MENU PLANNING From design to evaluation
Rationale Everything starts with the menu. The menu dictates much about how your operation will be organized and managed, the extent to which it meet its goals, and even how the building itself - certainly the interior - should be designed and constructed.
Objectives • To explain the importance of a menu • To explain the basic rules of menu planning • To identify factors to be considered when planning a menu • To identify constraints in menu planning • To plan and write a menu
Must Satisfy Guest Expectations • Reflect your guests’ tastes • Reflect your guests’ food preferences • Ascertain your guests’ needs
Must attain Marketing Objectives • Locations • Times • Prices • Quality • Specific food items
Must help to achieve Quality Objectives • Quality standards: flavor, texture, color, shape, flair, consistency, palatability, visual appeal, aromatic apparel, temperature • Nutritional concerns: low-fat, high-fiber diets, vegetarian
Must be Cost-Effective • Commercial financial restraints profit objectives • Institutional minimizing costs operational budget
Must be Accurate • Truth-in-menu laws exist in some localities, cannot mislabel a product • “butter” must use butter not margarine • “fresh” must be fresh, not fresh frozen • “homemade” not purchased “ready-to-heat” • “USDA Choice” actually “USDA Good”
Facility Layout/Design and Equipment • Space • Equipment available • Work flow • Efficiency
Available Labor • Number of Employees • Required Skills • Training Programs
Ingredients • Standard recipe • Availability of the ingredients required during the life span of the menu • Seasonal ingredients • Cost • Miscellaneous cost (flight charges, storage)
Marketing Implications • Social needs • Physiological needs • Type of service (fast food, leisure dinning) • Festival • Nutrition
Quality Levels and Costs • Guests’ expectation • Employees’ skills and knowledge • Availability of equipment • Specific ingredients • Food costs and selling prices
The Menu Helps to Determine Staff Needs • Variety and complexity increases, number of personnel increases • Production staff • Service staff • Back-of-house staff
The Menu Dictates Production and Service Equipment Needs Tableside service • carving utensils, trolleys, gueridon, salad bowls, suzette pans, souffle dishes, soup tureens, large wooden salad bowl, rechaud, Voiture (heated cart for serving roasts) and ......
The Menu Dictates Dining Space • A take-out sandwich or pizza operation would require no dining space and the amount of square feet required per person would be minimal. • On the other hand, if a restaurant offers a huge salad buffet, dessert selection or an after-dinner trolley, wide aisles would be needed to allow guests ease of movement and moving of equipment.
Purchase Specifications May Be Dictated By The Menu • If the menu offers such items as USDA Choice New York strip steaks, quarter-pound lean beef burgers, grade AA eggs, freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, or vine-ripened tomatoes, back -of-house procedures will not only include receiving, storing, issuing, and producing the menu items but also purchasing the specific products described. (When such factors as grade and portion size are not dictated by the menu, managers and chefs must determine purchase specifications and related quality factors.)
How and When Items Must Be Prepared • To stimulate guest interest, the menu planner may offer a dish prepared in a variety of ways: • Cooking methods • Poached, broiled, batter-dipped, deep fried • The finished product must be prepared using the method indicated on the menu • Small quantities cooking (a la carte) • Batch cooking
The Menu is a Factor in the Development of Cost Control Procedures • As the menu requires more expensive food items and more extensive labor or capital (equipment) needs, the property’s overall expenses and the procedures to control them will reflect these increased cost.
The Menu and the Service Plan • Type and size of dinnerware • Types of flatware • Garnishes (place be service or production staff) • Timing requirement for ordering • Additional dining service supplies to serve the item • Special serving produces • Special information (doneness of the steaks, over easy or sunny side eggs, etc.)
Menu Design • First impression is always important, the entire menu should complement the operation - Theme - Interior Decor - Design (Merchandising) - Creativity - Material - Color - Space
Menu Design - Type style and/or lettering - Names of food items - Description - Popular items are at the top of a list - Clip-ons, inserts (daily specials) - Operations address - Beverage service notice - Separate menus for each meal period - Separate menu for host/hostess and guests
Menu Styles • A table d'hôte (a complete meal for one price) • A la Carte (items are listed and priced separately) • Combination (combination of the table d'hôte and a la carte pricing styles) • Fixed menus: a single menus for several months • Cycle menus: designed to provide variety for guests who eat at an operation frequently - or even daily
Types Of Menus • Breakfast (offers fruits, juices, eggs, cereals, pancakes, waffles, and breakfast meats) • Lunch (features sandwiches, soups, salads, specials; usually lighter than dinner menu items) • Dinner (more elaborate, steaks, roasts, chicken, sea food and pasta; wines, cocktails, etc..)
