Jan 14, 2016
• A menu is a list of food and beverage items served in a food and beverage operation.
• It can be printed on paper, written on a chalk board, displayed on a sign behind the register, etc.
• The menu is the basic game plan for the restaurant and a tool used to meet the needs and wants of a customer.
• The menu expresses the concept and theme through the choice of foods on the menu, the prices, and the design of the menu itself.
• The menu serves as a type of contract between the foodservice establishment and the customer.
• Consumer groups, governmental regulatory bodies, and even industry self-regulatory bodies ensure that what is seen on the menu is what the customers get on their plates.
Types of Menus
• A fixed menu offers the same foods every day. Once it is developed it hardly ever changes. These are typically found in fast food restaurants, ethnic restaurants, and steakhouses.
Types of Menus• A cycle menu changes foods
daily for a set period of time and at the end of that time the menu repeats itself every week, 2 weeks, or month. Some are written on a seasonal basis to take advantage of fresh foods. They provide variety for people who eat in the same place everyday such as schools, hospitals, and other institutions.
• A market menu changes with the availability of food products. It takes advantage of foods that are in season, inexpensive, and easy to get. These menus challenge the chef’s creativity to use fresh and seasonal products. As soon as a product is no longer available it is removed from the menu. These menus often change each day.
Types of Menus
Types of Menus• A hybrid menu is a combination of two types
of menus. A popular combination is the fixed menu and the cycle or market menu. Part of the menu changes and part remains the same. For example a restaurant may serve a different type of soup every day of the week or have a special every night that features the fresh foods of the season.
Parts of the Menu• Appetizers– Small portion of food served before the meal to stimulate
the appetite– Also called hors d’ oeuvres
• Soups• Salads• Entrees– Main Course of a meal
• Side Dishes– A portion of food that goes with the entree
• Desserts• Beverages
Pricing• There are three methods of pricing:– A la carte – Every food and beverage item is ordered
and sold separately• Common in cafeterias, delicatessens, and many fine dining
restaurants.– Table d’hote – A complete meal is offered at a set
price, also called fixed price• Common in buffets and very fine dining restaurants
– Combination – Some food items are priced and ordered separately and other food items are grouped together and priced as a group• Common in full service restaurants• Appetizers, beverages, and desserts are often sold
separately and entrees are priced with side dishes and or salads
• The following factors must be considered when planning a menu:– Taste– Variety– Appearance– Nutrition– Production– Price
Menu Planning - Taste• Taste is a major reason customers
go to restaurants.• Different individuals and cultures
have different taste preferences.• Foods should be selected that taste
good together.• It is also important to offer
different textures in dishes such as crispy fried chicken, cream style tomato soup, and firm broccoli.
Menu Planning - Variety• Restaurants need to provide enough variety to
meet their target market plus a few other people
• Some restaurants excel at offering a large variety of foods (TGI Fridays) and others specialize in a type of food (Red Lobster). However Red Lobster has some chicken and steak choices.
Menu Planning - Appearance• When you are planning a
menu you have to think about how the foods will look together on a plate or on a plate next to each other.
• One color meals look unappetizing. (Macaroni and Cheese, Corn, and Applesauce)
• Using different shapes of food in a meal will also make the plate more interesting to the eye.
Menu Planning - Nutrition• People eat to satisfy hunger because their body needs
nutrients.• Nutrients are chemical substances in food that help
maintain and supply energy for the body.• Because people have so many choices in places to eat
restaurants are mainly concerned with taste and appearance. However, due to a recent trend in healthy eating, many restaurants are now offering low calorie and low carb options.
• Institutional foodservices are much more concerned with nutrition because these people have no other choices of places to eat and must get all their needed nutrients from that foodservice. (hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, etc.)
Menu Planning – Production Methods• The kitchen staff must trained to prepare the
food and have the equipment needed to prepare and cook the food on the menu.
• Some restaurants require deep fryers, large mixers, walk in refrigerators, etc.
• Time must also be a factor in production. Complicated recipes that take a long time to prepare shouldn’t be served in a quick service restaurant.
• Also a variety of preparation methods should be used. Restaurants should offer fried foods, sauteed foods, raw foods, and steamed foods.
Menu Planning – Price• Menu items should vary in price so guests have a
choice in less expensive, moderate, and expensive items.
• Setting menu prices is an important part of any foodservice business. The price charged must take into account the ingredients used, labor involved in preparing and serving the food, rent, utilities, and hidden costs such as condiments.
• The price must also include a reasonable amount for profit and must be in a range that is expected by customers.
Food Presentation• This is the art of making
food look attractive and appetizing.
• Many of the design concepts in food presentation are from the study of graphic art.
• Food arranged on the plate should have – Balance– Proportion– Contrast
• Is the actual placing of food on the plate.
• It must be done artistically and handled properly.
• Plate rims must be clean and neat, many restaurants have employees that perform quality control on each plate served.
• Making sure each portion of food is the correct size.
• Each customer should be served the same amount of food.
• Portion Control helps control food service costs.
• They do not always follow the USDA portion sizes.