So you have a concept that will bring customers through the door. Now, the question is about how to make a restaurant menu that will keep them coming.
This is an important question since your menu is a representation of the quality of your service. It will profoundly impact the profitability of your restaurant and your ability to make loyal patrons out of customers.
What many tend to forget is that your equipment will be a major consideration when developing your restaurant menu. Your equipment will determine the capacity and the capabilities of your kitchen. Building a complete lineup of high-quality cooking equipment and accessories from a trusted brand like Adcraft for your restaurant is crucial.
Going through the process of how to make a restaurant menu also involves being able to set up proper cooking stations for crucial kitchen tasks in whatever the size of your space is.
The good news is that there are restaurant equipment with multiple functionalities. For one, a combi oven allows you to steam, convection-cook, and do a combination of both so you can quickly whip up a variety of menu items from this single piece of equipment. When it comes to keeping food fresh and ready to serve, you’ll be looking at reach-in and undercounter refrigerators and freezers, blast chillers, pass-thru refrigerators, as well as heated or holding cabinets for pre-prepared food, all of which you can find at Traulsen.
How you assemble them into a systematic and fluid kitchen is the next step in how to make a restaurant menu that is both manageable and profitable. Both your equipment and kitchen design will factor into the pricing of your menu as well.
Especially if you are a new business or a small operation, focus on how to make a restaurant menu that maximizes your concept without overwhelming your customers with choices.
A set of 10 to 12 dishes or seven for each food category might be a great starting point with little leeway for overcomplicating. In this compact list you should be able to:
- Leverage your skills via specialties that you know you or your chefs can easily make bestsellers out of
- Ensure there is a dish or delicacy for every customer in your target market.
Here are some more guidelines on how to make a restaurant menu that can be highly profitable:
- An ingredient should be used in at least three menu items
- Consider having different menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner depending on your operating hours. In contrast, your concept might also instead call for serving breakfast food throughout the day
- Find out what your competition is offering and develop menu items that they don’t have
- Come up with names of dishes that fit your concept as well as descriptions that aren’t too descriptive, but enticing enough
- Design a menu that gravitates customers towards the items with highest profitability by highlighting them (if they are highly popular) or offering them as combos (if they are not very popular)
Drinks matter too
Your beverage program is also vital in how to make a restaurant menu for success. Adding alcoholic beverages would improve dining experience and your profits. Explore beer, wine, and liquor options that will pair well with your menu items.
Whatever cold beverage you will be serving, you will need a steady supply of clean ice. Make sure to have a Manitowoc ice machine that will produce the type of ice you want at the volume you need for daily operations.