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Cleaning Your Menu

10 September 2012

Your menu cover is an investment that we would like to ensure that you get the best benefit from over the years. Here are a few pointers to make sure that your menu covers keep in tip-top condition.

  1. Regularly remove dust, dirt, crumbs, spills etc. at the end of a shift, using only warm water, or very mild soapy water on a soft damp cloth or sponge. Do not use harsh chemicals, spray and wipe, abrasives, bleach, etc. These can destroy both covering materials and embossed images. Ideally, clean inside pockets with the same sponge every day to avoid the pockets sticking together.
  2. Menu Company Covers are both water resistant and stain resistant. However, there are some products which can leave permanent stains such as pen. Please make sure that your staff do not use pen and remove the menu covers before service begins at the table.
  3. Store your Menu Company Covers in an upright position. Wooden wall boxes are not recommended.
  4. Do not store Menu Covers near heat sources or let them come in contact with stoves, coffee makers, hot plates, etc. Also, do not store them in refrigerated rooms or unheated supply areas that may cause materials to crack. Keep your covers at room temperature whenever possible.
  5. Do not let your covers become submerged in water. Do not place in dishwasher or otherwise allow to become submerged in water or other liquid. For instance, do not leave your menus flat on a wet bar top.

© 2012 TMC

Top Ten Tips to Maximize Your Restaurant Menu

13 December 2013

Your menu is your number one selling tool for influencing what you want your guest to order. With proper menu design you can actually influence sales mix on a daily basis and improve profits. Don't just leave it up to chance. Learn these tips and apply them to your menu.

1) Never Handcuff your Menu
 If you are unable to change or update any menu panel in a short amount of time, then you are handcuffed. You need to be sure you can make a change or update anytime to your menu as needed. With the rapidly changing markets today, this flexibility is very important to staying ahead of rising costs.

 2) Review your menu and update 3-4 times per year
 Stick to small adjustments throughout the year instead of trying to do big adjustments once a year. This is also a great opportunity to creep your menu prices throughout the year with small incremental increases.

 3) Keep your menu small
 Studies have suggested that you only need 20-24 selections to have an adequate menu size for your guest. In fact, you will find that 8-12 of those dishes will be doing the bulk of your sales and profits. Secondly, smaller menus equal less inventory and waste which means better profits for the business.

 4) Treat your menu like real estate
 Be aware of the prime spots on your menu where the readers eyes will tend to fall most often. Those prime spots are like owning prime real estate. Make sure the items that are most profitable for the business occupy those prime real estate spots first. Do not let your weaker menu items occupy your prime real estate locations.

 5) Keep the eye on profit dollars per dish and not food cost percentage
 You do not take percentage to the bank, but you do take profit dollars home every night. If you have 100 guests coming through the restaurant tonight...do you want to make $10 profit per dish or $7 profit per dish. This is the difference from a $1000 night or a $700 night.

 6) Stagger your menu prices
 A common menu occurrence is to line up the menu prices into a vertical column. What this does is make it very easy to price shop the menu. A simple fix to this is to let your menu prices naturally stagger throughout the menu at the end of the titles or line ingredients.

 7) First and Last Position
 When you list a column of menu choices on your menu, the top and bottom positions within the column are generally stronger positions. This ties into the idea that we scan menus more often than truly reading menus. Readers tend to scan around the edges which explains why we tend to notice top and bottom positions more often than the middle of a column of menu choices.

 8) Menu Descriptors Help Sell the Flavor and Value
 People make choices of what to order by how well you can explain the food to them. Studies have shown that consumers opinion of a menu item increases in value with strong menu descriptors.

 9) Highlight What You Want to Sell
 Make sure your menu has highlights that draw the eye to your key menu items you want them to notice and hopefully pick first from the menu.

 10) Give Them Permission to Reject a Menu Choice
 It is always recommended to have a range of prices on your menu and not keep all your retail price points bunched up into a tight range. In fact, I want to encourage you to put a high priced dish on the menu just so that your guest can reject it. This is called mental anchoring the menu. When your guest sees a menu choice that is outrageous in price they base the value of the other menu choices from that high price point. In other words, your other menu choices start to look economical when compared to your anchor point. This in turn leads to a higher selling average from your other available menu selections.

