Take Your Menu Cues from Pinterest

While you have already established a social media presence, there are additional ways to use the Internet to your advantage. Social media platforms are one way to gain insight into your customers and gain market knowledge.

One such platform is Pinterest. This site allows users to create ‘boards’ with links to photos and articles that inspire them, or things they want to research later. Users roam around on their favorite sites or other people’s boards and ‘pin’ any image to their board. It is literally like tearing a page out of a magazine for future use. The most popular themes are food, home décor, and fashion.

Pinterest’s Interests and Potential Inspirations

There are nearly 15 billion food- and drink-related pins on Pinterest. Knowing what consumers are craving and planning to prepare at home is a unique insight into your own demographics. Once you see a trend in types of dishes or ingredients, perform your own spin on it based on your restaurant’s specialties.

When adding a fail-proof item to your menu, it becomes easy to upsell, and it brings in additional revenue for your business. Sometimes that particularly special dish can help build a new client base of those with an appetite for your dish. 

Those new items will need to be costed out and you need to be sure to have appropriate stock of ingredients to fulfill requested orders. By hitting the market early with new dishes (or revised familiar dishes) you will be able to charge slightly higher than calculated amounts.

A huge trend the past few years is pumpkin spice. Now it seems to be everywhere, so it can be taken for granted. Be sure to keep ideas fresh and label it as ‘seasonal’; seasonal items can also be found on Pinterest.

According to Pinterest’s Newsroom, the top trends to try in 2020 include:

  • Homegrown microgreens for salads, wraps, and sandwiches.
  • Macedonian inspired meals from the Balkans. These dishes are simple and tasty baked beans and sausages.
  • Filipino desserts with tastes of coconut, banana, and other Filipino sweets.
  • Arabic treats including date balls and rose water pudding.
  • West African recipes with sumptuous spicy stews, soups, and porridges.
  • Kerala breakfast items from India such as coconut pancakes with a side of curry or chutney.

Classic Dishes and New Menu Twists to Revisit

If your menu focuses on classic or less exotic fare, some of the most stable ongoing pins and searches should certainly be explored:

  • Cinnamon buns/rolls are no surprise. The only thing more comforting than the smell of rich cinnamon and brown sugar is the taste.
  • Baked garlic and parmesan potato wedges. While opting away from fries this baked potato wedge is sure to please.
  • Breakfast Smoothies are here to stay for those on the go to focus on micro-nutrients and provide a tasty start to the day.
  • Chicken burritos that are quick and easy are also sure to please using rotisserie chicken. Add avocado for a special touch or as a buy-up.
  • Salmon with pesto and veggies in foil is a popular idea and provides whimsy and a touch of class to a simply prepared and healthy meal.
  • Fruit-infused water is a nice touch to any coffee-shop or specialty shop with cups available for all to have a refreshing drink.

Not only are there photos of finished products, but there are also recipes and variations pinned with convenient links. A common take-away from the dishes described above is that recipes with flavor, simple ingredients, and comforting effects are favored. When restaurants take these items and add their spin on the dish, they often become popular, local favorites.

All in all, Pinterest is a great way to measure interest in dishes, get menu ideas, and be part of potential upcoming trends. This works because of the powerful algorithms and data collection programs. In fact, a new ‘Trends’ platform by Pinterest is currently in an early access phase. It will certainly be interesting to see what that brings to future trend reports.

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