Case Study

Menu Engineering

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Project Overview

Background

A beloved restaurant in Yakima Washington, was grappling with escalating food costs that threatened its profitability. Despite having a steady stream of loyal customers and an expansive menu, its financials painted a concerning picture. With a food cost of 47%, sustainability and growth seemed very challenging.

Problems We Identified

The Challenge

This restaurant was known for its diverse offerings, catering to a wide clientele ranging from regulars to tourists. However, its expansive menu also concealed hidden inefficiencies. Items that seemed popular were, in fact, margin drainers. Conversely, dishes with the potential for better profit margins were lost in the sea of options, never truly getting their moment in the spotlight.

Our Recommendations

The Solution

Kezner Consulting employed a two-pronged approach to tackle the challenges faced by the restaurant:

  • Comprehensive Menu Assessment: The team began by categorizing each menu item based on profitability and popularity. This initial assessment revealed items that were resource-intensive but not as profitable, and vice versa. By highlighting underperforming items and potential stars, Kezner Consulting provided a roadmap for the restaurant to streamline its offerings.
  • Design and Optimization: Armed with actionable insights, Kezner Consulting reimagined the menu’s design. High-margin dishes were strategically placed in hotspots, while the descriptions of popular yet low-margin items were optimized to increase their perceived value. The design was not just visually appealing but was crafted to steer patrons’ choices subtly, boosting both their experience and the restaurant’s bottom line.
Outcomes & Insights

Results

The results were nothing short of transformative. Within a couple of months, the restaurant witnessed a dramatic decrease in food costs, from a concerning 47% down to an impressive 32%. Not only did this bolster the financial health of the restaurant, but it also allowed for reinvestment of time into other areas of the business, further elevating the customer experience.

What We Learned

Conclusion

The restaurant’s partnership with Kezner Consulting underscores the power of strategic menu engineering. By harmonizing data-driven insights with expert design, restaurants can turn their menus into potent tools for profitability, ensuring sustainability and growth in a competitive landscape.

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