Menu cull eases food prep burden for Chiquito’s 85 kitchens

Chiquito has cut the number of main dishes it offers by almost a third as part of a major menu overhaul that has seen its kitchen prep processes dramatically reduced and productivity improved.

The 85-strong Mexican chain first trialled two versions of a fundamentally changed menu last year and quickly saw an improving covers trend versus its old menu.

On the back of this it launched its new menu nationwide earlier this year. The offering builds on the trials and allows greater customisation of dishes with, for example, ‘build your own’ tortillas with options to vary the spiciness of the dishes.

It has also invested in the quality of the ingredients while at the same time making the menu more competitively priced with main course entry prices reduced by 10%, and like-for-like dish prices reduced on average by 6%.

“The menu is simpler and easier to navigate, benefitting from a 30% reduction in the number of main dishes,” the company explained. “This simplicity has also reduced the number of back-of-house processes involved in preparation and improved the consistency and speed of service.”

Chiquito is owned by The Restaurant Group and bosses at the firm have put a focus on broadening the brand’s appeal, making it more accessible and increasing the frequency of customer visits. It has also secured affiliate partnerships with the likes of Tastecard and Gourmet Society to drive custom.

“In the current year we will accelerate our pace of change in this brand,” it added. “We plan to trial a series of new and exciting product innovations, which if successful will be rolled out more broadly.”

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