Five Delicious Soups to Keep your Costs Low and Customers Happy
- Nov 01, 2019
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Balancing a menu can be tough. The cost of food seems to be forever on the rise, and customers are not looking to pay more, to be honest. It’s time to look at some dishes that can cut your food costs. Easy to make, fast to serve, and with a wide revenue margin, soups and creams are often overlooked. It’s amazing how many modern restaurants forget about the whole category!
Adding a few soups to your menu will not only keep your costs low, but they will increase the average check and make your service more efficient. Soups are easy upsells, and easy to upsize too, the benefits are limitless.
To get you inspired, here are five soups I have selected to show that they aren’t boring at all and that soups can give some life to your menu.
Pea Soup with Fresh Mint
You can imagine this soup in a Modern-American restaurant or a rustic trattoria. Peas are universal and tasty but think of them as interchangeable. Better yet, think of this soup as an entire soup category, where your chef uses its skills to make a seasonal dish with the freshest ingredients available. Pea soup with mint, beet soup with basil, pumpkin soup with allspice, you get the idea.
Write this down, an average bowl of soup costs around $0.75 to $1.00, how much do your customers pay for a starter?
Soups are great in winter, people associate a warm bowl of soup with a comfortable night at home, but soups can be served cold too (intentionally, of course.) The classic Spanish gazpacho, made with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, and flavored with garlic, is a summer favourite.
Call your cold soup whatever you want, think of these types of soups as pureed salads, and like salads, the sky’s the limit.
Chicken noodle soup
Go for a classic, like the chicken noodle soup, then add a twist to it. Spice it up with chipotle or sriracha, make it fancy with portobello or artichoke hearts, make it yours.
Soups are a blank canvas for creativity, and when they have a familiar back story like the chicken soup, French onion soup or a minestrone, for example, people respond. Reinvent a classic soup and see the customers roll in.
A lobster bisque, a clam chowder, a shrimp n’ bacon chowder, these are all examples of creamy, sea-food based soups. A bit more expensive to make, you’ll be interested to know you can use the lesser parts of the fish or the heads and tails of lobster or shrimp; and this doesn’t affect quality; actually, these ingredients pack the most flavor.
Keep it fresh and make it daily. Soups will work for you, as long as you give them the same respect as you do to other menu items.
Wild Mushroom Soup
Again, go fresh, go local and seasonal. A bowl of wild mushroom soup is as easy to make as any, but it can be as complex or flavorful as you want it to. Make it creamy for a palate-coating, silky dish or light for that low-calorie menu you’ve been working on.
These types of soup work well in vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menus too, and people, more than ever, want to take care of themselves. People will pay a premium for a well-crafted soup.
As you see, you can tweak soups to fit your concept. Whether you’re running an Italian restaurant, a French bistro or a Korean BBQ shop, soups work and never look out of place. You’ll be surprised by how your customers react to your soup, and you’ll see the benefits at the month's end.
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