The importance of menu planning and design

Menu is very important and it is interrelated to many restaurant operation.

Providing basic information

Basically, menu introduces the information of the food and beverages offered by the restaurants, e.g. food ingredients, nutritional value, prices and cooking method, etc.[1] The information could help the customers know more about the dishes and the restaurant’s style.

Representing restaurant’s image

Apart from this, it also represent the restaurant’s image[2]. For example, Yoshinoya (吉野家) is providing a standard and Japanese-styled menu across all shops so customers would know it is providing Japanese-styled food and also they could know that it would provide the food and beverages at the same standard.

Satisfying customers’ needs

Menu is a medium that could control customers’ expectation so that the restaurant could satisfy the customers’ needs easily[3]. The restaurant needs to know about their target customers’ needs so that they could design a good menu that could satisfy their needs. For example, Mc Donald’s knows its target customers who are looking for fast service so it designs a clear designed menu with limited choices. As a result, customers could make a fast decision and it could prepare the food fast so that it could satisfy its target customers.

Attracting customers to order dishes that are profitable

Restaurant could attract customers to place orders of some dishes that are profitable for the restaurant[4]. For example, Mc Donald’s may find that Create Your Taste is profitable so its meal display attractively by providing colourful and real pictures of the ingredients.

2

From Mc Donald’s page[5], http://campaign.mcdonalds.com.hk/ch/promotions/createyourtastehk/desktop/sok-guide/

Interrelated to many operations and decisions

Moreover, the marketing strategies behind and the managerial decisions, e.g. pricing strategies, marketing strategies, profitability, forecast of customer demand, skills and time that are required to prepare a dish, equipment and space needed, availability of ingredients and storage method, etc[6]. For example, in a Chinese restaurant, the management team and the chief cook need to decide the ingredients needed for steamed fish and they needs to consider the availability of the ingredients and demand of the customers so that they could provide this dish without running out stock and increase meal accuracy. Moreover, they need to know the skills and time to steam a fish and the procedures so that the junior cook could finish the dish quickly and with quality. Therefore, menu planning is very complicated and interrelated to many operation and decisions.

To get more insight, you could watch a video from http://www.howcast.com/videos/506567-how-to-plan-a-menu-restaurant-business/.

Reflection

Doing this topic could really help me to think more and do more research for this topic. It is not easy to talk about importance of menu planning and design and other related topics within 3-hour lecture. Also, I think reading from other articles could help me understand this topic thoroughly and it could be a part of revision.

References

[1] Ozdemir, B., & Caliskan, O. (n.d.). A review of literature on restaurant menus: Specifying the managerial issues. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, 2(1), 3-13. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X13000231

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5]麥當勞®Create Your Taste – Touchscreen話點就點. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2015, from http://campaign.mcdonalds.com.hk/ch/promotions/createyourtastehk/desktop/sok-guide/

[6] Ozdemir, B., & Caliskan, O. (n.d.). A review of literature on restaurant menus: Specifying the managerial issues. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, 2(1), 3-13. Retrieved October 24, 2015, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X13000231

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