Bread is becoming one of the key ingredients in restaurants. Do you give it away for free,
do you charge and should you even serve bread at all.
Restaurant owners and patrons all have different opinions on the subject. Diners are used to getting their bread and for free. But that doesn’t mean they want just anything served to them. Many for health reasons would rather have whole grains and their own personal rolls so that everyone isn’t breaking off their piece from a communal loaf at the table.
I saw this first hand recently. I attended a business seminar at an upscale restaurant in Philadelphia. They served one large communal loaf and only one person was willing to try it because it required you to break off a piece. Being that it was cold and flu season, not many felt inclined to eat bread that had been touched by others as it was passed around the table.
The owners know this is something that costs them even though diners expect it for free whether they eat it or not. Owners are trying to find ways to compensate. They are looking to upgrade the type of bread, create signature recipes and the topping in hopes diners won’t complain if they try to charge.
Others are making sure diners don’t fill up on the free bread rather than ordering salads and appetizers off the menu. Restaurants try to compensate for that by not bringing out the bread till after you order.
Profit margins can be tight in restaurants and any strategy that can help them can be the difference between staying open and closing their doors.
Do you expect free bread with your meals or would you be ok with skipping it?
Sandy Miller has been helping clients with marketing and advertising projects for over 15 years. In that time I have seen lots of changes but nothing as exciting as the introduction of social media.