 Your Secret Restaurant Coach currently works in the food service industry providing struggling restaurant owners with positive coaching and restaurant consulting services. If you are looking for further FREE RESTAURANT RESOURCES, just go to [http://www.freerestaurantresources.com]

 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Greg_Prokopowich

© 2013 Greg Prokopowich

Planning for Small Restaurants

13 December 2013

This article is designed for an Independent restaurant startup, and not an existing proven restaurant concept, or a restaurant franchise that is providing franchise style operating systems.

In designing your menu, consider why you have selected the menu items and how they relate to your service system; be it fast food, fast casual or fine dining. I.e. making a Caesar salad table side does not work in a fast food restaurant. The menu and your service system are the foundation of your restaurant and must be compatible. Begin with what you personally feel would be the right menu for your concept. Don't focus only on what is practical and functional. By focusing only on the practical aspects of a menu, you will lose inspiration and creativity. Only after you have settled on what you think are the most appealing items for your menu is it time to consider their practicality.

Cost of product is a main consideration. For example, if your concept is fast-casual, then your price point will probably be in the $6.00 to $14.00 range. But since the wholesale cost of lobster or a prime cut of New York steak takes you out of the fast-casual ballpark, they would not be compatible with the pricing of your menu. Your pricing must reflect your decor and service. A high-end gourmet menu would be completely out of place in a fast food outlet, with its simple decor and speedy service.

 Another consideration is the skill level of your employees. If you plan on opening a fast-food or fast-casual restaurant, you need to hire kitchen personnel whose skills are commensurate with a pay scale driven by your menu price points. Conversely, a gourmet, table-side service restaurant, with higher menu price points, requires a higher level of employee skills and experience, and obviously a more appropriate pay scale.

The equipment needed for certain menu items is an important factor. The tools and equipment for a restaurant may differ from those of a construction company, but both are equally critical to getting the job done correctly. Your menu will dictate the needed equipment and its related cost. For example, do you need a grill, or a deep fat fryer? If so, then you will need to factor in the cost of a grease trap and a vented hood with fire suppression equipment. This can easily add $25,000 to $50,000 to your equipment package.

Inventory requirements are another essential factor. In designing a menu, how you determine its offerings is critical to controlling your food and labor costs. Consider the number of items on the menu: the more you offer the more labor hours it takes to prep and serve each dish in a timely manner. An excess in inventory is money sitting on the shelf. And, the more menu items and ingredient inventories you have to account for, the more waste you are likely to incur. An important corollary of this - think how to wheel menu items together. This means using the same food products in as many different menu selections as possible. In my experience, I have found that smaller is better. What many neophytes in this business fail to realize when designing a menu is that more menu choices are not necessarily better. In fact, the more choices offered, the more they will cannibalize one another.

An effective way to add menu items while effectively controlling food costs is to offer daily specials. This way you can continue to offer a variety of selections that will keep your menu appealing. In preparing specials, be careful to prepare just enough, so that you will run out by the end of the day. This will help to control unnecessary waste.
You cannot create a menu that will be all things to all people, so focus on what you specialize in. Success is predicated on having the best, not the most. A safe menu is one based on classic, traditional foods, to which you add your own unique twist. People have a comfort level with familiar foods. So, keep it simple, especially if you are new to the restaurant business. Quality of product and presentation will always be the foundation of your menu. Next is speed and efficiency of service. The average customer in the US rates speed of service highly, and considers it part of the overall value received. Smart menu choices are essential to a successful restaurant, but equally important is the presentation of your menu. The menu is what defines your restaurant. Customers browse through the menu and, with the help of a knowledgeable server, can make a well-informed selection.

The menu, however, is more than an information tool-it's also a valuable sales tool. Major considerations must be taken into account in menu design and production. Here are some time-tested rules to follow:

  1. It must be functional and easy to use. A menu that is too big can be unwieldy for a customer to handle.
  2. Your menu should convey the essence of your concept. Is it formal and sophisticated, or is it meant to be more fun and informal?
  3. The menu should be integral to the customer's entire dining experience and fit the restaurants intended ambiance.
  4. Food and beverage descriptions are an important factor in your menu. More consumers today are interested in the details of what they are ordering. They don't need paragraphs of flowery words when ordering a steak, but its size and cut are essential; and some well-chosen, mouth-watering descriptions can seal the deal. Use descriptive adjectives for maximum appetite appeal. The more creative you are, the more you enhance your menu offerings, making them more desirable. Paint a brief picture in your customers' minds with descriptive words like "steaming," "chilled," "garden fresh," "succulent," "juicy," etc.
  5. Feature profitable and customer favorites with a picture of the item, highlighted by a brief description to stimulate the taste buds. Think of the clever merchandising that Starbucks uses on their menu boards-just the names of their coffee drinks suggest a tantalizing treat.

