You have finally decided to put up that restaurant you’ve been dreaming of for so long. You feel enthusiastic about the whole process you’re about to go through. Ideas are constantly bombarding your mind. You may already have decided on which dishes or specialty you’d like to cover and place on your menu. After all, the menu is your restaurant’s business card.
The process of engineering your menu goes beyond the design aspect.
It involves strategizing different factors such as; target market, appeal, location, and overall budget. It is not simple, but it doesn’t need to be complicated either. With the right restaurant consulting, designing the right menu will make it appealing while maximizing your profitability.
#1 Do your Research
This is the first step towards an appealing menu- research. Do market research. Know your market. Your location plays a major role in the development of your menu. Are you near a school? Is a business hub nearby? Or are you in a commercial space? Part of your research should also be determining the amount of pedestrian traffic in your area. Are there more people in the morning? At lunch? Or after office hours? Once you answer these questions, you can narrow down on the possible menu offers that may maximize your profit. A SWOT analysis can also be used when doing your research. It identifies your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Conduct surveys for your potential customers.
#2 Breakdown your Menu plan
One way to prevent profit loss is to cost your menu. Costing a menu is the process of breaking down each item on your menu plan, to its ingredients and knowing exactly how much it costs to produce it. It is vital to conduct costing since it is a determining factor for your restaurant’s profitability. Being critical during this stage is important before finalizing which items to include on your menu. Use whatever data you have gathered from your research and apply it.
#3 Categorize the items on your Menu
There are several techniques on how to categorize and properly place your menu items. Experts in restaurant consulting will often require you to split your menu items into different categories and sections while keeping in mind items that are most profitable and most likely to be best-selling. Basic categories may include; Appetizers, Entree, Dessert and, Beverages. It is grouping your items in the broadest sense. Sectioning, on the other hand, is placing specific items on a group; such as Chicken Entrees, Vegetarian Entrees, Alcoholic or Non-alcoholic beverages.
#4 Design your Menu
Treat your menu as a prime opportunity for free advertising. The Design of your menu affects your customer’s behavior. To create an appealing menu, the design should be eye-catching while being clean, crisp and easy to understand. Utilizing visual cues is one way to pique the interest of your future customers. Your design depends on what appeal you want to come across to your customers. Designing comes hand in hand with Psychology. Take advantage of your customer’s eye movement patterns and incorporate them into your menu design.
#5 Test your Menu
A good measure to ensure you have an appealing menu is to test it. If your restaurant is opening soon, a dry run is a way to point out mistakes you may have overlooked during the process of development. Getting feedback and turning it to opportunities is one advantage of testing your menu. Try on testing different sets of menus until you come up with the right one.
Finally, Ask for Expert Advice
When it comes to developing an appealing menu, there is always room for profit improvement. The market is constantly changing and your restaurant will need to keep up. Seeking advice from an expert at restaurant consulting is a fool-proof way to ensure you are not left behind. Since these experts know the ropes in menu development and have been in the industry longer than you, you can feel confident in making guided decisions towards creating an appealing and compelling menu.