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Tips on How to Develop a Successful Food Menu

Author profile: Frank Fileccia
For over 32 years Frank Fileccia has been helping luxury inn, boutique hotel, resort and restaurant clients achieve their potential.
This very complex process is one of the top key elements for your success, keeps money coming in, keeps the workload steady, keeps your costs consistent, and overall keeps your Customers happy. And if your Customers are happy, your Staff make more tips and you will be running a successful business. Remember that if your Guest is pleased, everyone will be.

Some common mistakes are made while developing and planning a menu, and some can sink your business:

Misspelling you menu is a huge mistake, is unprofessional and you tend to lose credibility among Clients and Staff. Computers have a fascinating function that will do that for you.

Hundreds of dishes in your menu will not please, will only confuse, keep it simple, legible, congruent and articulate.

If you are writing for example a ???Pan seared cod brought directly from the coldest Norwegian region, with an rosemary and Portuguese extra virgin olive oil infusion, topped with a delicate truffle and freshly chopped chives white sauce, and accompanied with oven roasted baby potatoes, seasoned with Hungarian paprika and pink Mediterranean salt, and butter saut?©ed asparagus in a fine apple smoked dill sauce???. You have lost your Clients attention within the first two lines, keep it simple and concise, the element of surprise will keep Clientele coming back for the ???show???.

Chef knows what is Florentine, Mornay, A la mode, Vichy, but your Client certainly doesn??™t, if your menu isn??™t explained enough, you will be killing your service Staff, as they will remain captive until everything is thoroughly explained and will for sure leave some tables unattended.

Keeping the exact same menu all year round is not healthy for your Restaurant, as will eventually bore your Customers and regaining them is probably the hardest thing to do in this type of businesses.

Some recommendations that will help you to achieve a well rounded profitable menu:

While testing a menu, bring an accurate scale, measuring devices with you, weight and measure EVERYTHING, that way, the dish that you will offer to Clients will taste exactly the same as the approved.

Kitchen design is a reflection of your menu, if you cannot move your equipment, plan ahead with convenient but still commercial dishes, but this will save you more than 30% in staffing.

While testing, involve your entire kitchen Staff, as they will be the ones that will bring success and consistency. And when done, involve your waiting Staff in trying the dishes, explain them thoroughly and write some sort of ???cowcatcher??? for them to study that includes preparation methods, portion sizes, if the dish can or cannot be prepared with an ingredient, the way it is plated, as your success lies in the ability of selling.

Make sure that your dishes have a healthy rotation, otherwise you will end up with a full trash can.

???Specials??? are commonly mistaken with ???leftovers??? cooked in some other way, avoid them, as Clients get suspicious about its origin.

Plan in advance your year round dishes, which will help you to organize future purchasing, internal traffic, costs and spaces.

Seasonal, sustainable, diverse and local ingredients are usually cheaper, tastier and fresher.

Use the best quality ingredients at the best prices available; remember that a second class ingredient cannot become a first class dish ever.

Know your restaurant concept, this will allow you to have a clear understanding when planning your menu.

Think on how to please your Client through your dishes, get back to basics, you will end up with tons of money in your pockets, Clients are first!!!
Copyright?© Frank Fileccia

The Quote

Treat every customer as if they sign your paycheck - because they do.