Every restaurateur knows the importance of the restaurant menu. If constructed properly, it could be the restaurant’s most effective marketing tool. It should be aligned with your restaurant’s brand, and its main objective should be communicating and selling your food items to your customers.
Restaurant Menu is a detailed list of the food items, drinks, and services your restaurant is offering. It is responsible for informing your customers about the dishes and its prices.
This article elaborated the important details that a restaurateur needs to know about restaurant menus.
SHORTER RESTAURANT MENU VS TRADITIONAL LONG RESTAURANT MENU TREND
Now, there’s a new trend with restaurant menus that’s gaining the interest of the modern diners. It is said that this trend increased the effectiveness of the menu and even helped with the profitability of the restaurant.
Traditional restaurant menus often end up overwhelming and confusing consumers as it contains too many details and choices. This leads to poor customer experience, that’s the main reason why experts in the restaurant industry developed ways on how every interaction of customers would lead to an improved customer experience.
The key to winning consumers’ loyalty is to provide convenient and quick service. This is what chain restaurants do.
Traditional long restaurant menus were designed to attract customers. However, the effect on the customers is the opposite.It has worked for a short while though. With the rise of social media and everything instant, the habits of the customers changed.
Restaurant owners like the customers can also benefit from a shorter restaurant menu. Simplified menu means less food waste, fewer ingredients’ inventory needed, and a streamlined work process. Chefs can also focus on their specialties.
RESTAURANT MENU ENGINEERING AND HOW IT HELPS YOUR RESTAURANT OPERATIONS
Menu Engineering is the study of how profitable and popular a menu item is. It focuses on how the item’s placement on the menu affects its profitability and popularity. The goal is for every guest to order a certain percentage that will increase the restaurant’s profit.
It is known that Professor Donald Smith of Michigan State University introduced this method to the restaurant industry. With the help of menu engineering, it is easier to identify what’s not working in a restaurant menu. You’ll learn what’s the effect of profit contribution of your menu items to your overall sales and profits.
Menu engineering helps you with your food costs as it removes the menu items that are not working for you. It designs your restaurant menu to be more profitable as it constructs a system that provides easier regular analysis of your menu.
This is the method of optimizing your restaurant menu for it to be a better fit for your daily operations.
TYPES OF RESTAURANT MENU
A restaurant menu is known to have 5 primary types. Knowing what kind of menu will work for your chain or restaurant is a crucial factor in maximizing the potential of your menu.
- A LA CARTE MENU
This type of restaurant menu is where the menu items are listed and priced separately. This is popular as it offers more flexibility to the customers. As a customer, you can choose what to combine to a specific menu item. This advantage comes with a price since this type of menu tends to charge higher.
- DU JOUR MENU
Derived from the French phrase that means “of the day,” this restaurant menu houses the specials for the day of a restaurant. It changes daily and offers what’s available or what the chef prepared for the customers.
- CYCLE MENU
There are two main reasons why this type of restaurant menu is being utilized. First, the kitchen and cooking operations of the restaurant are small and don’t have access to the resources every day, leading to a shortage of ingredients. Second, for specials, same with the concept of the happy hour menu.
It is a menu or part of a restaurant menu that contains repeated options for a specific time.
- STATIC MENU
The easiest type of restaurant menu to navigate for customers. Though it houses everything the restaurant and the bar offers, the fact that it’s divided into categories makes the customers love this type of menu.
It may even include some a la carte, du jour, and cycle menu options. It categorizes food items into appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks into wine, cocktails, and beets.
- FIXED MENU
Also known as the “set menu,” this type of restaurant menu has two common types, namely “table d’hote menu and prix fixe menu.”
- Table D’Hote Menu offers a selection of appetizer, entrée, and dessert at a fixed price. The total cost doesn’t change, and you’re given several options per food category.
- Prix Fixe Menu is a type of menu that offers a little to no variability. There’s usually just one option to choose from for the appetizer, entrée, and dessert. If the customers would prefer another menu item, it usually costs different than what’s in the set. It is more likely a list of what’s to be served. This type of restaurant menu is popular for chef-driven restaurants.
OTHER TYPES OF RESTAURANT MENUS
- Dessert Menu
- Beverage Menu
- Cocktail Menu
- Digital Menu
- Industry Menu
TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY
- Family-style meals
- Veggie-based options
- Wine and cocktail delivery
- Do-It-Yourself Menu
- “Tasting Menu”
- Simplified comfort food
- Delivery-friendly menu
- Plant-based food items
- Creative catering
Restaurant menus don’t have to be grand and complicated. It is much enjoyed in its simplest form. It is important that it’s organized, readable, and easy to understand. As long as it contains your offerings, it is good to go.
But don’t let this trend affect the power of branding your restaurant menu holds. Make sure that you’re maximizing its potential to market your restaurant by aligning its design and layout according to your restaurant’s concept. Talk to us if you’d like to take your brand online.