Creating A Killer Menu
Creating a Killer Menu
When creating a food and beverage menu, there are many questions to consider during this process. Starting with deciding what your brand is and what you are trying to communicate about your brand through food and beverages. Next, what does your ideal customer want to see on the menu? Finally, how can you accomplish these things within your given space and with the level of trained staff you plan to employ?
Know Your Brand and Audience
If you are a coffee shop, you probably do not need to distract your audience’s attention with starting a burger product line for take-out.
You also wouldn’t need to invest in the equipment and training necessary to offer pizza. These are different disciples and appeal to different customers.
If this seems obvious to you, then you are already ahead of the game. There are plenty of small-town cafes where they are trying to be everything to everyone in the town. Being a “catch-all” is a demanding role to play and can often confuse your customers and staff.
Once you have defined your brand and decision-making process, now it’s time to look at your target customer. Are you targeting the health and wellness crowd? Going for more edgy and fringe ingredients to get attention? Or are you going for sugary drinks and sweet desserts to appeal to middle schoolers? These are all considerations to be made.
More Things to Consider
For a solid menu, you will need to know what is achievable for your specific location. If you are starting from scratch and do not already have equipment, you can start with the menu and then build your equipment list from there.
Space will also play a key role in the making of your menu. Does your space have a ventilation hood, or are you willing to install one? These factors will help determine if you need to use pre-cooked ingredients or prepare everything from scratch.
Don’t Forget About Your Staff
Staff and payroll also play a key component in developing a menu. If you are planning to have a complicated menu and make everything from scratch, you will have to have more experienced kitchen staff, and they will have to work more hours to pull this feat off. If you are looking to reduce labor and the level of training required, then you may want to stick to pre-cooked, pre-sliced, assembly-only ingredients to create ease in the production and delivery of your daily orders.
All these factors play a significant role in how you choose to create your menu and what ingredients you select. Some companies will go so far as to opt-out of slicing their own cold cuts as the workers’ compensation threat of any employee cutting themselves would be more costly than the savings gained by doing it themselves.
Balancing your choices between your brand integrity, customer desires and physical limitations can be a challenging process. Hold true to the company you planned to build and the promise you make to your customers, and the rest will fall in line.