The term menu engineering is used within the hospitality industry (mostly in the context of restaurants, hotels, catering businesses, cafes, pubs), but can be used in any business that makes and sells food or beverage. In this post, we look at what it is, how you use it and the impact it can have on your business.
What is Menu Engineering?The main aim with menu engineering is to maximize a business’s profitability by subconsciously encouraging customers to buy what you want them to buy – which are going to be the higher profit dishes on your menu, which are the ones that have the best Margin %. There are many factors to Menu development, which we cover in our “Menu writing lessons” which also feature on our blog. You can access our Menu Writing articles HERE. We cover topics such as Menu placement, Menu pricing strategy, Menu wording, type font and size and dish descriptions… among other things – everything that Chefs and managers need to consider before writing menus.
Why do I need it?As a chef you need to be able to analyse the performance of each of your dishes individually, plus the sections of your menu as well as the performance of your menu as a whole. ONLY then can you make sensible, calculated decisions about whether you need to keep or remove dishes, or whether you may need to change the position on the menu. You’d be surprised at how even just changing a dish description can affect its sales dramatically. There are 3 main parts that menu engineering looks at:
- How many of each dish you sell (in comparison to the rest of your dishes)
- What Food Cost/ GP % each dish achieves
- How much money you make each time you sell each dish.