Tom Wilscam's book is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to open a restaurant and for restaurant managers. He shares his successes and his failures. The way he presents the information is interesting and easy to understand. The book is well organized, well edited and well developed. The cover is eye catching. For more than 40 years, Wilscam has operated and helped others start restaurants. His experience has shown him the importance of having a proven concept, standardized operating procedures and the ability to help the new restaurant owner succeed. Besides individual restaurants, Wilscam also helped launch the Einstein Bagle Company, Juan's Mexicali and other restaurants that have become franchises because of the successful work he does creating a startup restaurant. For more information about W&W Restaurant Group and how Tom Wilscam can help your startup restaurant succeed, visit his website. http://www.noroyalties.com

 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_Wilscam

© 2013 Tom Wilscam

Things to Avoid When Choosing Cafe Furniture

22 August 2011

Choosing cafe furniture can seem like an easy task - after all, you just need to find something that goes with your decor and looks good, right? If this is the attitude you take you may find your sales dropping and customers leaving without any real explanation. Believe it or not even furniture that looks great can make people's dining experience a bad one. Let's take a look at some negative attributes your new furniture might possess.

Shape

A chair that stands out because of great design can be extremely uncomfortable to actually use. Imagine if the chair is quite slim and unyielding - how would a larger customer use it? Likewise very tall bar stools, if they don't have footrests, can be almost impossible to climb onto for shorter people or anyone who's not in their prime. You should choose furniture based around average heights and weights to make it comfortable for as many people as possible.

Material

The material you should choose depends very much on the climate in your area. Aluminium chairs for example can be very cold in winter, and leather chairs can get very hot in summer. This can be uncomfortable for your customers even if the chairs themselves look great. The chair covering should also be durable no matter what your clientele - spills and stains are inevitable and a durable material will fare a lot better than a delicate one, not to mention being easier to clean.

Design

Many cafe owners opt for 'designer' furniture because it gives them a unique look and makes their business interesting and memorable. This is all very well, but imagine if a piece of furniture gets damaged and has to be replaced - if you've opted for specialist furniture this could be quite difficult and expensive. Buying from a specialist contract furniture supplier that has many tables and chairs in stock means you'll always be able to deal with breakages. Designer furniture on the other hand could look shabby and you won't be able to replace it. Your whole establishment could start to look un-loved and customers will be put off from visiting.

The trick to buying the right cafe furniture is balancing form and function. Of course your furniture should look great and give you the atmosphere you want, but it also needs to be comfortable, durable and affordable. Luckily there's a wide range of suppliers catering to this market who in recent years have put their emphasis on design-led furniture to meet the growing demand in this sector.

One option is to find a company that lets you customise their furniture. You choose an existing design that has all the functionality you need, and then provide your own upholstery for them to fit. This gives you something unique with all the practical features a contract furniture company can supply - it's a happy medium that could offer you the perfect solution. When your furniture starts to look shabby you can simply get it re-upholstered, giving you a fresh look every time.

 Source: www.cssolutionsltd.com

 

© 2011 Sylvia Kittens

Branding Your Organization

16 December 2013

Image Branding is very important for every organization. Organizations spend lot of money for this purpose. Most popular way of advertising is through electronic media, using television, radio, and internet. Almost every organization tries this trick of advertisements. They present their well designed advertisements over popular channels on Television, and pay hefty sum of money for telecast of these advertisements. Along with these electronic media campaign, they also invest a lot for print advertisements to advertise in Newspapers and Popular Magazines.

But most organizations forget another effective form of advertisements that is through printed stationary. Stationary associated with your organization also play an important role in image branding for the organization. These are the documents through which you can make people aware with your actual services. Electronic media advertising campaigns can boost the awareness of people about your organization and its presence. But to make people more aware about the services provided by you or the products being offered by you, you need to apply different strategies.

