2 A menu is a list of food and beverage items served in a food and beverage operation. It can be printed on paper, written on a chalk board, displayed on a sign behind the register, etc.The menu is the basic game plan for the restaurant and a tool used to meet the needs and wants of a customer.
3 The menu expresses the concept and theme through the choice of foods on the menu, the prices, and the design of the menu itself.The menu serves as a type of contract between the foodservice establishment and the customer.Consumer groups, governmental regulatory bodies, and even industry self-regulatory bodies ensure that what is seen on the menu is what the customers get on their plates.
4 Types of MenusA fixed menu offers the same foods every day. Once it is developed it hardly ever changes. These are typically found in fast food restaurants, ethnic restaurants, and steakhouses.
5 Types of MenusA cycle menu changes foods daily for a set period of time and at the end of that time the menu repeats itself every week, 2 weeks, or month. Some are written on a seasonal basis to take advantage of fresh foods. They provide variety for people who eat in the same place everyday such as schools, hospitals, and other institutions.
6 Types of MenusA market menu changes with the availability of food products. It takes advantage of foods that are in season, inexpensive, and easy to get. These menus challenge the chef’s creativity to use fresh and seasonal products. As soon as a product is no longer available it is removed from the menu. These menus often change each day.
7 Types of MenusA hybrid menu is a combination of two types of menus. A popular combination is the fixed menu and the cycle or market menu. Part of the menu changes and part remains the same. For example a restaurant may serve a different type of soup every day of the week or have a special every night that features the fresh foods of the season.
8 Parts of the Menu Appetizers Soups Salads Entrees Side Dishes Desserts Small portion of food served before the meal to stimulate the appetiteAlso called hors d’ oeuvresSoupsSaladsEntreesMain Course of a mealSide DishesA portion of food that goes with the entreeDessertsBeverages
9 Pricing There are three methods of pricing: A la carte – Every food and beverage item is ordered and sold separatelyCommon in cafeterias, delicatessens, and many fine dining restaurants.Table d’hote – A complete meal is offered at a set price, also called fixed priceCommon in buffets and very fine dining restaurantsCombination – Some food items are priced and ordered separately and other food items are grouped together and priced as a groupCommon in full service restaurantsAppetizers, beverages, and desserts are often sold separately and entrees are priced with side dishes and or salads
10 Menu PlanningThe following factors must be considered when planning a menu:TasteVarietyAppearanceNutritionProductionPrice
11 Menu Planning - TasteTaste is a major reason customers go to restaurants.Different individuals and cultures have different taste preferences.Foods should be selected that taste good together.It is also important to offer different textures in dishes such as crispy fried chicken, cream style tomato soup, and firm broccoli.
12 Menu Planning - Variety Restaurants need to provide enough variety to meet their target market plus a few other peopleSome restaurants excel at offering a large variety of foods (TGI Fridays) and others specialize in a type of food (Red Lobster). However Red Lobster has some chicken and steak choices.
13 Menu Planning - Appearance When you are planning a menu you have to think about how the foods will look together on a plate or on a plate next to each other.One color meals look unappetizing. (Macaroni and Cheese, Corn, and Applesauce)Using different shapes of food in a meal will also make the plate more interesting to the eye.
14 Menu Planning - Nutrition People eat to satisfy hunger because their body needs nutrients.Nutrients are chemical substances in food that help maintain and supply energy for the body.Because people have so many choices in places to eat restaurants are mainly concerned with taste and appearance. However, due to a recent trend in healthy eating, many restaurants are now offering low calorie and low carb options.Institutional foodservices are much more concerned with nutrition because these people have no other choices of places to eat and must get all their needed nutrients from that foodservice. (hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, etc.)
15 Menu Planning – Production Methods The kitchen staff must trained to prepare the food and have the equipment needed to prepare and cook the food on the menu.Some restaurants require deep fryers, large mixers, walk in refrigerators, etc.Time must also be a factor in production. Complicated recipes that take a long time to prepare shouldn’t be served in a quick service restaurant.Also a variety of preparation methods should be used. Restaurants should offer fried foods, sauteed foods, raw foods, and steamed foods.
16 Menu Planning – PriceMenu items should vary in price so guests have a choice in less expensive, moderate, and expensive items.Setting menu prices is an important part of any foodservice business. The price charged must take into account the ingredients used, labor involved in preparing and serving the food, rent, utilities, and hidden costs such as condiments.The price must also include a reasonable amount for profit and must be in a range that is expected by customers.
17 Food PresentationThis is the art of making food look attractive and appetizing.Many of the design concepts in food presentation are from the study of graphic art.Food arranged on the plate should haveBalanceProportionContrast
18 Plating Is the actual placing of food on the plate. It must be done artistically and handled properly.Plate rims must be clean and neat, many restaurants have employees that perform quality control on each plate served.
19 Portion Control Making sure each portion of food is the correct size. Each customer should be served the same amount of food.Portion Control helps control food service costs.They do not always follow the USDA portion sizes.