Optimize Your Menu With Menu Engineering
23 March 2022

Optimize Your Menu With Menu Engineering

If you spend some time analyzing your menu and ingredients, you can easily optimize your menu – and thereby also sales and profitability.

What is menu engineering?

Menu engineering is making your menu and dishes work as hard as they can for you, ensuring you have great, on-trend menu items that appeal to customers while driving sales and profitability.

It’s an exercise to review dish popularity against profitability and complexity with the goal to increase profitability for your pizzeria, pub or restaurant. Once you understand which dishes generate the most cash and appeal, and which don’t, you can make informed changes to your menu.

What are the benefits of menu engineering?

Menu engineering gives your restaurant, pub or pizzaria several benefits that will exceed the impact of just designing an appealing menu.

Maximising revenue

When talking about restaurant strategy, menu engineers play an important role in enhancing profitability. Their expertise lies in identifying high-margin and widely favoured dishes, and then strategically placing them on the menu with captivating descriptions and visually appealing presentations. This approach not only makes your customers choose these lucrative items but also contributes to an increase in overall sales and revenue for your restaurant.

Better cost management

By meticulously examining the cost of ingredients and the preparation process for each dish, you can gain insights into your financial landscape. This analysis enables you to identify the dishes with elevated food costs and insufficient profit margins. As a response, you can make informed decisions such as adjusting pricing, refining recipes to enhance profitability, or even removing items from your menu entirely.

Improved customer experience

When operators shine a spotlight on popular dishes and describe them in a way that's clear and enticing, it's a game-changer for your customers. It makes choosing what to eat a breeze, so they can enjoy their meal without getting confused by a complicated menu. It's like giving your customers a smoother ride through the food choices, making their experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

Cutting food waste

When you have a well-thought-out menu, it's like you have a secret weapon against wasting ingredients. You can plan how much of each ingredient you need more accurately, which means fewer items going bad and ending up in the bin. This strategy uses ingredients more wisely, keeping waste to a minimum and making the kitchen more efficient.

Sparking creativity

It's not just about the usual stuff; it's about shaking things up and keeping the menu fresh. Menu engineers regularly check how things are going and use that info to try out new dishes and give the menu a seasonal makeover. It's like a license to get creative, adapting to what your customers want and making sure the menu stays exciting and up-to-date. Think of it as a way for operators to stay on their toes, serving up something new and interesting for their customers.

How do I do menu engineering?

With pizza being one of the most profitable foods on the planet, it might feel like it’s hard to make it more profitable. But there’s a step-by-step process starting with a deep dive into the numbers and finishing with a review of your menu design.


Let’s break it down

  1. Look at the numbers – review dish performance, cost of sales and margins

  2. Asses the dishes – consider the ingredients used, dish complexity, wastage, and customer appeal

  3. Make adjustments – adjust price or margin through recipe development or reduce complexity

  4. Menu design – know which dishes to promote and where to place them on a menu

  5. Finally, the key to successful menu engineering is to look at the hard facts of menu performance. Sometimes it can mean saying “ciao” to one of your personal favorites on the menu. As hard as it can be, your head must rule your heart here.

Want learn more about increasing profit from your pizza business?

If you want more knowledge about menu engineering and how to make your pizza business even more profitable, then download our guide "Turn Up The Power of Pizza" here.

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Turn up the power of pizza