Creating a Menu

The style of food and drinks available in a bar or restaurant is dictated by a range of factors. It is important to become familiar with these when planning a menu as it can have a significant influence on the success of the business.

  • Reflecting the style of the place - whether it be an informal, semi formal or casual establishment, the definitions of the menu items can help to define the dining experience. A casual design will have short and fast definitions, whereas a formal location will require a more elaborate description of the preparation and ingredients
  • The demographics of the area - the customer base will have a large impact on the content, layout and sections of the menu. Are you likely to attract more of a professional clientele or will you require an alternative vegetarian aspect to your menus? A family oriented menu will require a children’s section and may be brighter than that of an upper class wine bar
  • The diversity of the menu items – some menus will group their items based on regional flavours such as the country or origin (Spain, France, etc.), or the primary ingredients which are used (such as pasta, vegetarian, seafood), or even the style of cooking (BBQ, soups, starters, etc.)
  • The pricing of the items - there should be range of pricing that reflects both the style and quality of the establishment, and the target audience. Ensuring that a menu is affordable for repeat business is often the primary focus; however it is essential that it is also profitable. Not just the ingredients are involved in the cost of an item – there are many overheads that must be taken into account also when establishing a valid price. It is also important to establish whether or not substitutions are possible and what the associated cost is for this

The physical design, layout and design of the menus – the final design of the menu will have a definite impact on the clientele, as it helps to define the experience of your establishment. Menus should be proof read for any errors which would indicate a lack of quality, use customised graphic design to give a unique and personal edge to your business, and ensure you have a professional printer produce your final product. Also, try and ensure that your menu is easy to read and understand to avoid unnecessary frustration

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