of our menu items and this
has been proven to increase sales of the
item.
After analyzing the old menu - and
possibly making what's old new again -
I can start the process of thinking what
type of items I might want to add.

2. Do the research

I start to play another numbers' game
- counting the items coming off the
menu and deciding if I'm happy with
the current size. If I want to stay where
I was, I'll replace an item, one-for-one.
Every time, however, without fail, I end
up adding more items than we cut off
(don't worry, you'll see how to navigate
this challenge in the fifth step).
I then start to consider what I may
want to add, beginning by looking for
trends online. Is there anything that has
gone viral that I can reproduce? Is there
anything special that one of my hundreds of pizza friends on Facebook are
doing in another part of the country? I
ask another important question: Have I
eaten anything lately that was inspiring?

3. Get collaborative

Once I have an idea of what it may
be that I want to reproduce, I bring the
idea to my team. If you're excited over an
idea, you may want to get to the kitchen
immediately. However, you want to get
another set of eyes on that cool idea you
found online as soon as possible. Don't
get set on adding any one thing. Work
through the process first.
Once your team hears the ideas and
starts to think of ways to recreate the
item, next you will want to reach out to
your purveyors and ask for samples of
different ingredients being used to create
the items. If we add a new ingredient
that we currently do not carry, then we
try to use that new component on other
menu items a few times, rather than just
once. Think of it as a test drive - and
there's more testing to come.

4. Taste test time

At this point we should know what
we are deleting from the current menu
and what menu items we are adding. We
should also have a good feeling of how
we will be making the new menu item.
Now it's time for the (hopefully) fun
part: the taste test.
I conduct tests in two parts. Step one
is with the staff, and it's very informal.
Whoever is on that shift for the day
tastes the new items with me, and we all
give feedback. The second step is much
more formal, bringing in family and
friends interested in a free lunch and a
new menu tasting. I print scorecards for
each menu item and instruct the tastetesters to score on appearance, taste and
marketability. Then I ask them for their
favorite item that they tasted on the day.
They always leave with a full belly, and
most importantly, they exchange some
great, honest feedback.

5. Final choices

Now, this is where it gets interesting,
because even though I said not to get
too excited about any particular item
you may be adding, it is natural if you do
by now. This step is all about reviewing
the feedback from the scoresheets and

voting on the final cut.
I like to review these with a very
trusted member of my staff. I recommend someone on your team with
expertise, such as your head pizzaiolo
or chef. The comments and scorecard
always seem to amaze us. If we thought
we had a real winner, maybe testers liked
the idea but didn't like the toppings or
exact pizza. In that case, we may modify
the item by adding or changing a topping on it. Some reviews are far easier
- we keep all the clear-cut winners and
get rid of the clear-cut losers.
This is where I take into account how
many items are coming off the menu
and add the new ones accordingly. As
mentioned earlier, you might have come
up with some extra new menu items,
but if they didn't make the grade on the
scorecard, you can forget about them (or
keep them in mind for your next menu
refresh). At this point, you are left with
your new menu items!

6. Prepare to debut

The final step is bringing the new
items to market. Behind the scenes, we'll
be working on updating all our menus
between physical copies and all the
digital platforms we may use. Importantly, this is also the time to raise your
current menu prices, but that's an article
for another day.
Along with customer-facing materials, at this time we also create build
guides for the new items and train our
staff on how to make the products.
Being that visibility is the lifeline of
the business, I do a high-definition and
extensive photo and video shoot of all
the new items as well. Then I start to
leak the pictures and videos at least 30
days ahead of schedule, along with the
date of launch.
Trust the process, but be sure to make
it your own. You'll soon be on your way
to creating a visible new menu that's
bound to create the buzz you desire. n
NICK BOGACZ is the founder and
president of Caliente Pizza & Draft House in
Pittsburgh.
J U N E 2 0 2 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 1


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - June 2020

Pizza Today - June 2020
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
White Pies
Pizza Lupo
Life After Closure
Marketing DELCO
Selling Merch.
The Phoenix Rising
Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - June 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today - June 2020
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Digital
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Life After Closure
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Marketing DELCO
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Selling Merch.
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Phoenix Rising
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Low-labor Delivery Items
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 38
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 40
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - June 2020 - White Pies
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Lupo
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 46
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Product showcase
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - June 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - June 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover3
Pizza Today - June 2020 - Cover4
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