Menu Inspiration A unique look at the components included on a restaurant menu.
Types of Appetizers • For centuries, a delectable assortment of small plates have preceded the main course • Trend has retained its popularity. • According to the National Restaurant Association's Tableservice Restaurant Trends • Tapas: are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine, cold or hot. • Mezze: selection of small dishes served in the Middle East &the Balkans as breakfast, lunch or even dinner, w/ or w/o drinks. • Antipasti:An appetizer usually consisting of an assortment of foods, such as smoked meats, cheese, fish & veggies. • Amuse-bouches("mouth amusements"): single, bite-sized hors d'œuvre • Dim sum: Refers to a style of Cantonese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food trad. served in small steamer.
2012 Menu Sales Outlook by GuestMetrics • GuestMetrics has a • proprietary database of 250 • million recent table-service • restaurant & bar transactions. • The company’s analysis helps • explain why operators have • seen such tough season. • Customers still come to • restaurants as before; they • simply order less food than • they once did.
Appetizers: Why offer them? • Consumers are ever cautious about their restaurant spending • Full-service operators have found their best to get customers to try a new dish. • Many cases the appetizers are shared QSR 75 % of consumers who purchase appetizers share them • More opportunity to put out new and innovative offerings. Hotel Fauchere's Bar Louis serves up a sushi pizza that has proved wildly popular with guests, Milford, PA
Unique ways to market your items • Change the Appetizer section to “Sharing Plates” • DavantiEnoteca in Chicago, category called “Vasi”, Italian for “vessels”. They serve 4 items in crocks: a ricotta cheese spread $5, an olive tapanade$4, a liver pate for $5, & fresh mozzarella spread for $8. • Gordon Food Service in Grand Rapids, Mich(120)“Crocks & Smears.” Restaurants are creating a separate appetizer section for meat spreads, vegetable &cheese spreads that are served with toasted or grilled bread. • Palate Food and Wine in Glendale, Calif., the spreads, which also include fish spreads, are served in Mason jars.
Sharable Appetizers • Mussels cooked in a flavorful liquid, served w/ shells, bowl to discard, served with bread • Lukshon in Culver City, Calif., mussels are served in green chili curry with coconut and lime. The Asian-influenced dish sells for $18. • Eliminating side dishes & moving them to the top of the menu. Chefs apply more aggressive cooking techniques to make vegetables flavorful to be served as an app. alongside a protein-based appetizer • Gjelinain Venice, Calif., 12 vegetables All $8 options include charred brussels sprouts w/bacon, dates &vinegar; grilled Russian kale w/ lamb sausage, yogurt dressing & toasted hazelnuts; & braised sprouting broccoli served w/ smoked ham &tomato broth.
Inside Look into Jones, Philly • They see the trend of apps rise. With the current climate of tapas-style restaurants increasing. • See their guests moving away from traditional coursed meals & instead ordering appetizers in a coursed fashion, allowing them to try many different things instead of committing to 1 specific dish. • Jones prices apps $7 to $14 range • Best-selling dish =mac & cheese 8.5 (b/c it’s easy to relate = comfort) • Sell over 15,000 a year =$127,500 • Guests order several appetizers & leave them to stay on the table w/ their dinner & easily accompany as a side dish w/ dinner. http://www.jones-restaurant.com/ http://www.jones-restaurant.com/JONES_allday.pdf
New Playbook to Kids Menus • With childhood obesity so widespread—1/3 of America’s children are overweight • Restaurants are beginning to take on responsibility by offering healthier kids’ menus. • National Restaurant Association recently initiated Kids LiveWell, a program helping parents identify restaurants w/ healthier options. • Other initiatives are motivating kids to be more active, most notably First Lady Michelle Obama’sLet’s Move campaign.
Kids Menu Stats Researchers @ University of Edinburgh (UK) found : kids who eat same food as adults = healthier. • 31% of families are now more active with their kids • 63% of moms have made a change in their kids eating habits over past year • 70% of moms want to see healthy kids options on menus • 80% of kids say eating healthy is important What can you do? • Change your cooking techniques: grilling/poaching/baking • Options include: dim sum, hummus, yogurt & the use of sweet potato. • Homemade comfort desserts, smoothies, granola bars, top flavors: strawberry, blueberry & orange.
Healthier Kids Options To support parents’ efforts to feed their children a healthy diet, restaurants should: • Participate in NRA Kids LiveWell program & reformulate meals so all meet calorie, sodium, fats & other nutrition standards • Offer more fruit & vegetable options & make those options the default side dishes w/ every children’s meal • Remove soft drinks &other sugary drinks from children's menus • Offer more whole grains as a part of children’s meals; • Provide calorie information for all menu items on menus or menu boards • Market only healthy options to children through all marketing approaches used by the restaurant, including through mass media, websites, in-store promotions and toy give-aways, school-related activities, & other venues.
Kids Meals Food Facts • The majority of restaurants (68%) offer fruit as a side item with children’s meals. • 7in 10 chains (73%) offer fried potatoes, such as French fries and potato chips, as a side item with children’s meals. • Over ½ (53%) of restaurant chains offer vegetables other than fried potatoes with children’s meals. • Most common types of vegetable side items are broccoli (fresh and steamed), carrots, celery, salad, corn, green beans, & mashed potatoes.
