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Your restaurant’s menu is much more than a list of food.
It can be a your greatest marketing tool, introducing potential customers to your brand and getting them excited about your unique cuisine.
The average customer spends 109 seconds studying your menu
. That’s almost two minutes going over each description and detail, so how can you make that time count?
It can also be the end result of intricate pricing strategy and food cost considerations, ensuring each plate is contributing to your overall profitability targets.
With inflation driving up
already high restaurant food costs, profitability has to be a top concern on restaurant menus. How intentional are you being with your menu items and their pricing?
Menu engineering is an effective, scalable process for balancing your menu between popularity and profitability. The goal is to harmonize costing and pricing information with your restaurant vibes and brand.
Keep reading to learn how menu engineering can help you achieve this balance. See how successful menu engineering analysis can establish profit benchmarks while informing your design and layout decisions.
Menu engineering was more important than ever during COVID.
Now it’s again more important than ever as inflation roars, supply chains and commodities remain volatile, and sufficient restaurant labor remains ever elusive.
All these challenges have forced many restaurants to scale down their menus to the most popular and profitable products — known as a minimum variable menu, or MVM.
A minimum viable menu is a condensed menu positioned to satisfy and delight customers while protecting profitability and shrinking your kitchen’s ingredient inventory. It’s a form of restaurant menu engineering that enables operators to provide popular items that drive profits at lower than average customers and revenue.
The reduction in the number of dishes being served helps minimize ordering while also making it easier to take control of costs. And because you’re prioritizing dishes that are lower-cost and higher-margin, your menu is more efficient in generating profits.
The menu engineering analysis involved in building a minimum viable menu can help protect your menu profitability from one crisis to the next and all points in between.
It can be especially helpful as you expand your online ordering menu, accounting for different costs can help identify what the prices should be. Online ordering could come with higher prices: delivery costs and 3rd-party fees can really add up.
Menu engineering can help you figure out what to price menu items, and where these prices should be higher or lower to account for additional takeout and delivery costs.