Marketing is what drives sales in your restaurant, and your menu is the best marketing tool for customers who are inside your establishment. Whatever drew those customers into your restaurant is now secondary to the sales pitch your menu should be giving. Your menu is like a tour guide for your customers, walking them through every item and drawing their attention to your specialties or higher priced options. Conducting an analysis of your menu is essential to discovering what’s working for your restaurant and what needs improvement.
There are many aspects to menu design that can contribute to or hinder its effectiveness in selling particular menu items. The first point to consider is portion costs. We all know that buying in bulk and portioning ingredients from those bulk stashes can decrease costs, but it’s equally important to price each portion appropriately!
Standard portion cost involves a process wherein a restaurant must calculate the actual cost of any given menu item including but not limited to preparation, ingredient purchases, and plating. Choosing a method to portion cost is essential to appropriately assigning menu item costs for patrons, as it determines your margin of profit! You should figure a desired profit that you’re wanting to achieve in terms of percentage and tailor your menu pricing to that percentage above portion costs. The menu price should also consider potential profit and customer price acceptance as well, as this may boost the selling price while still maintaining acceptability.
The second major point to consider is menu design, as this is what guides customers through the items and draws their attention to unique or high-cost meals. A menu is more than just a list of the dishes a restaurant has available; it is an advertising tool capable of communicating a restaurant’s identity and driving profit – if it’s well designed. 99 Designs, a designer blog, goes into detail about different important aspects to menu design. Here’s a quick overview from their website!
- Be Aware of Eye Scanning Patterns.
- Divide the Menu into Logical Sections.
- Use Photos Sparingly.
- Consider Using Illustration.
- Don’t Emphasize Currency Signs.
- Consider Using Boxes.
- Choose Appropriate Colors.
By taking into consideration both portion costs and menu design, you can analyze your menu and improve it to give your restaurant the best opportunity for profit!