A restaurant menu is a “silent seller”. Everything this place has to offer: Whether presented in the form of a QR code, a thick book with a faux velvet backing, or a blackboard in the hands of a doll who looks like a chef at the door of a restaurant. It contains everything about the “yin” and “yang” of cooking. So no matter how lovely the decor of the place is, or how many social media posts, in the end what matters is what counts. Menus make or break any business. If well thought out, it could become your biggest selling point. It’s a master plan that conquers diners’ stomachs with strategy and finesse. Below is a list of everything that makes a letter work and help sell more and better products. Among them are some tips revealed by those who feed us.
It would be better if it was more beautiful “In a letter you can see what the restorer wants or is trying to convey. Personally, I would consider the type of paper, the seal, and any watermarks it might have at the design level…” a commented a food consultant with extensive experience in the field who wished to remain anonymous. “By the way, I don’t think even half of the card sales are in QR,” he added.
Same goes if it’s short. “I think cards should be readable at a glance, so they better not be too wide. All the information is on two pages, which is fine. If it is longer, it can be arranged in a triptych, but the important thing is that the customer can understand all the information at a glance , and don’t doubt the infinite possibilities,” says a food director who owns several restaurants in Madrid. Andalusia also said he preferred to remain anonymous.
The Euro symbol does not appear. Did you notice that the letters specify the price, but don’t include the word “Euro”? Not a currency symbol either? It has a reason. According to Restaurantify, a company that designs solutions for the hospitality industry, “diners who use menus without[the euro or any other currency]symbol order more food”. Another little trick to increase your order…
Square plates attract attention. Several professionals in the industry consulted agreed with this sentiment. If there’s a “standout” dish on the menu, it’s more likely to be one of the most requested by customers. “Sometimes you design them for aesthetics and not on purpose, but sales show that in the end the dish will attract more attention and sales will be higher…” explained the gastronomy sector consultant who advised on this article.
Proposals with photos sell more. We already know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and even more so in the digital age. So it’s easy to understand that in letters, photos also help a dish be asked for more. “For lesser-known dishes, images can help. Of course, it must always be of high quality and must be adapted to the reality of what is being sold. For example, for the Japanese it can be a strong Sales tool,” commented the culinary director, who defended the short menu.
Nothing to put the most expensive dish at the beginning. Several sources consulted agreed that expensive dishes had better take (a little) time to appear if a restaurant wants to project an image that anyone can enjoy. Even if they are beginners, it is better not to place the highest price proposal of the category at the beginning. It is best served with a salad or croquettes first. Then, barnacles or acorn loins appear.
“Star” dishes versus “dog” dishes. Why is there such a fixed appetizer as the Iberian table on the menu of a restaurant of a certain level? José Carlos García, owner of his eponymous and Michelin-starred restaurant in Malaga, distinguishes between “star” dishes and “dog” dishes (as they are). “The first category is those companies with very high turnover and high profit margins; the second category is those things that you should include in the menu to gain prestige but will bring you little benefit, such as oysters or caviar”.
Star dishes, neither very cheap nor very expensive. One food director consulted for this article commented on the approach a restaurant should follow when placing a “star” dish (or dish that the restaurant hopes to sell more of) on the menu. “For example, if we’re talking about starters, the ratio between the cheapest and most expensive should not exceed 2.5. In addition to keeping prices consistent, this also allows you to properly position the dishes you want to sell more of. If the cheapest starter Dishes cost 10 euros, and the most expensive main course is 25 euros, then the “star” of the menu must be around 16-17 euros. This explains why whenever you go to that restaurant, you will be in Bravas Ordered salad before but would also order salad before grilled shrimp…
The best seller is something that “sings”. We’ve talked a lot about what the card setup command does, but be careful because what’s not included in it also plays an important role. Several experts consulted for the preparation of this article agreed that recommendations or “off-menu” sales “sing” directly to customers by waiters are excellent. “It allows you to go with the seasons and buy products at better prices and therefore more profitable,” explains a professional in the industry. “This allows you to filter dishes with lower production costs. For example, dishes like cod neck Same. The client expects them and 75% of the time he ends up asking for them”, confirms José Carlos García.
Yep, the weird part, because they always add up. This is one of the most controversial topics. Is a serving of five croquettes or seven dumplings in line with the strategy of selling more? “While this happens only occasionally, an odd number of copies can add more elements at a very reasonable price, raising the ticket price. The Monio hotel group has several locations in Alcalá de Henares and Madrid, They say the design suits both the client and the restaurant.
Small portions made with “high quality” ingredients, welcome. Did that salad with two or three slices of “foie gras” catch your eye? They know this in restaurants: “‘Premium’ ingredients are used in these dishes, served in small quantities to keep costs down. The cost of the product is very important for restaurants: having the right amount of product in the serving size allows us to offer it at a reasonable price A high-quality product,” explains Monio.
The question is, will we be able to get away with ordering five dumplings after learning all the tricks restaurants use on us, or will we be able to resist the “off-menu” glamor? The answer is, at the next lunch or dinner away from home.