One area that needs your focused attention when you are starting out in the restaurant business is menu planning. Many new operators simply have no idea of how to plan a restaurant menu that caters to what their target market is looking for as well as being practical in terms of preparation.
In this article we take a closer look at restaurant menu planning and ten of the points that you have to consider as you start to assemble the necessary content.
Firstly, you have to think about your restaurant concept and the type of clientele that you are hoping to attract. These things will be affected by your location, restaurant premises and theme among other factors. Your overall concept will affect the style, quality and portion sizes of the cuisine that you will feature on your restaurant menus.
Different Types of Restaurant Menus
Most restaurant menus are static in that they are fixed for lengthy time periods and are not able to easily be changed. The alternative is to offer a menu that is constantly changing. The latter is great for restaurants that use seasonal ingredients that fluctuate in price such as seafood. ‘Soup of the day’ is another common menu variation that may change as often as daily. However it makes it difficult if new menus need to be printed frequently. Options for menus that vary frequently include writing your menu up on a chalk board or printing out special inserts with daily specials.
A la carte restaurant menus require customers to select menu items individually and everything is priced separately. On the other hand Prix Fixe menus offer several courses included in one set meal for a fixed price. Then there is buffet style dining which usually requires little in the way of menus at all but rather just descriptions on the dishes at the point where customers serve themselves.
One thing to remember when putting together a menu is to offer enough of a variety to give diners a great selection while also keeping it reasonably simple so that they don’t get overwhelmed. A simple menu will also likely reduce the number of errors while orders are being taken and give staff less headaches remembering details on each dish. A menu with a smaller range of offerings will also make it easier for you to manage your inventory and to reduce food waste.
Consult a Chef
At the lower end of the restaurant spectrum you can basically do your restaurant menu planning and then hire kitchen staff that are capable of making the dishes that you have in mind. However, if you will be hiring a chef then you will need to consult with him or her on the style of cuisine that he or she specializes in. A chef will no doubt be able to offer invaluable tips and advice on your menu so it is well worth consulting one if possible.
Testing and Tweaking
Before you go ahead and include …