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At National Restaurant Consultants (NRC), one of our top specialties is menu engineering. There are a lot of components that go into menu design, as this Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) article mentions: it has to be informative, easy-to-read, and aesthetically pleasing. But your menu is also one of your best sales tools, and our restaurant consultants have learned how to maximize menu design so that it fits your budget and drives sales in the direction you want them to go.

As mentioned in the NRN article, menu engineering begins with strategizing. “Having a documented Menu Strategy allows you to establish product and category priorities, identify what new menu items should be developed and which current items should be eliminated, and guide how communications should be designed to get the desired business results,” writes Howland Blackiston. The goal with a menu engineering strategy is a full analysis of your restaurant’s offerings, with an honest look at what’s working, what could work if marketed differently, and what isn’t working at all.

Richard Weil, principal and owner of NRC notes, “The process begins with fact-based information from your point-of-sales system coupled, with input from your front-of-house staff.” 

The process of developing a menu strategy, according to Blackiston, is to gather input from all departments. Of course, this method, on the face, applies to larger chains who can turn to CEOs, COOs, CFOs—but maybe your operation is a small team of dedicated members. Our consultants say: great! You’ve got committed and involved players who have real-time information that you need for creating a menu engineering strategy. You have direct access to all of the same categories that Blackiston writes about in his NRN article: pricing, performance, market trends, competition, and economic conditions for example. All of this information is crucial consideration for your best menu design.

Weil adds, “Your data will provide a road map of menu modifications that maximize effectiveness, directing your guests to notice—and hopefully order–higher margin items.”  

Blackiston’s informative article goes on to list a step-by-step process for applying your menu design strategy. Our restaurant consultants have a tried-and-true menu engineering method built on years’ worth of experience in analysis, business planning, and menu design. We methodically organize our analysis date to organize your menu and menu pricing for the best results—profit!—for your restaurant business.

“Working with a restaurant consultant is like having another set of eyes–and expert eyes, in your favor. Menu engineering does take time but the profitability opportunity can be endless.”  

Whether you are a new restaurant or an established business, whether you are financially struggling or turning a profit, menu engineering can and will improve your restaurant business. For restaurant owner-operators, it is the driving force of successful sales and business planning, and a wise tactic for any businessperson wanting to see their business grow and thrive. Contact a restaurant consultant today to analyze your operations and menus for a comprehensive picture of your sales and potential for growth.

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