As a multicultural country, Malaysia is home to various religious celebrations. One of the most notable ones is Ramadan or Aidilfitri. It’s a time for self-introspection, a spiritual journey, and tender moments with loved ones. Similar to shopping, food also plays a significant role in Ramadan celebrations, so it’s no wonder that food and beverage SMEs are gearing up to cater to Muslims. How can you follow suit as well?
Understanding the Significance of a Special Aidilfitri Menu
One month before the Aidilfitri celebration, Malaysian Muslims abstain from food and water from dawn (suhur) to dusk (Iftar). However, come sunset, Muslims will enjoy a hearty meal to break their fast.
The custom strongly correlates with Statista’s findings: 30% of Malaysians plan to increase their meal spending. Unsurprisingly, many establishments have offered an exclusive Ramadan menu to accommodate Muslims looking forward to post-Iftar meals. However, meticulous menu planning can set your business apart from the competition.
Steps to Create a Special Aidilfitri Menu
Follow these steps to create an exclusive Aidilfitri menu that will impress your clientele.
Research traditional Aidilfitri dishes
First, you should start by researching meals commonly served during this time. As a general rule of thumb, the festivity is notable for dishes abundant in flavour and spices, such as biryani and rendang. As for Raya dessert, these include kuih semperit, cookies, and onde-onde.
Incorporate a unique twist to the traditional dishes
Once you’ve identified a list of festive food you can make, consider how to make them different. For instance, you can elevate classic chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cookies by incorporating the Ramadan ketupat colour with green tea and white chocolate flavoured dough.
Consider dietary restrictions
Since Ramadan meals are specially catered to the Islamic faith, your dish cannot contain pork and alcohol. However, you can also substitute more decadent ingredients to accommodate people living a healthier lifestyle, such as using low-fat coconut milk and adding more vegetables.
Test, refine, and repeat
After cooking your version of traditional Raya meals and snacks, always taste them to note what needs improvement. For example, reduce the sugar to make the food taste less sweet or add particular spices to highlight the flavour. Keep improving the menu you create, and customers will love it.
Design a visually appealing menu
A bestselling dish is not only tasty and unique but also visually presentable. You can increase the aesthetics of your meal and sway your customers’ purchase decision by adding some garnish, using a custom-designed takeaway container, and presenting the dish on a well-designed plate.
Best Practices for Promoting a Special Aidilfitri Menu
With these business best practices, you can keep more customers coming for your special Raya menu.
Generate buzz with social media and influencer marketing
If you have been marketing your food and beverage SME by word of mouth, consider using social media for online promotions. This way, young active users can discover your brand more efficiently, and you can amass a list of potential influencers for your Ramadan campaign.
Offer promotions and discounts
Acquiring new clientele from marketing promotions can be tricky, but you can pique their interest by offering exclusive Aidilfitri promotions and discounts. For example, you can serve two people a bundled meal with the same main dish and beverage.
Host special events and collaborations
You can hold a special event around the food and beverages you serve to complement limited-time promotions. If you run a pastry cafe, organise a tea-tasting session for Iftar and give customers the freedom to choose one out of two types of cake.
Collaborate with other SMEs
While running an F&B SME, you can only collaborate with businesses in the same sector or closely related. Don’t be afraid to branch out and contact other SMEs in another field. For example, your restaurant can work with an SME dedicated to charitable causes.
Create excitement with limited-time offers
One of the ways you can try to counteract consumers’ fatigue decision is to offer limited-time promotions, such as flash sales. The idea of missing out on exclusivity will prompt users to act fast and get in on the deals you offer in the business. After all, we all hate the FOMO feeling.
Although Aidilfitri is a religious celebration, it’s also a moment for togetherness. That’s why food is essential during the holy month of Raya. As a food and beverages SME owner, don’t hesitate to seize this momentum by serving an exclusive Aidilfitri menu set.
While sticking to the traditions is critical, you can also incorporate your twist into the meals you serve and your marketing content. Regardless, always consider your brand identity first and refine your menu based on customer feedback!