Restaurant Consulting

Two critical steps for building a restaurant menu that delights customers and boosts your bottom line

By Daniel Kezner

When opening a new restaurant, there are few more stressful and consequential challenges than building your menu. As a consultant with decades of experience in restaurants, this is one of the problems I am most asked about. That’s why I want to share two critical steps toward curating a menu that mirrors your restaurant’s unique spirit, resonates with your patrons, and elevates your brand’s stature.

Step One: Discovery, Menu Framework & Basic Menu Development

A great place to start is to analyze local demographics and competition. During this process, you should integrate insights from local vendors and identify regional culinary trends. This foundational knowledge allows you to begin to structure your menu, based on your knowledge of customer demand. It also informs the process of beginning to determine price points, based on an informed approximation of what will work in your specific competitive landscape.

Business strategy should rise in importance as you move into to the core development phase. From a marketing perspective, think about how your menu can be populated with bespoke items, captivating descriptions, and price points that speak to the quality of your offerings. Remember to leave space for dynamic specials that will sustain interest from your target patrons.

Step Two: Operational Menu Development & Menu Engineering

Next, thinking deeply about the operational nuances of your menu will be incredibly important. The only way to assure quality is to formulate precise batch and line recipes that will guarantee it.

Then, to ensure a more seamless operational flow, think about how you can empower your team with comprehensive product knowledge sheets, station maps, and other essential guides. Menu engineering is also key. Some restauranteurs don’t realize they can leverage menu engineering to assess profitability and popularity, which guides strategic menu placement and data-driven decision-making. That’s how some of the best restaurants gain a competitive advantage.

Remember, a great menu delights taste buds and boosts your financial returns. That’s why a strategic, informed approach is an absolute must as you take this exciting step in your restaurant journey.

Learn more:

  • Our services, including menu development, at Kezner Consulting, where we provide tailored solutions that elevate your business and drive sustainable growth.
  • Schedule a free consultation.

Meet The Author

Daniel Kezner

CEO / Owner
From training staff to designing kitchens to refining brands, we’ve done it all during our 25+ years in the industry. And we can help you get it done too. We’ve developed the strategies to make it work....and that’s what makes us the consultants who can help you get where you want to be.
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