We talked about how to prepare and compose the Olive Oil List HERE.
In this article we will try to describe the pros and cons of two approaches on how to integrate Carta degli Oli into the menu.
The motivations that guide these examples are always those of enhancing EVO oil, increasing public awareness and, why not, creating a new profit channel for the restaurateur.
It is always worth explaining to the customer that the use of a high quality extra virgin olive oil can enrich and enhance the flavors of the dishes. Focusing on the fact that extra virgin olive oil is a versatile condiment that can enhance tastiness and add aromatic nuances to dishes, underline the provenance of the oil and its distinctive organoleptic characteristics to create interest.
Direct choice from the list
More classic approach. Through the advice of whoever collected the order or directly through the customer’s choice, an oil is selected from the paper whose bottle (100ml) is brought unopened to the table.
The customer can use it on each course for the entire duration of the meal and eventually take it home if not finished.
Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of the classic approach of choosing oil when ordering:
1. Personalized choice : Allowing the customer to select the extra virgin olive oil from the menu offers him the possibility to adapt the gastronomic experience to his preferences. This can increase customer satisfaction and make them more involved in the decision-making process.
2. Variation in Tastes : Every customer may have different preferences when it comes to extra virgin olive oil, so offering a diverse choice allows them to experiment and appreciate the different characteristics and flavor profiles of the oils available.
3. Staff Involvement : Involving staff in recommending extra virgin olive oil can improve the customer experience. Staff can provide detailed information on origin, organoleptic characteristics and suggestions for pairing dishes, creating a more personalized service.
4. Bottle brought to the table : Bringing the closed bottle to the table allows customers to see the selected oil and helps to increase attention to the quality and origin of the oil.
1. Possible confusion or lack of knowledge : Some customers may not be sufficiently informed about the different characteristics of extra virgin olive oils and may find it difficult to make an informed choice. In this case, expert advice from staff can help, but requires extra effort.
2. Waiting times : If each customer has to make a personalized choice of oil, there could be a slight increase in waiting times for the order to be taken. This could be managed through proper staff training or by offering pre-defined suggestions on the oil card.
Ultimately, the approach of choosing the extra virgin olive oil when ordering offers greater personalization and customer involvement, but requires greater awareness and knowledge of the oils by the customers themselves.
If the staff is well trained to provide expert advice and if the customers are passionate and interested in extra virgin olive oil, it could be an attractive option.
There are menus that include a different glass of wine for each course.
That is, the right wine is proposed for each course chosen by the customer.
Instead of choosing the oil at the beginning, a path can be proposed for which the oil that best matches it is associated with each course.
A sort of tasting itinerary (as a paid option which can have the same cost as a single bottle) which however does not oblige you to choose a specific oil for the whole lunch or dinner.
This approach would simplify management in general as the oil to be combined will have been assigned a priori to a specific dish on the menu.
This pairing could still be shown on the menu so that it works even if the customer does not choose the “tasting itinerary” option but could only choose dishes that are combined with a certain oil.
This mode obviously has the downside that the bottles will be more easily brought to the table open, but we are always talking about 100ml not half a liter and they are non-refillable in any case.
A further variant to this option is the offer of oil, paired with the dish, already included in the price (with a minimum variation of one or two Euros). It could be served by bringing the bottle (always 100 ml) of oil connected to the dish to the table and filling a small glass to be used with the dish.
Here is an analysis of the pros and cons of the tasting itinerary:
- Personalized experience : Offering a tasting journey of the oils paired with the courses allows customers to experience a combination specifically designed to enhance the flavors of the dishes.
- Simplification of choice : Providing a predetermined pairing simplifies management and reduces the pressure of choice for customers, saving them from having to decide which oil to use for each course or throughout the meal.
- Education and awareness : Through the tasting journey, customers can learn more about the characteristics of extra virgin olive oils and learn to appreciate the different nuances of taste that each oil can bring to dishes.
- Open Bottles : Opening bottles of oil for each course could result in increased exposure to oxidation, even if you are considering 100ml bottles that can be easily consumed without leaving an excess of oil. However, it is still important to handle the bottles properly to maintain the freshness of the oil. Such as storing them in a wine cellar (i.e. between 12 and 18 degrees)
- Potential Increased Costs : While the oil may be offered as a paid option for the same cost as a single bottle, you may need to consider the additional costs involved in opening multiple bottles.
- Limiting Choices : While the tasting trail approach simplifies choice for customers, it may also limit their freedom to choose specific extra virgin olive oils they like or want to try. But they would still have the option to choose one or the other approach.
The approach of tasting the oils paired with each course can offer an interesting experience to customers, simplifying the choice and enhancing the flavors of the dishes. However, it’s important to carefully consider restaurant-specific pros and cons and make decisions that align with individual needs, costs, and customer preferences.