Picture is for illustrative purposes only
Image Credit: Supplied
Menu engineering is the study of the profitability and popularity of a menu.
It is also called menu psychology. It is also how to increase the profitability of the food business through strategic pricing. Menu items are then divided into four sections-Stars, plow horse, puzzles and dogs.
This exercise helps in controlling food cost and evaluating items in a menu. It also helps in strategic pricing of certain menu items so as to achieve higher profitability. No matter attractive of a menu you put out, based on consumer choices, dishes will fall in one of the four categories.
To do the exercise of menu engineering, you’ll need the following:
-This give you the potential cost of each recipe and overall potential cost of your outlet.
-Number of portions sold over a period to know consumer preferences and profitability
A menu item becomes a STAR when it is low in cost and high in number of portions sold.
Stars should be really easy to spot on your menu.
Dishes which are highly popular and not profitable get characterized as PLOW HORSES.
Experiment with a marginal increase in price. Ideally place in a place of lower visibility on the menu.
A PUZZLE are those dishes which are extremely profitable but do not appeal to the masses.
Feature this in highlights or in boxes. Encourage your team to sell these items on the menu.
Dishes which are neither popular nor profitable are known as dogs. While re-engineering a menu, it is important to take a call on these items or remove it from the menu itself.
These items are normally plotted on a graph for ease of identification.