A menu is a list of food and drink options that a restaurant offers its customers. It serves as a guide for customers to make their choices, and it typically includes descriptions of the dishes, prices, and any relevant information such as ingredients or allergens. Menus can vary greatly depending on the type of restaurant, the cuisine offered, and the target market. For example, a fast-food restaurant menu may be very different from a fine-dining restaurant menu.
In addition, they can be printed on paper, displayed on boards, or even digitally. If you want to create a menu instantly, you can use a menu template for creating your restaurant menu. I would like to suggest one tool which is PhotoADking. This tool provides 1000+ unique menu templates that you can customize as per your needs.
A well-designed menu can greatly impact a restaurant’s profitability and success by highlighting the most popular and profitable dishes, and by utilizing upselling techniques. It also helps to control food costs, manage inventory and reflect the restaurant’s brand and culture.
To design a restaurant menu for maximum profitability, consider the following tips:
- Analyze your food costs: Carefully calculate the cost of each menu item, including ingredients, labor, and overhead, to ensure a healthy profit margin.
- Utilize upselling techniques: Suggest high-profit items, such as appetizers, drinks, and desserts, to increase the average check size.
- Offer a mix of price points: Include both high-end and low-priced items to appeal to a wider range of customers.
- Use specials: Offer daily or weekly specials to keep customers coming back and increase sales.
- Keep it simple: Offer a limited number of items that can be prepared quickly and easily.
- Utilize seasonal ingredients: These are often less expensive and more flavorful, which can help increase profit margins.
- Be mindful of portion sizes: Use appropriate portion sizes to control food costs and increase profitability.
- Use value engineering: Look at ways to reduce costs while maintaining a healthy menu for your restaurant and customer satisfaction.
- Take customer feedback into account: Pay attention to what sells well and what doesn’t, and adjust your menu accordingly.
- Be creative: Introduce new items and flavors to keep your menu fresh and exciting, which can help attract customers and increase sales.
Menu planning for maximizing profit
Here is our step-by-step tutorial on how to do menu engineering and use the results to develop a menu that will benefit both the brand and financial health of your business.
1. Select a time window for your menu analysis.
Determine how frequently you’ll be able to accomplish it realistically. The purpose of menu engineering analysis is to remodel your menu and rearrange various things on the page to help promote your most profitable products.
Even though menu engineering analysis takes some time, it’s time well spent.
It would be ideal if you could schedule it seasonally (or quarterly). To increase sales, you may even do a menu engineering analysis twice a year: A little menu engineering research is usually preferable to none.
You may also use the appropriate restaurant technology to always have a quick look at the menu at your fingertips.
2. Calculate revenue and popularity
Menu item food cost, menu item food cost percentage, contribution margin, and volume sold or frequency of sales are crucial indicators of profitability and attractiveness.
By obtaining ingredient pricing data from your invoices and turning those prices into the portion costs of each component in a particular meal, you may manually calculate all of these metrics. Even though it may be done without a calculator or spreadsheet, the tedious manual procedure is ripe for inadvertent human mistakes.
Here is a brief explanation of how to manually determine food prices for a particular recipe
- Each item that belongs to a particular meal should be listed. Don’t forget spices, garnishes, and cooking oil.
- Determine the cost of each component in a dish based on the prices you pay for each item. If an onion costs $0.24 and produces eight slices per onion, the cost of an onion for a dish with two slices would be $0.06.
- Add up shipping costs, interest costs, return fees, and any other costs associated with stocking up on food. Include NO labor charges.
- Costs for ingredients and purchases should be combined. The price of a certain menu item’s food can be found here.
3. Sort out your menu options.
You may plot popularity and profitability together in a menu engineering matrix. This is after you know how much each item has sold throughout your particular period. You also know how much profit is produced by each menu item.
The Menu Engineering Spreadsheet is useful in this situation. The menu items will be grouped into one of the four menu engineering categories—Stars, Puzzles, Plowhorses, or Dogs—mentioned above.
It will then display a scatter plot of every item on your menu. The item’s popularity (or the quantity sold during the selected period) will be your Y-axis, and the item’s profitability (or that item’s contribution margin) will be your X-axis. It will seem like this:
Then you may determine if your menu is heading toward Stars, Dogs, Plowhorses, or Puzzles by drawing a trending line between these items.
4. Consider your menu engineering insights while creating designs
Use the results of your menu engineering research to inform the layout when redesigning a menu.
Additionally, it’s crucial to solicit input from your loyal consumers regarding particular menu items. What categories of buyers purchase what products? Are particular foods what draw people to your restaurant, or is it the ambiance? Do your frequent customers even carefully study your menu, or do they just place their customary order? Tell them you’re working on a brand-new menu and to let you know about any dishes they would never eat.
You may rebuild your menu using knowledge about your menu items that are both empirical and anecdotal. To help you with your upcoming design, follow these four guidelines.
Make your puzzles and stars stand out.
To draw attention to the things you want to sell the most, use visual clues. The object might be encircled by a box, printed in a different color, underlined, or have an image close by. To gain attention, you might also name some goods “Chef’s Special” or “New.”
To avoid having so many highlighted items that none of them stand out, it is recommended to only highlight one item per category.
5. Examine the success of your revamped menu.
Check your sales a few months after your first thorough redesign powered by menu engineering to see how they have changed. Then, depending on how your Stars, Puzzles, Plowhorses, and Dogs are performing, you may perform another round of menu engineering research and make one or two minor adjustments.
So that you can keep track of what works and what doesn’t, and continue to test one or two items at a time.
6. Involve your team in the process of developing the menu.
Last but not least, be sure to teach your staff about your newly designed menu layout. They interact daily with consumers, making them one of your most valuable assets. It’s likely that your front-of-house staff already knows which menu items are your Stars (high profit, high popularity), but if you tell them which menu items are Puzzles (high profit, low popularity), they can assist you to move those products into Star territory.
Menu engineering is a continuous process that has the potential to increase sales, reduce food waste, and increase your restaurant’s profitability. You’ll start to see the effects of where things are put on the menu, how they’re displayed, and the descriptive phrases you use after a few minor modifications.
Menu Templates Examples
Steak menu templates
Tea menu templates
Burger menu templates