Menu costing and Engineering.

So, for my final notes on ‘menu design”, I want to share some thoughts on the ever important menu costing. You have copy now….so what do you charge your customer to ensure profitability? I’m going to break this down into three main categories. Menu placement and pricing psychology, costing tools and menu engineering.

menu placement is as it sounds, were do we actually place the price, how much and why it matters. Take a look at any typical menu, and observe were the prices are, and also were the items are on the menu. On a typical 2 page folded menu your items are listed top to bottom, left to right. At the top left are your appetizers…as you move down you may have soups and salads. on the top right your entrees, followed by desserts. The front facing page and the back are for information, and perhaps the beverage menu. Usually the prices are listed vertically with the menu items, sometimes underneath the listings, which is were they should be. Why so? People are inherently programmed to price shop, so listing vertically makes it easy to find the least expensive options. The problem with this is, the customer may pick what is cheapest, over what they really desire….psychology! Hence placement is key in conjunction with grouping prices close together. Have a look at the following image as an example. This is a simple one page, the rules still apply.

Next up, costing tools and engineering. So as to not lose you with reams of information, I am going to offer a few solutions and a few tips. Tip #1, look at what the market will bear in terms of menu price. What are similar operations charging for there menu offerings? Always use a geographical area no greater than 50 km….nearest city or town, and your area.Tip #2, what is your nearest competition charging for similar items? Tip #3, What are the cost of goods to be purchased? These three things will get you on the right path….From here it is up to you to gather the rest of the tools. Everything from essentially management documents and time saving software tools. As a consultant, I offer a shortcut to the restauranteur in providing these for a fee. Contact me if you need help! The following 2 images are hyperlinked to products I use for my services, enjoy!

Thanks, and feel free to contact me at any time.