It’s All About the Menu
How many times have you been to a restaurant, looked at the menu and thought to yourself… "There's nothing I'd like to eat on here." There's an art to creating a restaurant menu and a fine line between a menu that's overwhelming and one that doesn't have enough choices. So how does one go about creating the perfect menu? We sat down with our Vice President of Food & Beverage Anthony Layton-Matthews to learn just that.
Why is developing a restaurant's menu so important?
Your menu ultimately determines the types of customers you will attract, the employee skills that are necessary, the equipment you need, and the sales and profit your restaurant will produce. There's a lot of thought that goes into a restaurant menu aside from what sides will be offered with each entr?e in Veloce.
What factors do you consider when creating the restaurant menus here at the M?There are so many things that we consider like what descriptions we will use to best convey to our guests what they will eat. Those descriptions need to accurately reflect the dish that guests will receive, but at the same time need to make the dish sound delicious and interesting and make them want to order that selection.
We look at pricing and weigh our food cost and portions and also make sure we have a balance of expensive and inexpensive items.
We also consider the menu design; it's a reflection of the restaurant itself. We work with our marketing team to determine the menu layout, color, font choice, etc.
And of course, we look at various items to put on the menu. We evaluate the restaurant and its identity, what competitors are offering on their menus and what items would ultimately set our restaurants apart, what dishes our chefs prepare the best, those types of things.
What do you recommend to those developing or updating a restaurant menu?
- Interview your staff to hear their suggestions and opinions about the menu.
- Talk to your customers. Ask them about why they visit your restaurant.
- Visit all the restaurants in your area that compete directly for your customers. Note their volume of sales, the type of menu items they feature, their price range.
- Stay up to date with culinary trends. Know what's new on the horizon.
- Try new items as daily specials at varying price points to test their popularity.
- Improve the name, description, presentation of all high profit items.
- Plan the layout of your new menu. Simple layout changes to the menu can help a great deal and make it easier for customers to find your signature item dishes.
What makes our restaurants unique?
We pride ourselves on offering our guests a warm, comfortable atmosphere that offers food that is both approachable and a great value for our guests. At the end of the day though, our service sets us apart and everyone from our hostesses to our waiters and bartenders strive to make sure each guest has an unbelievable experience from start to finish.
What's your favorite item on our menu?
We have some great items on all our menus, but I'd say the Ahi Tuna Tartare with preserved lemon featured in Veloce is my favorite. Everything from the presentation to the combination of flavors is extraordinary.