Before you compel or offer any menu, you need to carry out field analysis. Study your competitors. Define your goal. If your goal is to make money, you can open a fast food restaurant! If we talk about a restaurant in every sense of the word, then more profitable are restaurants offering affordable and simple food. Hence, we can make a conclusion that menu should be simple, comprehensible and not large. Menu design plays quite an important role as well.
Why shouldn’t it be large? It’s not good if your guest has to strain himself and get tired choosing a dish at the very beginning of his rest. The ideal format according to many chefs is five by five. It means that every section has five dishes. The menu itself to my mind should contain several sheets better of an irregular format (it could be oblong shapes) printed on good-quality paper. Thick menus in hard covers came out of trend.
Dish titles. They should be clear and recognizable, if we speak about a restaurant of such level. But at the same time the title should contain the description of the dish, summary with the key product at the beginning. When a guest reads the menu on the subconscious level he or she gets a vision of a possible taste. «Marine fantasy», «Autumn gifts» - such titles won’t lead the restaurant too far! The vision of a guest must be intensified as much as possible. Don’t make phrases too long, as we get tired of reading them.
Dish presentation. Every dish should be eaten twice, at first with your eyes. For example let’s take children, the majority won’t even try a dish if it looks «not tasty». Good well-thought presentation amazes and charms your guest, highlights the level of your restaurant, makes your guest talk about his or her visit to this restaurant. A meal can cause emotions as strong as a visit to a theatre. That’s why cutting down expenses for account of quality and staff may lead to your restaurant’s becoming an ordinary place like all others. If we focus on customers of an average level and good passing ability, then portion should be medium, though I support minimization. I consider large portion to be not relevant. Firstly, a person will not try another dish and won’t value your effort. Secondly, our brain can perceive strong taste only in the beginning, then taste is deadened and we can’t experience those feeling from the meal any more. Do remember that most people come to a restaurant in order to feel esthetic pleasure, but not fill their stomachs.
Product freshness. This aspect is extremely important. It depends on customer passing ability and on your work force. If there’s no passing ability, you will have to save, freeze and preserve products. If there’s a lack in work force, cooks will not have enough time to sort out and prepare products. At manufacture every person has his own part of activity.
Menu direction. Japanese and Italian cuisines are more profitable and popular. European cuisine in a way can be called fusion cuisine. Russian cuisine suits this sector as well. I don’t support fusion, it’s easier to keep to a certain style. But our target audience in the majority prefers TOP, most popular positions.
Taste. Before a guest comes to the taste, he or she faces atmosphere, service, associations from the menu, the menu by touch, style and direction, dish presentation and so on. And only after that a guest comes to the taste. Many put the taste first. Undoubtedly, this is the trap that won’t let your customer go to another place. But if to compare for example presentation and taste, I’d give them 50/50. It’s not quite by chance said: «Tastes differ». Tastes do differ, and it’s worth remembering. If one or two people don’t like a dish, it doesn’t mean that the majority doesn’t like it as well. You don’t need to let your guest choose the taste. The taste is up to the chef to decide on. For example, dressing for a choice is excessive in the menu. Guest can easily make a mistake and spoil the combination of this very dish by adding inappropriate taste.
Price. As our concept is profit-oriented, the best way to achieve it is by passing ability. It’s wrong to change your price policy; you need to define it from the very beginning. At menu development the cost must be not high.
But the main thing is that the popularity depends on specialists of sales and marketing departments! It’s difficult to grow basing only on cuisine; you need to have your "special appeal".
Thougths about the menu
Submitted by 12/02/2012 20:45