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Make a Secret Menu the Secret Weapon for your Restaurant

It’s no secret that the restaurant landscape is ever-evolving and highly competitive. As a restaurant owner, it can be a challenge to find ways to stand out from the competition. One creative way to differentiate yourself in the marketplace is by offering secret menu items that are only available for ordering via your Ordrslip app. Not only is a secret menu item easy-to-implement, but it is also a fun way to mix up flavors or dishes. And it’s not as costly as you might think.

Why do I need a secret menu item?

Secret menus are not a new concept. If you’ve frequented a Starbucks or In-N-Out, you may have heard (or ordered) items that aren’t on the menu board. In general, a lot of these menu items aren’t crazy or over the top, they are simply a twist or add flavor to something existing on the menu. When customers are made aware of these “specials” they instantly feel like they are a restaurant insider, which in turn creates more excitement for your brand.

Secret menu items aren’t that much different than the “special” you have on your in-store menu. As we all know, apps are transforming the restaurant into a takeout or delivery experience, so the traditional “special” has to be approached in a new way. This is where your Ordrslip app comes in. Utilizing your restaurant app, you can easily add in new menu items or create a secret menu category; it only takes a few minutes to deploy. 

One of the added benefits of a secret menu is connecting with the millennial customer. The 18- to 34-years old consumer is always looking for unique food trends, healthy options, and a snap-worthy experience. This and the fact that they are always glued to their phone 24/7 makes a secret menu the right marketing tactic to increase your restaurant’s visibility.

Choosing a secret menu item

Launching your new menu item doesn’t have to be overwhelming. For example, create a memorable dish by infusing a popular flavor (Hot Cheetos, anyone?), global condiment, or seasonal flavor into an existing dish. You can also experiment with gluten-free or vegan options of dishes; this may simply mean that you remove or switch a couple of ingredients around. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or spend hours having your kitchen staff test something new.

Your customers can be your best inspiration for developing your secret menu items too! Do you have a loyal customer that is already hacking your menu and asking for substitutions? Take note and turn this item into your secret menu item. You can also poll or ask questions of your customer on social media to get a pulse on the things they are craving that may not be on your current menu. Having a secret menu is not only a great way to create buzz, but it also is the perfect way to do a focus group with your customers for adding permanent menu items.

Marketing your secret menu item

Prepping your secret dish isn’t the only kind of prep work you need to do. It’s best if you can build out a secret menu calendar so that your entire staff knows how long the item will be on the menu and staff can plan accordingly – from ordering supplies to marketing promotions.

Spend an afternoon making your dish and taking photos for your menu listing in the Ordrslip app. That way when it is time to go live with your promotion, you or your staff member is all set to post.

Social media is the game-changer in getting the word out. Use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook to spread the news. Leave a little intrigue when promoting your item – let followers know they can discover the new menu item by downloading your restaurant app. Not only do you get more app downloads, but you are also adding a fun way to engage with your followers. Use memes, short videos, and funny questions to make the content more playful.

You can also get a marketing boost in-store for the app. Have signage that says, “Ask us about our secret menu item” or have employees mention it when waiting on customers. This is an opportunity to educate customers on your app and give them convenient options for ordering their food. 

Adding a secret item to your existing menu is a great way to adopt and test new food trends without burdening your staff or budget. It’s also the perfect way to use social media marketing to engage with customers all while getting downloads of your Ordrslip app.

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