Menu Planning

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					• Things to Consider When Planning a Menu
            • Types of Menus
            • Know Thy Guest
• Identify what influences what a foodservice
  operation sells.
• Identify the categories of menu
  misrepresentation.
• Be familiar with the many types of menus that
  foodservice operations use.
• Design a menu that meets the needs of the
  operation, works within the operation’s
  constraints, and contains no areas of
  misrepresentation.
• Develop menu items that address consumers’
  desires.
     Can you produce the items?
Can you serve the items correctly – and
               profitably?
• Restaurant Layout and Design
  – New restaurants are flexible: control over design
    and location can reflect initial menu
  – Existing locations offer challenges:
     • Does design reflect menu changes?
     • Will the facility support the new equipment
       required for menu changes
  – Changes in beverage options usually not an issue
• Product Availability/Consistency
  – Fresh ingredients may cost a premium in off
    season
  – Consider offering “specials” as availability
    changes
• Type of Equipment
  – Extensive menus require more equipment
  – Consider equipment that multi-tasks
  – Be cautious when purchasing new equipment
  – Learn to cook on anything
• Storage
  – Never enough space
  – Extensive menus require many ingredients
  – Options
     • Rent expensive storage space
     • Find vendors who will make frequent,
       even daily deliveries
     • Reduce items on the menu
• Labor
  – Do your employees have the skill sets to produce
    the menu items?
  – Can you balance the labor costs with sales?
     • Options
        –Convenience foods
        –Fewer, less ambitious menu items
• Guest Desires
  – Ever-changing tastes
  – Changing dietary trends
  – Changing economy
  – Food show influences
• Food and Beverage Trends
  – Know what’s hot, and whether it is a trend (long-
    running) or a fad (short-lived)
  – Trends include décor, style of service, hours of
    service
  – Pay attention to every detail
• Truth in Menu
  – Don’t mislead people
  – National Restaurant Association’s 11 categories of
    misrepresentation to be avoided:
     • Quantity – should perhaps list actual weights
       or volume
     • Quality – be accurate
     • Price – Are beverage refills free?
• Brand Name – Don’t print “Jello” if it’s a no-
  name gelatin
• Product Identification – Maple syrup or maple-
  flavored syrup?
• Point of Origin – Does your beef really come
  from Colorado?
• Merchandising Terms – be careful
• Preservation – Fresh means never bottled,
  dried, frozen or canned
• Means of preparation – Is the patty grilled or
  broiled? (health issue for some)

• Illustrations/graphics – Forget it

• Nutrition – Nutrition labeling is coming, be
  prepared and be accurate
• What Food is Available, and When
  – Meal Part (Day Part) Menu – specific menu for
    time of day or meal
  – Cycle Menu – a permanent limited menu with
    changing specials (e.g., pasta on Monday, salads
    on Tuesday)
  – Daily Menu – printed menu with standard
    offerings and daily specials (special occasion
    menu)
• What Food is Available, and When (cont.)
  – Limited Menus – offer a limited number of items
     • Downtime Menu
        –Early-bird Menu
        –Night-owl Menu
– Limited Menu (cont.)
   • Casual Menu
      –Most typical of limited menus
      –Not priced as low as down-time menu
      –Offers a larger selection than down-time
        menu
      –Good for places with small kitchens and
        large dining rooms or lounges where speed
        is important
• Pricing
  – A la Carte Menu – every item is priced
    individually; no value means or combination
    plates
  – Fixed-price Menu – one price for a set meal or
    combination of food and beverage items (also
    known as prix fixe, all-inclusive, table d’hote,
    taster, d’gustation or chef’s tasting and paired
    wines menus)
• Pricing (cont.)
  – Café Menu – reduced-priced, limited menu used
    in an area away from the main dining area
     • Variation: Sunday Supper Menu – usually
       includes a few choices at a fixed price.
       Designed to create business at an otherwise
       slow time
• Menu Formats
  – Tabletop Menu (tabletop display, table tent)
  – Menu Board (Chalkboard) – may feature take-out
    items
  – Verbal Menus – verbal list of the day’s specials
• Menu Formats (cont.)
  – Interactive Menu – guests may mix and match
    orders (e.g., type of sauce, type of pasta, etc.).
     • “Bingo” Catering Menu – client picks items
       from a number of columns to create
       customized menu for an event
  – Computerized Wine List – guests enter entrée
    choices into hand-held or tabletop computer and
    receive wine recommendations
• Menu Formats (cont.)
  – Chef’s Menu – “Oh, let the chef order for me.”
     • Options
        – Ask for advance notice from the guest as to
          preferences and have them prepared (see
          “drawbacks” below)
        – Select special items from the menu
        – Put something special together that is not on the
          menu (Drawbacks: requires knowledge of costs,
          knowledge of available wines for pairing, etc.)
• Special Menus
  – Drink List
  – Dessert Menu
  – Room Service Menu
  – Catering Menu

				
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