Menu Engineering

dining room

Your menu is THE most important part of your operation.

It determines:

  • Your ability to attract and retain “A” level talent.
  • Your ability to attract and retain high-value Guests.
  • Your marketing effectiveness.
  • Your growth opportunities for the future.
  • Your ability to pay your bills.

Basically, your level of success or failure period!

Your program for creating and developing your menu engineering process needs to include:

  • Recipe creation and costing
  • Systems & Procedures for menu preparation and POS
  • Menu Analysis and engineering
  • Sales mix analysis
  • Culinary standards and procedures
  • HAACP programs
  • Inventory Management
  • Manpower Planning
  • And much more…

Do you think of your menu as a profit-producing asset or as a controllable cost?

A menu is the most powerful marketing tool you have (and the 2nd most important document in your business outside of your lease!) but all too often it’s relegated to being nothing more than a glorified price list.

Menu Engineering is all about your businesses long-term profitability and understanding how those profits (and ultimately your growth) are generated. By analyzing your menu’s performance, you can see exactly which items are generating the most profit and which are generating the most sales (the two are not always the same) or none of the above.

Many operators focus solely on their overall food cost when analyzing their menus and P&L’s, frequently losing sight of the bigger picture – where the actual business’s profits come from.

Menu engineering is the process of classifying, or ranking, your menu items based on each item’s demand (sales, or menu mix) and profitability (contribution margin) to give you a much broader picture of which items are the best performers on your menu.

Our process benefits you on the cost side by;

  • Creating your individual process for analyzing both your costs and your profits.
  • Costing out each menu item.
  • Analyzing your product mix to determine each items profitability and favorability.
  • Creating options for each item to either increase its profitability or recalibrate it to become profitable or to replace it all together.
  • Generating and analyzing your ideal food costs to provide a basis for drilling down into your cost structure.
  • Segmenting your inventory and menu items to be able to drill down into the cause and effect.
  • Updating pricing and sourcing best and more profitable ingredient options.
  • Providing production analysis to help determine your optimum labor and production systems and processes.
  • Understanding of service opportunities.
  • Providing a foundation for marketing your unique culinary talents both in your business and out.

…and on the sales side by;

  • Increasing sales and guest loyalty thus providing a basis for long-term, sustainable growth
  • Growing your average gross profit per guest.
  • Keeping your concept’s culinary image and marketability fresh and exciting.
  • Creating a strategy to minimize the impact of both cost increases and cyclical market contractions.
  • Providing you a strategic basis for taking advantage of market expansions when they occur.
  • Adding excitement and build morale among all stakeholders.

Do you need a complete menu built from scratch for your concept?

We can do that too. Out network of Corporate Executive Chef’s are all certified executive chef’s with experience in creating and executing menus for all types of concepts.

You need the information this process gives you in order to create a plan to drive sales, lower costs, increase guest satisfaction and improve your overall profitability.

How much more can you make?

Based on your weekly covers at present, an increase in your average item margin will result in an increase of annual total margin by… Avg. Increase Weekly Covers

500 750 1000 1250 1500 1750
.15 $3900 $5850 $7800 $9750 $11700 $13650
.20 $5200 $7800 $10400 $13000 $15600 $18200
.25 $6500 $9750 $13000 $16250 $19500 $22750
.30 $7800 $11700 $15600 $19500 $23400 $27300
.35 $9100 $13650 $18200 $22750 $27300 $31850

Our complete Menu Engineering Program includes a complete cost breakdown of your entire menu as well as the menu item analysis for future comparisons. This is delivered to you in an excel workbook and only needs to be done once – then you can update prices and build new menu items on your own, very easily. Compared to the hundreds of dollars some owners spend on software alone, this will pay for itself almost immediately.

For four decades, my Coaching, Consulting, & Learning Events have helped thousands of hospitality leaders worldwide, build successful businesses. Call or text me at +1-817-797-2929 or email me at