Okay. So now you’re done with the basics. However, you haven’t made up your mind yet about the selection of food choices for your customers. Read through this article to help you in learning to create your restaurant menu.
No matter how good the food is and how well your restaurant menu was conceptualized, people will never buy something that doesn’t suit their taste buds based on their culture or fit their budget. In creating a restaurant menu, make sure to consider the following:
Create Your Menu Based on Your Theme
Given that your business is new, it would be wise to start with a few options and gradually add more dishes once you are established. You can even be creative in introducing a new addition to your menu by having a flavor of the week thing, flavor of the month, or a seasonal dish.
Make a list of Menu Items (limit option to 10 or 12 items in the beginning)
Distinguish your menu from nearby competitors
Have a selection of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Offer specialty dishes and healthy food choices
Come up with a unique name for each food item (ie. “Lava Twirl” for a Strawberry Sundae or “Joe’s Smoking Burger” for a Hamburger)
PRICING YOUR MENU
Organize Menu and Pricing
It would make sense to organize the selection of food choices your restaurant offers, calculate the cost, and come up with a reasonable price for your customers.
List menu options in a Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet (Traditional pen & paper will do as well)
Categorize your selection of food (ie. Breakfast, Lunch, Appetizers, Main Course, Speciality, Vegetarian, Soup and salad, Cocktails and beverages)
Add a description (Joe’s Smoking Burger: Quarter-pound lean beef patty with grilled mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, ketchup, honey-mustard sauce and 3 layers of cheese including cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack.
Note if your dish is spicy or if it contains ingredients that could cause allergies
Calculate Gross Margin and Percentage of Markup
In ensuring the profitability of your restaurant business and continue operations, calculating for the unit cost of each item on your menu by adding the price of ingredients with the overhead is necessary to know how much you should charge. Let’s just say the unit cost of the burger is $7 and you decide to sell it for $10
$10 Sale Price – $7 unit cost = $3 Gross Margin
$3 Gross Margin / by $10 Sale Price = 0.3 x 100 = 30% Margin Percentage
$3 Gross Margin divided by $7 unit cost = 0.42 x by 100 = 42.76% Markup Percentage
Maximize Profit by Adjusting Menu Prices
Considering the location and the average income level of your niche market, make adjustments to maximize your profits by doing the following:
Getting the best deals with your suppliers
Change your ingredients to something that is comparable but not as costly
Revise your menu
Markup Percentage on meats should be sealed at 50%
Have an 80 to 85% markup on pasta and salad dishes
Keep the markup percentage for alcoholic beverages between 50% to 70%
DRAFT AND PRINT YOUR MENU
Get Ideas by Checking Menu Templates Online
The internet is flooded with countless number of resources and information of providers simply by typing the keyword(s) restaurant menu templates, samples, design or ideas. Checking each of these sources could stir your imagination or draw some inspiration.
Check Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and similar applications for available templates.
Check pages 1 and 2 of the resources presented by your search results on google or other search engines that you are using.
Look Up Color Palettes that Matches Your Theme
Depending on the style, theme, and atmosphere that you would like to have for your restaurant with consideration to your niche market, it would be a good idea to choose color combinations that compliment the interiors of your establishment. Keep in mind that different colors evoke certain emotions and it affects our perception of food.
Draft a Sample Menu
In line with your restaurant’s theme and in reference to the ideas that you got online, draft a sample menu using a simple and easy to read font using any of the following: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, Canva Templates and other similar platforms.
Take photos of the food on your menu during the restaurant’s soft opening to be used in creating an appetizing menu and enhance the quality of the image using any type of photo editing application. You may consider hiring a professional photographer to help you if you wish.
Employ the services of a Graphic Designer by utilizing LinkedIn, Upwork, Craigslist and other similar platforms.
Double-check each page to make sure that it is free of errors.
Draft and print 2 to 3 designs of your menu to be evaluated by 3 qualified individuals (Restaurant Owner/Manager, Chef, Foodie Experts) and give their honest feedback for necessary revisions.
Finalize your Layout of the Menu and Print
Taking into consideration the important details and insights that you have received from qualified individuals concerning your menu, apply the necessary changes for revision and finalize the design for printing and do the following:
Proofread your work by going through the entire menu without skipping every detail
Print your menu and pay for binding services. You have the option to DIY if you have the resources or you can have this all done through a printing service near you. You can check Digital Insight Printing, Minuteman Press, or Staples.