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How to optimize your menu design

An optimized menu is the key factor that drives production and purchasing decisions to increase the profitability of any restaurant, bar or coffee shop.

We know that customers go for the food itself, but the menu is what maximizes the value a restaurant gets from each customer. More than main dishes, desserts or drinks, it means a key tool.

In this way, when designing a menu, strategy must always prevail, even in the simplest details: from the name of a specific dish, to the price and the image that goes with it.

Menu engineering focuses on designing and segmenting dishes based on their popularity and profitability, so that customers can order the most profitable dishes. Generally speaking, most diners will follow a similar tendency to review restaurant menus like reading a book.

If you have a website or your online menu that is not compatible with mobile devices, you run the risk of losing the opportunity to reach many potential customers.

For a web page, or website, to be considered mobile-friendly, the page must be designed to fit the size of a phone while keeping everything proportional.

Here are some of the points you should take into account:

  1. Calculate the production costs of each dish to make the best use of the ingredients and keep a stock control to facilitate your inventories when you have to make them.
  2. Classify your dishes according to their real profit margin and the acceptance they have among customers such as:
  • Star dishes: are the most profitable and popular.
  • Workhorse dishes: very popular, but not very profitable.
  • Puzzle dishes: not very popular, but very profitable.
  • Dog dishes: neither popular nor profitable.

To have a successful executive menu you should choose dishes that are more profitable, quick to prepare and that are known among customers but complemented with small portions of a puzzle dish, to make it known.

  1. Highlight your star dishes
  • Place the dishes in the upper right corner, in the center, or in the lower left corner, as these are areas where customers pay more attention when reading the menu.
  • Use eye-catching images.
  • Describe dishes in a way that makes them more appealing.
  1. Plan the design, as this is a main piece in the menus.
  2. It is basic that you have the option to offer an online menu, since only in 2018, 52.2% of food orders were made online through cell phones worldwide, and even more so in these times to reinforce prevention measures against diseases such as COVID. 

If you have a website or your online menu that is not compatible with mobile devices, you run the risk of losing the opportunity to reach many potential customers.

A website should be designed according to the size of cell phones so that they are usable.

See the benefits of menu optimization 

Apply the tips and check the results! Always remember that the first thing to do is to calculate costs, so you will need a gastronomic software to help you do it. Then, identify your star dishes and adjust the design of your menu to guide your customers’ attention to the products you want to push the most.

Using this information, restaurant business owners will be able to decide where to place items on the menu and how the menu design itself appears. In fact, engineering your menu can be so effective that it can increase your restaurant’s profitability by as much as 15%. 


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