What You Should Know About Your Restaurant Menus

What You Should Know About Your Restaurant Menus

Do you know your food cost?
In order to keep your profits and margins in line and have your prices affordable for your customers, each item on your restaurant menu should be priced to determine its food cost. (The actual amount it costs you to make the dish.) This doesn’t mean that the food items you purchase should be the cheapest accessible because quality is the most important facet of creating menu items, but you need to balance high and low food costs together in order to obtain an acceptable gross profit margin.

Your menu should have an easy to read font & format.
Hard to read font and too much text make it difficult for customers to read your menu. Keep your menu design simple and elude from using too much culinary terminology.

Menu items should be quick & easy to prepare.
Nothing will swamp a restaurant kitchen down quicker during the rush than menu items that take a long time to prepare. Menu items should be one of two things:
1. Easy to prepare on the spot
2. Easy to prepare ahead of time and reheat

Your menu should be adaptable.
This simply means that no item on the menu should stand alone. If you offer a fresh pork roll, be sure to include pork in other dishes as well. Otherwise, if you don’t sell any pork rolls, the pork meat will spoil, and throwing food away in the restaurant kitchen is parallel to throwing your money away.

The restaurant menu should be a manageable size.
Avoid the inducement to offer a huge selection of menu items; otherwise you will unsurprisingly be throwing food out at the end of the night. Also consider what your restaurant kitchen is capable of producing. Are there enough stations to offer grilled items, fried dishes, salads, soups and baked goods etc?

When to update your restaurant menu.
In order to keep your food cost in control and keep up with the other costs of owning your restaurant, you should update your menu at least once or twice a year. This doesn’t mean that you have to rewrite the whole menu or add all new dishes. It is simply a good time to ensure that prices are where they should be, and to assess menu items and remove the menu items that aren’t selling.

What to avoid on your restaurant menu.
There is a huge list of things to evade on a restaurant menu, like hard to read font or overly descriptive culinary language. Remember, your menu is a like an advertisement for your restaurant, and you want to put your best foot forward.

When should you offer special or set restaurant menus?
Busy holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Fathers’ or Valentine’s Day often warrant a special menu, in order to keep the kitchen from sinking the entire night. A “Special Occasion Menu or Set Menu” limits the number of items available, making it easier for the kitchen to turn out large number of meals in a short period of time. Even if it isn’t a holiday, a “Special Occasion Menu or a Set Menu” can also act as a great promotion during slow times. Special “Combo Meal Deals” are great restaurant promotion to get people through the door, even during hard economic times.


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