Kids Menu Beverages • Over ¾ (78%) of the restaurant chains offer soft drinks as children’s beverage options. • Over ½ the chains (58%) offer fruit juices. • Nearly ½ (40%) of chains offer non-fat/low-fat (1% or fat-free) milk • 43% of chains offer high-fat (2% or whole) milk • Only 1 chain, Arby’s, includes a bottle of water as an option with its children’s meals.
Kids Innovations Food Menu Items: • Dijon, Saltine and Wheat Germ Crusted Chicken Fingers with Ranch Dipping Sauce • Angel Food Cake with Tropical Fruit Compote • Healthy Fair for Kids @ Midway International Airport, Chicago • Logos are spotted on the tops of grab & go containers in most restaurant coolers primarily in Concourses A & B and near baggage claim. • Foods include: antibiotic-free meats, whole grain breads, smaller portion sizes, lower salt, no deep-fried anything, local ingredients and non-sugared beverages.
8 Tips to Healthier Menu • Add color fruits/vegetables: peaches, nectarines, corn, salad/lettuce &spinach. • Add whole grains: pizza crust, bread, quinoa, brown rice. • Add lean protein: turkey, tofu, chicken, fish, etc. • Add flavor: Fruit sauces, fruit salsas, marinades, honey mustards -get creative. • Beverages: 100% whole fruit juice, skim milk • Add fruit slices and options for water. • Watch sodium levels: 1 T ketchup/mustards has 170 mg. Pickles have 300 mg. • Explore your adult menu and promote those items on your kids menu.
Cocktail Menu • Create seasonal cocktail list, understand your local seasonality &plan for year. • Summer menu: lots of berries (strawberries are usually the first in) and floral flavors and aromas (lots of gin & botanical focus). • Use stone fruits, melons. • Consider the regular clientele • Hire an experienced mixologist to help design, execute and promote the menu. • Take into account seasonal climate changes and regionally celebrated festivities. • Place your most profitable specialty drinks near the top of the menu. • Cost the menu properly. The industry standard for determining the mark-up of cocktails 25%
Create a Beer List • Express the restaurant’s unique personality and style. • Having only 10 craft beers can work well for most restaurants • Great beer list does not have to have 100 beers. • Beer is a perishable product & most are at their best when consumed quite fresh. • Give customers opportunity to select from various price points within the same beer style requires having more selections. • Basic craft beer might sell for $4.00 - $5.00 for a 12-oz. bottle & best-in class might go for $10.00
Beer List Tips • Craft beer list should be related to the food menu • Use published lists "The Top 100 Beers" to get some ideas highly rated products, consider your product mix. • Be careful when using extreme beers. Extreme beers are big, bold, higher alcohol beers that are especially popular, if not carefully matched, can easily overpower food. • A craft beer list should not be an expression of what your distributor wants to sell you, but must be an expression of your establishment's concept, style and cuisine.
Wine List • The sections of a wine menu are standard: reds, whites, roses, sparkling, &dessert wines. • For lengthier lists, typical subsections are created according to grape varietals or regions of origin. • Wine list sections often start w/ the priciest bottles &end on the cheapest. • A helpful description of the wines on your wine list is the most important part of facilitating the ordering process for unsure customers. • Check out the wine lists of your local competiting restaurants, clubs etc.
Create Categories • Indicating if a wine is sweet or dry, full-bodied or light, & other basic information • Group your wines according to taste categories: “Light and Delicate Whites”, followed by “Slightly Sweet Whites” followed by “Dry, Full-Bodied Whites”. • You can get creative and group wines by special interest, such as “Organic and Biodynamic Whites”, “Exotically Scented European Whites”, or “Cheap Thrills”. • Consider grouping your wines by food affinities, such as “Crisp, Dry Whites for Seafood” followed by “Full-bodied Whites for Roast Poultry” followed by “Big, full-bodied Reds for Steaks”…or something like that.
How to Describe Wine? • Consider using my “5-word review” for a tiny bit of supporting information: • French Pinot Noir – Light and Dry. • Off-dry, fruity, great with sushi. • Light, delicate, fruity and crisp. • Pink bubbly, but don’t call it sweet. • PLEASE…even if your wine list style of choice is minimalistic, PLEASE provide detailed wine notes and descriptions to your staff, either in “wine class” style or in printed training materials!
The List • A good wine list denotes four things about every wine: • The name of the producer. • The name of the wine itself (including any modifiers such as “Reserve”). • The region of origin (unless it’s a regional wine). • The vintage date. Here’s a perfect example: Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Napa Valley; 2009 Or Cabernet Sauvignon, Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley, 2009.
Pricing your wine • It has been proven that wine sales increase if at least 50% of your wines-by-the-bottle are priced between 1 and 2 times the price of an average entrée. • Average entrée priced $20.00, customers will not flinch at a bottle of wine priced $20.00 -$40.00. • For wines by the glass, “rule of thumb” that one 4- or 5-ounce glass of wine covers the wholesale cost of the bottle. Any additional glasses poured from the bottle are pure profit. • If a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc has a wholesale price of $8.00, a good price for a glass is…you guessed it, $8.00. http://bubblyprofessor.com/2011/01/01/miss-janes-top-ten-tips-for-wine-lists/
Competitive Analysis • What is the direct labor involved in its preparation? Does it require skilled preparation or just simple heating &plating? • What is the portion size? • What kind of restaurant are you? (fast-casual, limited-service, fine-dining) • What are the accompaniments served with it? • What is the check average you seek? • What are the prices of other menu items in the same menu category and the spread among items in other categories? • Is there live entertainment or music in the restaurant?