21 Jun 2023
The menu is the key marketing device used by a restaurant. It states what is on offer and the client can expect that the description reflects the actual product. Developing dishes for a menu is a complex process, it should be planned carefully.
Remember these points in mind:
- 1. Target audience - Who is the designated client? Family restaurants, professionals who come for dinner after work, tourists? Conduct research on the target group to define their needs, income models, and disposable income! Also, check for competition within the
- 2. Type of business - Fine dining, bistro, restaurant, formal or informal
- 3. Venue size - How many clients can you accommodate? How big is the kitchen?
- 4. Equipment - Designs the menu taking into account the available equipment and distributes its use in the menu, eg. grilled, fried, and pan-fried dishes to avoid cramped places when serving.
- 5. Skill level of staff - Make sure the menu is not too complicated so that staff can produce it to the required standards no matter what. The person present. Consistency is the key!
- 6. Contents of the menu - How many dishes, main courses, and specialties? Summary of menu items.
- 7. Availability of raw materials - Seasonal and local products, suppliers, quality of supplies.
- 8. Price points - How much can you charge for the dishes, the price is in line with the expected clientele, and will the menu be profitable?
Once these points have been covered, planning and execution of the actual menu dishes should be considered:
- Testing - Many chefs think of a dish and put it on the menu without testing it first. What may be good in your mind may actually turn out to be unsatisfactory or may require some adjustment.
There are many advantages to developing a recipe from scratch and testing it:
- 1. The end product can be evaluated and is specific to the standard
- 2. Photos can be taken to ensure the quality
- 3. The recipe can be calculated correctly and saved as a standard recipe sheet
- Food value - Assess recipes based on their food value, combine key food groups in a plate
- Food safety - What are the critical control points within a recipe and the menu?
- Equipment - You have the necessary equipment for the recipe, do you have to adapt the recipe to compensate for any gaps in the equipment?
- Do you need to substitute ingredients because of their price or lack of availability? What impact will this have on flavor or presentation?
- Will the pot be popular and help the income stream? How will its profit margin contribute to the overall cost of the menu food?
- Does the dish use any new popular or trendy ingredients/products? Will it increase its appeal?
To sum up, a menu is more than just a list of dishes. It is a marketing tool that communicates the identity and value of a restaurant. Therefore, creating dishes for a menu involves a lot of research, analysis, and experimentation. A restaurant should consider its customers, its competitors, its resources, its staff, and its costs when designing a menu. A restaurant should also ensure that its dishes are nutritious, safe, tasty, and appealing. By doing so, a restaurant can offer a menu that stands out from the crowd and satisfies its customers and its bottom line.