Three Ways Menu Engineering Can Maximize Your Margins

menu engineering

A profitable restaurant menu doesn’t happen by accident. It requires an in depth look of ingredient costs, labor costs and sales, all which change on a daily basis.  

Running a profitable restaurant doesn’t require an increase of sales if you can maximize the margins on each item that you sell.  

Menu engineering or recipe costing can help you lower your costs while easily increasing margins. 

Below are a few ways that costing out your menu and understanding costs will help you reach your goals. 

Determine menu item Popularity vs Profitability 

menu profitability

Looking at your menu with a critical eye is very important. Your entire menu could be classified in one of four different categories. Once you understand which category your menu items fall under you can make more informed decisions.  

1) Stars- These menu items are both popular and profitable. You want to increase the number of Stars that you are selling and feature them prominently on your menu! 

2) Opportunities- These menu items are popular but have very slim margins. The goal is to increase the margins here possibly by raising the price, decreasing the serving size or substituting ingredients that don’t cost you as much. 

3) Puzzles- These menu items have a high margin but are unpopular with your customers. The goal here is to create more demand for these items by repositioning them on your menu and retraining your staff on how to suggest them more effectively.  

4) Dogs- These menu items are unpopular and unprofitable so why keep them on your menu? Time to 86 them! 

Use Data to Drive Menu Changes 

drive menu changes

The biggest benefit to menu engineering and recipe costing is that you can use data to make better decisions in redesigning your menu and increasing margins! 

As ingredient prices change, they will affect your costs which will eat into your margins. Using a recipe costing software like Food Cost Management allows you to see these changes in real-time and easily identify when ingredients are driving up your recipe costs. Food Cost Management is available for FREE to our members. Schedule a call to get set up today! 

Menu layout 

menu layout

Believe it or not the physical layout of your menu can help influence what a customer purchases. Everything from the design of the menu, colors used, images and descriptions can all guide a customers’ purchase decision making. 

We’re always in the mindset of less is more and to really highlight your most profitable menu items! 

Interested in learning more ways to maximize profits? Schedule a call to get set up on Food Cost Management today so we can help control your recipe costs, inventory and so much more! 

Schedule a call to get set up today! 

About Me
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Steve Moody is a Digital Product Marketing Manager at Buyers Edge Platform, and a part-time Ice Cream Connoisseur.

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