You may serve the absolute best food in town, but if your customers don’t order it, what good will it do you and your brand? We’ve often said that a good menu is the heart of any successful restaurant. After all, your menu is the showcase for your restaurant’s signature dishes as well as a representation of the theme, ambience and the style of your establishment.
A properly designed menu will also serve as a powerful tool to persuade and influence your customers to order more. Therefore, as a restaurant owner, it is extremely important for you to carefully plan, organize and design your menu!
Before you begin: The Food Cost
Food cost simply refers to the menu-price of a certain dish when compared to the cost of the ingredients used to prepare the same dish. In layman terms, the amount you pay for the dish will determine the amount you charge for it.
The food cost is generally 30-35% of the final price. That means that if you are paying ₹100(food-cost) to prepare a dish, you should charge about ₹286(final price) for it. It may seem a bit inflated at first, but this cost encompasses everything from paying someone to make the dish, to serve it and to clean up afterward. Everything in your restaurant, from your electricity bill to the payroll has to be covered by the food you serve.
Price is Right
Figuring out what the right price for your dishes is one of the most important steps in designing your menu. You have to keep in mind the food cost, while providing Value-for-Money to your customers.
A simple formula you could use to find the minimum menu price is:
Min. Menu Price = Food Cost/0.35
This will give you a rough idea on the minimum amount you must charge to make a profit. You could, of course, charge more or less! You could even use relative pricing.
Pick the Right Material
The answer to “What is the right material for my menu?” depends entirely on your restaurant. Keep in mind that your menu is an accurate representation of your brand’s image. Different materials can provide different impressions to your diners, just by their overall look and feel.
If you are, let’s say, a high-end, classy space, you could use hardcovers; whereas, a simple paper menu on a cardboard will do the trick if you’re a simple café.
In addition, think long term – if you laminate your menu, every reprint will be expensive. You’d be better off using simple plastic covers in which updated items can be slid in.
Your customers want to eat; not go on a scavenger hunt! Avoid incorporating huge chunks of text in your menu. Your menu should be very easy to read and very well organized.
Do not have illegible fonts. An old English font may seem very classy, but it is very hard to read. Also, make it very easy to find items. A simple way to do this is Appetizers first, desserts last!
Build up your Vocabulary!
The description of your menu-items is a prelude to the actual eating. You should spend time on your choice of words, for words are a useful tool to fire up your customer’s imagination!
You don’t have to use sophisticated language; your aim is to educate and entice the diners about the dishes. It may seem tacky, but we believe that buzzwords usually get the job done!
Promote your Signatures
Your signatures are usually your highest selling dishes. Your menu should be such that the signature dishes catch the eye of your customers. A box or well-placed-space will draw attention. You could also emphasize the importance of the dish and promote it using a simple “Chef’s Recommendation” tag! 😊
Get Customer Feedback
Now that you’re finished with the price and design of the menu, you have to constantly test its effectiveness. The best way to do this is to ask your customers.
How InResto DineIn Helps You Upsell Your Dishes!
With inResto DineIn, you can create a digitized menu that diners can view with the help of a link while they wait for a table. This digital menu can highlight your signature dishes on top and even help you promote combo deals. Another great feature of this digitized menu is that it gives you great insights on your top-selling dishes.
Did you know that 80% of all diners look for a menu online, before physically visiting your establishment? Well, now you do! It is a very nice idea to have your menu and your own online-presence, not just to let the customers know, but also to promote your own brand. inResto is a suite of products that will help you manage your menu, as well as your restaurant.