Types Of Menus - Specialty • Children’s • Senior citizens’ • Alcoholic beverage • Dessert • Room service • Take-out • Banquet • California (breakfast, lunch and dinner menu items on one menu) • Ethnic
Know your guest - Food preference - Price - Age Know your operation - Theme or cuisine - Equipment - Personnel - Quality standards - Budget Basic Rules Of Menu Planning
Selecting Menu Items • Menu category: • Appetizers • Salads • Entrees • Starch items (potatoes, rice, pasta) • Vegetables • Desserts • Beverages
Common Sources For Menu Item Recipes • Old menus • Books • Trade magazines • Cookbooks for the home market
Menu Balance • Business balance - balance between food cost, menu prices, popularity of items, financial and marketing considerations • Aesthetic balance - colors, textures, flavors of food • Nutritional balance
Elements Of Menu Copy • Headings - Appetizers - Soups - Entrees • Sub-heading - Under entree: • Steak, seafood, today’s specials
Elements Of Menu Copy • Descriptive copy (describe the menu items) - should be believable and made in short, easy-to-read sentences - no description is needed for self- explanatory item. i.e. Low Fat Milk
Truth-in-menu • Grading (foods are graded by size, quality, in line with official standards) • “Freshness” (cannot be canned, frozen or fresh-frozen) • Geographical origin (cannot make false claims about the origin of a product) • Preparation (if the menu says baked, it cannot be fried instead) • Dietary or nutrition claims (supportable by scientific data)
Supplemental Merchandising Copy Includes information such as: • Address • Telephone number • Days and hours of operation • Meals served • Reservations and payment policies • History of the restaurant • A statement about management’s commitment to guest service
Menu Layout • Sequence: • Appetizers, soups, entrees, desserts • Depends on the operation (side orders, salads, sandwiches, beverages) • Depends on popularity and profitability • Placement: • artworks; space; boxes; clip-on; etc.
Menu Layout Format: • Menu’s size • General makeup Typeface: • Printed letters • Font size • Type face
Menu Layout Artwork: • Drawings, photographs, decorative patterns, borders Paper: • Texture Cover: • Color • Texture
Common Menu-design Mistakes • Menu is too small • Type is too small • No descriptive copy • Every item treated the same • Some of the operations’ food and beverages are not listed • Clip-on problems • Basic information about the property and its policies are not included • Blank pages
Evaluating Menus • Must set standards • Determine how menu is helping to meet standards
Menu Evaluation: Questions Most Often Asked • Is the menu attractive? • Do the colors and other design elements match the operation’stheme and decor? • Are menu items laid out in an attractive and logical way? • Is there too much descriptive copy? Not enough? Is the copy easy to understand? • Is attention called to the items managers most want to sell, through placement, color, description, type size, etc.?
Menu Evaluation: Questions Most Often Asked • Have guests complained about the menu? • Have guests said good things about the menu? • How does the menu compare with the menus of competitors? • Has the average guest check remained steady or increased? • Is there enough variety in menu items? • Are menu items priced correctly? • Are you selling the right mix of high-profit and low-profit items?
Menu Evaluation: Questions Most Often Asked • Is the typeface easy to read and appropriate to the restaurant’s theme and decor? • Is the paper attractive and stain-resistant? • Have the menus been easy to maintain so that guests always receive a clean, attractive menu?
Menu Pricing SUBJECTIVE PRICING: • The reasonable price method: from the guest’s perspective - what charge is fair and equitable • The highest price method: sets the highest price that the manager thinks guests are willing to pay • The loss lender price method: an unusually low price is set for an item to attract guests • The intuitive price method: takes a wild guest, trail-and-error
Menu Pricing DESIRED FOOD COST PERCENTAGE PRICING METHOD: • manager determines a reasonable food cost percent • then divides a menu item’s standard food cost by its reasonable food cost percent Selling price = $1.50 (item’s standard food cost) = $4.55 0.33 (desired food cost percent)
Menu Pricing PROFIT PRICING: factors profit requirements and non-food expenses into menu item selling prices Allowable = $300,000 - $189,000 - $15,000 = $96.000 food costs (forecasted (non-food (profit food sales) expenses) requirements) Budgeted food cost % = $96,000 (allowable food costs) = 0.32 or 32% $300,000 (forecasted food sales)
Menu Pricing COMPETITION AND PRICING: • Know competitor’s menus, selling prices, and guest preferences • Lower your prices • Raise your prices • Elasticity of demand: Elastic: price change creates a larger % in the quantity demanded (prices-sensitive) Inelastic: the % change in quantity demanded is less than the % change in price
The Menu:The Foundation For Control GUEST SATISFACTION BASIC OPERATING ACTIVITIES: CONTROL POINTS SERVING MENU PLANNING HOLDING PURCHASING RECEIVING COOKING PREPARING STORING PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES ISSUING
The Menu Influences • Product Control Procedures every item on the menu represents a product to be controlled • Cost Control Procedures careful cost control procedures must be followed, particularly when expensive products and labor-intensive service styles are used • Production Requirement product quality, staff productivity and skills, timing and scheduling, and other back-of-the-house functions are all dictated by the menu
The Menu Influences • Equipment Needs equipment must be available to prepare products required by the menu • Sanitation Management • management must consider menu items in light of possible sanitation hazards • Layout and Space Requirements the physical space within which food production and service take place - must be adequate for purchasing, receiving, storing, issuing, producing, and serving every item on the menu