You need direct marketing for your organization. Live events targeting your customers or your active participation in various business seminars, and trade fairs are of great help in branding. You need to do your homework perfectly before your appearance in any such events. You need business cards for all your company representatives, attractive printed postcards, services or product brochures, company letterheads, and advertisement posters. These are your tools that you need when dealing with people (your potential customers). Apart from that you need to understand the mentality and thinking of your potential and targeted set of customer for better campaign planning.

It's very important for you to ensure the quality and design of your stationeries. They are going to be in hands of your targeted set of customers, it's first time appearance and interaction of you organization with the customers, and it has to be perfect and accurate according to the required industry standards. Take proper care of information being published on your stationeries, along with the size and look of your logo. They are the decision factor behind brand imaging.

For that you need professionally designed set of stationary products. Look for the best stationary printing service providers. Do some research and follow-up of their past work, customers feedback and then choose the best out of all available options. It will certainly help in boosting your Brand Image.

Specializing in the highest quality, full color printing of Business Cards, Postcards, Club Flyers, Brochures, Letterhead and so much more. For more information visit: www.uvcards.com

© 2013 Marc Levack

Cafe Menu Covers Come in Various Styles

18 December 2013

The owner of a restaurant or a cafe has numerous responsibilities that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. Important decisions need to be constantly made in regards to scheduling employees, what is offered on the menu, cleaning the facility and stocking supplies in the kitchen. In addition to these important decisions, the owner also has to make decisions in regards to the decor of the restaurant and the overall ambiance. Decorating decisions typically include the colors on the wall, how dim the lighting is and how to arrange the seating. One design detail that shouldn't be overlooked when decorating the restaurant or cafe is the look of the cafe menu covers. This small detail is actually an important element to creating the right atmosphere at a restaurant or cafe.

When it comes to cafe menu covers, there is a plethora of options to choose from. The first step to take when choosing the right kind of cover for a particular restaurant or cafe is to choose the style of menu. The style typically revolves around how the cafe or restaurant menu is bound, as well as the edging and spine of the cover. Options typically include clear edging and spine or fabric edging and spine. You can also mix it up and have a cover with clear edging and a fabric spine, or the other way around with fabric edging and a clear spine. In addition, there are also heat-sealed menus that are all clear and have a laminate protecting the menu, as well full vinyl covered menus.
 The style of the menu cover typically depends on the style and feel of the restaurant where it is going to be used. Heat-sealed covers are typically used at family restaurants with moderate pricing. Vinyl covered menus, on the other hand, are typically used at more upscale, fancy restaurants. It is important to choose a cover that fits with the style of the restaurant or cafe. The cover is typically the first impression that a patron receives when they look to see what the restaurant has to offer. If the cafe menu covers do not fit with the type of food served or the overall feel of the restaurant, it can send confusion to the patron.

Once the restaurant owner has chosen the style of the edging and the spine of the menu, the next step is to choose the color of the menu. Cafe menu covers come in all sorts of colors depending on the style of the menu. For those with clear spine and edging or heat-sealed menus, there is no need to choose a color. However, menus that have a fabric edging or spine or are full vinyl, require a color to be chosen. Colors typically range anywhere from traditional black to more bold colors such as green and red. In addition to the color of the menu, the color and style of the writing on the front of a vinyl menu also has to be decided. The imprint on the front of the menu can typically be in any color or font that the restaurant owner wishes.

Lastly, the restaurant owner must choose the layout of the menu. The layout of the menu is typically restricted to the style of menu chosen. For instance, a vinyl covered menu only has an option of using two clear pockets on the inside to display the menu. For larger menus, more pages can also be inserted in the vinyl cafe menu covers. For heat-sealed menus, the menu can be as small as a one pocket menu with two views or a four pocket menu with eight views. No matter what style menu a restaurant owner is looking for, there are numerous options to choose from to fit their needs.

