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  • Writer's picturePhilip Marchant

A Menu to wet the appetite!

Well designed menus can easily add thousands in sales a week to your business. They can also help increase your GP by highlighting higher profit items and guiding your guests to choose certain items.

Simple rules to follow are:

1. Remove £ or $ signs from your menus and round up so only whole numbers are used this is a simple way to trick the mind of your customer to not thinking about the monetary value of the dish.

2. Make sure there is a clear layout and the font is east to read and big enough to read without being ridiculously large.

3. Don’t over crowd your menu, keep it simple and authentic, don’t try to cater to everyone.

4. Customers read in a Z pattern so design your menu with this in mind.

5. Don’t add too many dishes as this will just slow down the customers decision time and

order process and slow down the kitchen.

6. Make sure a simple and easy to read version (especially on mobile phones) is on your website and social media.

7. Don’t show the promotions on your main menu have a separate flyer for this.

8. Have separate menus: -

Main menu - with starters, entrees(mains) and side orders

Lunch or snack menu – with lighter options on (remember to remove for the evening service)

Breakfast menu – if applicable this can be on your lunch/ snack menu if offered all day.

Dessert Menu – this can have coffee and hot drinks menu on it as well and should be left on the table.

Drinks Menu – all drinks both acholic and soft, with a wine list. You can include cocktails if you only offer a select few or if you have a larger range, a separate cocktail menu is best. You can have a separate alcoholic and soft drinks menu if you have a large range.

9. Make sure all menus are clean and in an excellent state of repair.

10.Highlight your highest GP items by placing them in a box.

11.Keep on top of your costings and make sure to update your pricing regularly, at least every six months.

12.Make sure when costing to include a cost in every dish for things like – oil in the fryers, sauces, condiments, and a small amount in case there is an unexpected large rise in cost of a certain item.

13.Don’t be scared or too proud to remove items if they are not popular and try something new.

14.Listen to your customers and design your offering around them but remember to remain true to your roots.

15.If you have a specials menu, make sure you completely change it regularly. If a recurring item is extremely popular try adding it to your main menu.

16.Even if you don’t serve alcohol remember a dedicated drinks menu can increase sales and profits – create or offer Mocktails – or designer soft drinks.

17.If you have multiple menus make sure ie main/lunch/snack – make sure you don’t overwhelm the customers with multiple menus at the same time.

18.Make sure all your staff are fully trained in your menus and have a good knowledge of your offering along with trying all the dishes and having at least 2 recommendations to offer and a knowledge of appropriate side orders to offer to accompany the dishes.

19.Use descriptive and emotional words such as home-made, Grandmas’ recipe or garden fresh to entice customers. If the item is local, say so and include the name of the company that makes it, you can even have a list of local suppliers on the back of your menu with links to websites etc.

20. Photos- If you are using pictures make sure they are a true reflection of your food and are very high quality images.

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