Center your menu around inflation-resistant items for profit stability

Operators have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to building their business, but none may be as important as product selection. The items you choose directly impact your profit margins, and strategic product selection is more critical now than ever before, thanks to inflation. Here are a few tips to help you assess your inventory and build a more stable menu.

Start by identifying the items in your inventory that have been more heavily impacted by inflation. Talk to your US Foods® representative about alternatives to those products or even more stable categories, and decide how to proceed with your menu changes. 

You have three main options to try:

  1. Swap the product out. There may be other species of fish, for example, or even domestically sourced produce that hasn’t been impacted as heavily by the increase in freight charges.
  2. Remove the item. Sometimes there’s just no way around it. If you can’t find a great substitute that allows you to maintain profitability, it’s best to remove that item until the market stabilizes.
  3. Create brand new favorites. You have the unique opportunity to create new menu items for your customers to love, so once you’ve identified with your US Foods representative what categories to focus on, work to build new signature items that will be fresh for your diners and offer some relief to your margins.

Mix and match those three things to get the perfect solution for your operation and bottom line – but act now. While the markets will continue to change, and supply chain challenges are forecasted to continue well into 2022, adjusting your inventory today will save your profits in the long run.

Get more helpful tips on strategic product selection from our Culinary Field Leader Liz Howe.