Key Considerations for Developing Your First Menu

The food service business is not for everyone. Yet, it’s a unique industry that serves just about anyone. It features various business concepts and brand personalities. When designing a commercial eatery, you need two things to achieve success—a good concept and a well-planned menu.

Your restaurant concept is essential for curating a solid menu of strategically planned food and beverages offerings. To develop a memorable—and profitable—menu for customers, you must consider numerous customer-based and economic-focused factors. Let’s take a closer look at some key considerations for developing your first menu.

Consider Your Kitchen Capabilities

First and foremost, consider what your commercial kitchen is capable of. What equipment are you investing in? What cooking methods do you plan to use? What type of oven will you have? Utilizing a grill versus a griddle produces different results. Do you have enough workstations to offer grilled foods, sauteed dishes, cold salads, and hot soups?

Your menu selection should be a manageable size for your kitchen. If your menu is widely expansive, you may end up overwhelming staff and customers alike with far too many choices. Fortunately, you can always adjust or add to your menu later. Keep your initial selections reasonable to avoid extra stress or resource waste.

Consider Your Local Competition

When it comes to menu offerings, awareness of the local dining competition is crucial. As a matter of fact, scoping out nearby competitors is one of the key considerations for developing your first menu. What themes or cuisines do they offer to consumers? What can you bring to the table that they don’t currently have? You need to be able to go head-to-head with them using your curated menu.

Don’t forget about appropriate pricing. Each listed item on the menu needs to have accurate pricing to reflect the local economy and food costs. When you balance a profit margin with affordable offerings, you must consider supply chain costs. A solid business plan will assist in pricing items for your target customers and locational needs.

Consider Your Menu’s Marketable Design

What makes a delectable menu increasingly sellable? The answer is investing in properly designed marketing of the menu itself. You may have a delicious or creative menu. Yet, you need to be able to advertise it well enough to make your offerings profitable in the long run. Consider how to communicate with your target audience through the tools at your disposal. You can use social media, in-store signage, and in-person advertisements?

Keep your printed menu simple to maximize its readability. Also, use a little bit of psychology for entrée placement. Diners show common behaviors when scanning over menus with numerous listed choices. Don’t hide dishes you desire to push or put the more expensive options at the back of the menu. Creativity, strategy, and descriptiveness go a long way to promote a tasty menu. With a bit of consideration, the recipe to success will be in reach.

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Written by Logan Voss

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