How to Design Your Restaurant Menu
by danilo imbimbo
How many times have you had doubts when making the right decision to draw up the most congenial gastronomic offer for your hotel restaurant?
Often your own professional experience prevails in the choice, the skill of the chef with his ideas and style or, in many cases, you are inspired by the location or the type of clientele.
The recurring questions are often the same: will our guests like it? Will the price-quality ratio be perceived as adequate? What will our economic margin be?
Devising a menu often appears complicated because inserting the chef's 'workhorses' does not always generate positive effects in terms of customer satisfaction, functionality for the room and kitchen services, and above all for the economic margin.
Rather than talking about menu engineering, here are some useful tips to consider when devising your gastronomic offer:
- Give importance to the size of the menu, the shape, the material used and the weight. You can be sure, these elements will influence the perception of your guest.
- Use clear lettering, remember not to emphasise the price over the text, eliminate decimals and the euro symbol.
- The description of the dishes is fundamental: simple, brief and without too many articulate words that end up complicating the reading and the final choice. This moment is important as a centred and truthful description increases the perception of the value of the dish itself.
- How many dishes to include per category? So many doubts on this point! Always odd, preferably 5 or 7 with a separate dessert menu. Use the sandwich tactic: place a dish at the lowest price as the first proposal, follow it up by placing something that may intrigue the guest (e.g. a traditional dish), then move on to the more expensive dishes.
- Assessing food costs: at a time when raw material and energy prices are rising day by day, this aspect not only deserves daily monitoring but is vital for determining your profit. You must avoid working at a loss: it often feels like you are making a profit when, in fact, you barely break even.
Final tip: do not forget that the menu must be consistent with the overall identity of the restaurant.
Happy menu, everyone!