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Developing great menus

Developing great menus
Many hotels have several menus ranging from the ever-popular breakfast offer, all day, room and dinner menus as well as a selection of conference and banqueting menus.

Whatever the occasion customers will be looking for a well balanced selection, quality products and value for money. Research shows customers like menus to be simple and easy to ‘navigate’.

Planning your menu

Customer considerations

- Make sure you have something to suit most customers

- Offer a variety of proteins and classic dishes, some with a contemporary twist

- Check that your menu has the right range of price points for your customer base

- Extend customer choice by offering ‘go large’ options and mix & match accompaniments

- Include lighter options and something for vegetarian customers

- Think about local food and seasonal specialities

- Think about value for money conference and banqueting options for customers on a limited budget for those wishing to cater for large numbers of people

Kitchen considerations

- Vary your menu to ensure broad use of kitchen equipment

- Choose products with multi-dish usage

- Consider preparation time for menu items

- Consider skill level

Developing ‘signature dishes’

Consider developing your own special menu items that you can be famous for. They can encourage customers to visit especially for this dish and they will talk to their friends about it.

- A signature full traditional breakfast with your special twist will become the talk of the town

- Name a dish after your hotel or the local area

- Consider using a local ingredient or ale to add a point of difference s required to deliver menu items

Accompaniments & sides

A good selection of accompaniments and sides will help increase sales and average spend per head. They are also an excellent way to differentiate you from your competition.

- Highlight options clearly on the menu

- Let customers choose the sides and accompaniments to suit them

- Have a good selection of ‘extras’ on your conference and banqueting menus

- Ensure your staff are upselling at every opportunity

Food presentation

- Good food presentation can make all the difference.

- Customers often ‘buy with their eyes’ so seeing a great dish leave the kitchen can encourage sales and trial

- Consider adding ‘theatre’ to some items such as sizzler dishes or even your signature sundae with a sparkler

- Be aware of tableware trends – add a point of difference to set your hotel functions ahead of the competition