How To Make Your Menu Work For You
Your menu is truly the turning point for your restaurant. In fact, a restaurant without a menu is simply a building without a business. Menus help market and sell your products, and a menu that is both customer-oriented and true to the restaurant it represents is the key to a successful design. With influences reaching back to the kitchen itself, making your menu work for you will boost profits and support your restaurant as a whole.
Refine and Define
It’s surprising how many restaurants still go with the ‘more is better’ motto, listing hundreds upon hundreds of menu items in the hopes that one will grasp the attention of the customer. In fact, the sheer quantity of items is enough to over-stimulate guests and leave them feeling confused and somewhat helpless. Have you ever had that moment where you simply can’t seem to decide on what to eat because there are so many good options? Not only does this waste time right off the bat in the whole process, but it can also indirectly affect your budget.
Long menus require more ingredients and more time. Instead of focusing on a few key items and perfecting the process, chefs are left scrambling to make 30 completely different and unique meals all at once during peak times. Save yourself and your guests the headache by refining your menu to specialty items that are defined by your chef’s forte and your restaurant’s theme.
Placement and Design
It’s no secret that the design of your menu can sell items. Looking at any major food chain’s menu will reveal that higher priced items or specialty dishes are accompanied by either a picture or highlighted text - or both. Design your menu to draw customers’ attention towards specials or trademark items. Your menu is like a marketing tool, and how you place different menu items can reel in more profits.
Many restaurants also choose to pair wines and beer with different selections, listing those choices right with the menu item itself. This is a great way to ensure that you’re doing your part in suggestive selling more items! Also, the standard setup of appetizers, entree, and desserts is traditional and an easy way to put your customers in the right mindset.
Style and Theme
A five star restaurant surely wouldn’t design a menu in simple Times Roman font on scrap paper, and neither should you. Your menu should reflect the style of your restaurant and have a theme that goes with the dishes you intend to sell. Word selections in a way that sound enticing and that match the overall gist. For instance, Mexican foods are typically described with spicy descriptors, while romantic fine-dining establishments may describe meals in a more sensual manner (tender chicken kissed with a hint of lemon zest, anyone?).
Make your menu work for you, and you’ll be sure to see increased profits and happier customers!
E Friedman Associates Inc