Many restaurants offer items that have limited availability — prime rib is a common example — and it’s typically a good idea to give customers a head’s up that it might not be available when they go to order so they can have an “backup” in mind.
In a COVID-19 world, food supply chains have been disrupted so other key ingredients in dishes might become unexpectedly unavailable or in limited quantity.
That’s where the limited availability feature on menu items comes in handy.
Let’s say you’re reviewing a delivery and realize you were shorted on sea bass. There’s enough to feed perhaps half of a typical night, but you could definitely run out before the last table is turned.
So, simply activate the “limited availability” feature and the item will have a small label that indicates it might not be available. This can help hamper customer disappointment and making ordering faster since many people will preemptively select an alternative dish just in case their first choice isn’t available.
Going back to our example, if your sea bass shipment the next time is a full order, just go back into the editor and deactivate the setting.
This prevents you from having to delete an item that becomes unavailable or is in limited supply and then retype everything once it’s back.
If an item becomes completely unavailable in the middle of service, it’s easy to 86 it temporarily so that new diners don’t even see it on the menu.
As a marketing tool
Some restaurants use a “limited availability” tag to help generate drum up interest in the item. This is a great way to subtly suggest that an item is popular and diners could miss out on it if it becomes unavailable.