Creating and maintaining a menu is one of the most significant challenges for a restauranteur. Business owners have to experiment with different dishes to see what works and what doesn’t. What do you charge for each dish to ensure that you’re turning a profit without gouging your customers?

One of the most fundamental parts of a menu is the signature dish. Much like a writer’s tone or a singer’s voice, the signature dish should capture the taste and flavors that make your restaurant stand out. If you’re wondering how to create a signature dish for your restaurant, these tips may help you find your flavor.

Look at What Sells

One way to start figuring out your signature dish is by looking at your existing menu for ideas. Are there any entrees or appetizers that sell particularly well? Do people tend to gravitate toward your spicier food options? You can look at what people like to order from your establishment and use that to create a signature dish. Draw upon your culinary expertise and the cultural taste and style of your food to make something memorable.

Highlight Your Dish

The main way to create a signature dish for your restaurant is to highlight it to the public. Taking the opportunity to promote your signature dish will help cement it in people’s minds. Consider giving it some extra text on your menu. Explain to your customers why this dish is special and how it ties into your eatery’s core message and experience.

Seasonal Variations

One way to help your signature dish stand out is to find a way to highlight it at different times of the year. If you can work seasonal fruits or vegetables into it or find a way to create a holiday-themed variant, you can bring in customers and cement the dish in guests’ minds. After all, you want people to imagine your signature dish when they think of your restaurant.

By Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.