Menu designing is the key ingredient in running a profitable restaurant. Careful planning and placement of items in the menu help not only restaurants to derive profit, but also increase customer delight.
A lot of thought goes into menu planning, and here we have narrowed down to the six menu planning and selection rules which delight customers and tempt them to spend more.
1.Promote the most profitable items
Your most profitable item is the one that requires low priced ingredients, item that doesn’t take much time to prepare, and which you can sell at a higher price. This item should be highlighted in the menu card or be presented as daily or weekly special item on the table that catches the customer’s eye. Or else, you can also place it in the ‘Chef’s favorite’ segment to lure the customers to order it.
2. Use relative pricing
Play on the psychology of the customer. Customers are more likely to order cheaper dishes. Place your cheap, yet high-profit dish next to an expensive one which perfectly complements the former item. Thus, you can highlight the expensive dish which complements the cheaper item and you want guests to order more.
3. Manage the menu size
A huge menu with too many choices of cuisines may end up confusing the customer. By narrowing down on a specific cuisine, you can cut down the menu size, reduce the variety of raw ingredients required, increase efficiency of staff to prepare and present the food better and at the same time, help your customers make a quick decision. You can also introduce rare, local specials to beat competitors serving similar cuisines.
Also, it is also difficult to maintain a large raw material inventory for varying kinds of cuisines, whereas, dishes that use same ingredients help you reduce wastage of raw materials and the time taken to prepare them.
4. Keep the menu design uncluttered
The layout of the menu should be clear and uncluttered. The font should be bold, aesthetically pleasing and yet, clearly visible. The theme of the menu should reflect the font type, color and should match the overall design of the restaurant. Thus, you can create a cuisine-centric look and feel to the menu card and the ambience that instantly connect people to the food. At the same time, also remember that too much graphic might look messy and take away the attention from the menu items.
5. Don’t skip the description
Delicacies, especially exotic ones might be new to many customers. At that, a short description, explaining the key ingredients of the dish might guide the guests to figure out what they want and what to order. You can put images of the dish as well, but make sure that the dish must live up to the image description.
6. Keep the menu updated
Imagine the customer carefully perusing the menu and finally deciding on one exotic dish, only to be regretfully informed that the dish has been taken off the menu. A huge turn off, isn't it? The customer would then take another ten minutes to decide what they want to eat.
Therefore, remove dishes from your menu that are no longer served. Also, you should weed out those dishes that could do little to woo your customers. Instead, replace those items with new items on your menu which would please (or even better, tempt!) your guests to provide better dining experience for your customers.
7.Revamp your dishes
Renew dishes in your menu by giving them a fresh perspective. Experiment with ingredients and create unique flavors to existing dishes. For example, instead of serving simple milk kheer you can serve Bengali Payesh. While this would delight a person of Bengali origin, others would be tempted to taste something new.
Last but not the least, remember that a menu is not just a paper that lists all the dishes of your restaurant with their prices; it is essentially the first step to the marketing of your food. A visually appetizing menu draws more orders from the customers.