For any food and beverage establishment, the primary feature – obviously – is what is being served on the menu. Every other facet that a restaurant features is in support of this primary point. In this, not only is it important that the food is delectable, but the dishes must also be well presented to guests. As such, restaurant menus decided by restaurant manager are the first line of advertisement for a food and beverage operation.
Restaurant menus target two specific areas of representation: the guest and establishment itself. Each of these two areas of representation has inherent menu characteristics.
For the guest, the menu is the first line of sales. The menu is the practical advertisement that markets the primary function (food and beverage) of the restaurant. As such, the menu should be not only be functional (i.e. easy to read), but it should be reflective of the quality services of the Restaurant and highlight the motif expertly.
For the Restaurant, the menu represents inventory requirements and advertising opportunities. The menu can be a basis in which a restaurant manager determines their inventory needs and categories. The menu will also point to staffing demands in terms of delivering services. Finally, the menu as noted earlier; is a prime means of advertisement. By placing pictures and other graphics of meals and beverages on the menu, the establishment positions itself for return business and increased sales.
As one can see, the menu concept goes beyond just being a list of the available food and beverages that an establishment offers. As food and beverage management prepare menus for their establishments, a restaurant manager should consider the following content in regards to fulfilling the aforementioned outlined purpose of a menu.
The first area of concern for a restaurant manager is the actual content of the menu – the language. The language, both in style and nationality, can depend on the theme of the establishment. They should definitely match. The primary consideration within this framework, however, is that the guest shouldn’t have any trouble reading or otherwise understanding the menu.
Accuracy is the next facet that a restaurant manager should be concerned with. There is nothing more frustrating to a guest than to have inaccurate listings and prices on a menu. This causes confusion and is unprofessional; both issues that impact negatively on a business.
Pricing is the final component that demands attention with an establishment’s menu. Not only should the pricing be accurate, but they should be reflective of the quality and types of services offered. Competitive and reasonable pricing is imperative if an establishment wishes to remain a viable business entity.
In short, the menu of a food and beverage operation is a vital part of the overall success of the establishment. More than a list of available food and beverages, the menu provides establishments with numerous benefits ranging from advertisement to inventory assessment. It is therefore of paramount concern that a restaurant manager not only compile effective menus, but that they continue to monitor and update menus in order that they remain current.
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