Andy West is a writer on many topics, including menu covers and other restaurant necessities. Not only are cafe menu covers a great way to spice up the appearance of your menu, but they will also protect them and prolong menu life.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andy_West

© 2013 Andy West

How to Plan a Restaurant Menu - Tips and Ideas

25 September 2011

One area that needs your focused attention when you are starting out in the restaurant business is menu planning. Many new operators simply have no idea of how to plan a restaurant menu that caters to what their target market is looking for as well as being practical in terms of preparation  In this article we take a closer look at restaurant menu planning and ten of the points that you have to consider as you start to assemble the necessary content.

Restaurant Concept

Firstly, you have to think about your restaurant concept and the type of clientele that you are hoping to attract. These things will be affected byyour location, restaurant premises and theme among other factors. Your overall concept will affect the style, quality and portion sizes of the cuisine that you will feature on your restaurant menus.

Different Types of Restaurant Menus
Most restaurant menus are static in that they are fixed for lengthy time periods and are not able to easily be changed. The alternative is to offera menu that is constantly changing. The latter is great for restaurants that use seasonal ingredients that fluctuate in price such as seafood. 'Soup of the day' is another common menu variation that may change as often as daily. However it makes it difficult if new menus need to be printed frequently. Options for menus that vary frequently include writing your menu up on a chalk board or printing out special inserts with daily specials

A la carte restaurant menus require customers to select menu items individually and everything is priced separately. On the other hand Prix Fixe menus offer several courses included in one set meal for a fixed price. Then there is buffet style dining which usually requires little in the way of menus at all but rather just descriptions on the dishes at the point where customers serve themselves.

Menu Size One thing to remember when putting together a menu is to offer enough of a variety to give diners a great selection while also keeping it reasonably simple so that they don't get overwhelmed. A simple menu will also likely reduce the number of errors while orders are being taken and give staff less headaches remembering details on each dish. A menu with a smaller range of offerings will also make it easier for you to manage your inventory and to reduce food waste.

Consult a Chef At the lower end of the restaurant spectrum you can basically do your restaurant menu planning and then hire kitchen staff that are capable of making the dishes that you have in mind. However, if you will be hiring a chef then you will need to consult with him or her on the style of cuisine that he or she specialises in. A chef will no doubt be able to offer invaluable tips and advice on your menu so it is well worth consulting one if possible.

 Testing and Tweaking
 Before you go ahead and include a dish on your menu it is important to decide on exactly how the dish will be made and presented. It not only has to meet your personal taste but should also meet the tastes of the general public. Before you launch a new menu item it is important to do some testing. Get some opinions from cooks or chefs and look for slight modifications that could be made to improve a dish even more.


 Kitchen Space and Equipment
 Your menu possibilities may be limited by the size of the kitchen space that you have available or by the equipment that is required to make certain menu items. Do an assessment of the equipment that you have and the equipment that you are prepared to buy at the same time as you are planning your menu.


 Something for Everyone
 Try to cater to a wide range of tastes and dietary requirements if possible. You may have a separate menu section for children or your menu may include options for vegetarians. Allergies are a concern for many these days so you should have additional menu notes that staff can refer to. If they are asked by diners if certain dishes contain peanuts, eggs or other common ingredients that people are allergic to then they should be able to offer accurate information. Include as much critical information about these ingredients on a menu as possible.


 Let Customers Personalize a Dish
 One nice idea is to allow your customers to have some input into the dish that they want to order. At the basic level they could just be choosing between french fries or a baked potato. To take it a step further they could be choosing sauces, salad dressings, different kinds of cheeses or the intensity of spices such as chili that may be added to the meal.


 Popular Trends
 Trends in food can change faster then most people think so you may want to follow these food trends and make alterations to your menu accordingly, to keep up with the times. Members of the public have been educated about cuisine by celebrity chefs on TV or may be following the latest dietary craze that is getting attention in the media such as the low-carb diet.


 More than One Menu?
 More upscale restaurants usually need more than one menu. A separate drinks menu or wine list is common but other courses such as dessert could also have their own menu. You may also require menus for different times of the day such as breakfast time.
 If you want to open a restaurant and succeed then it is essential that you know how to plan a restaurant menu, how to set menu prices and how to design a menu in a way that maximizes sales and the diner's experience.
 For more restaurant menu design ideas as well as other articles on menu planning and the restaurant business in general visit -
 Start a Restaurant
 We also offer reviews of some of the top products that can guide you into your own successful restaurant business.

 

© 2011 Andy West