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History: A lighted display board-style menu outside a French Kebab restaurant.

T he first restaurant menus arose roughly one millennium ago, during the Song Dyna sty in China: the only region of the world at the time where paper was abundant. At this time, many merchants often congregated together in city centers and had little time or energy to eat during the evening. Because of the large variation found in Chinese cuisine from different regions, the restaurants could no longe r cater to the local palates, giving rise to the menu. The word "menu," like much of the terminology of cuisine, is French in origin. I t ultimately derives from Latin "minutus," something made small; in French it ca me to be applied to a detailed list or rsum of any kind. The original menus that o ffered consumers choices were prepared on a small chalkboard, in French a carte; so foods chosen from a bill of fare are described as " la carte," "according to the board." Q. What is Menu Card? A menu represents the range of food and beverage items offered in a restaurant. When the menu is represented on a card, it is referred to as the Menu Card. Origin of Menu: In 1541, Duke Henry of Brunswick referred to a long paper during a banquet. He claimed that it was a programme of dishes, which enabled him to s ave his appetite for those that followed. The menu or bill of fare thus originat ed. Initially, it was very large and was placed at the end of the table for the guests reference. With the passage of time, menus became smaller and allowed for a number of copies per table. Objectives of Menu Planning 1. Customer Satisfaction: Serve as per the customer requirements. 2. Healthy Foods: Healthy food offer nutritive, hygienic, & healthy food. 3. Consideration of all age of people: Food should be providing for all gro ups like children, young, old. 4. Offer of choices: Give example choices so gets variety as well as satisf action. 5. Proper utilization of man power, machine, equipments. 6. Proper use of seasonal food and vegetables. 7. Customer preferences should be taken care. 8. Choice and demand of local people can be included in menu. d. Menu a. Menu Planning, Principles and Application b. Types of Menu c. Content of Menu d. Menu Merchandising e. Menu Display f. Menu Pricing g. Portion controlling h. Standard Portion Sizes i. Necessity for Control, brief study of how portion are worked out The Role of the Menu: The menu serves several purposes to both the restaurant and its customers: 1. It determines the supplies to be ordered. 2. It determines the equipment needed in the restaurant and its layout. 3. It determines the staff skills needed. 4. It determines the type of customer to attract. 5. It is a "selling tool." Menu planning is the most crucial step in success of a catering outlet. Careful planning of menus will ensure nutritionally adequate meals are served to the pat rons. The menu influences almost every step of your food service, from grocery lists t o the popularity of the meals with the children. To plan good menus, you need to

use the basic principles of menu planning and a step-by-step process. With such a wide variety of foods available in today s supermarket, it can be a challenge to select foods for children. Where do you begin? The basic menu plann ing principles described in this section provide a good starting point. Keep the m in mind as you think about meal pattern requirements, your children s preferen ces, and nutritional needs of the children in your care. The five basic menu planning principles are: 1. Strive for balance: Balance flavors in appealing ways. Balance higher-fa t foods with lower-fat ones. Placement, serving size, proportion, and the number of food items on a plate. 2. Emphasize variety: Type of food, preparation style, and visual appeal. 3. Add contrast: Strive for contrasts of texture, flavor, and methods of pr eparation. Think about the texture of foods as well as their taste and appearanc e. Avoid having too much of the same type of food in the same meal. Use a pleasi ng combination of different sizes and shapes of food. 4. Think about color: Use combinations of colors that go together well, and strive for contrast and maximum color presentation. A good rule of thumb is to use at least two colorful foods in each menu for visual appeal. 5. Consider eye appeal: Make sure what you serve looks good as well as tast es good. The other Menu Planning Principles are: 6. Truthfulness: Follow the Truth-in-Menu Guidelines. 7. Nutrition: Nutritious, appealing, and well-prepared meals. 8. Flexibility: Changes due to cost, additional choices, and seasonal foods . Types of Food Menus in Restaurants: restaurants come with different cuisines, cu stoms and price ranges as well as different menu styles. A menu is the most visi ble and most important part of a restaurant s concept--its face to the world. Th e menu of a fast-food restaurant will differ dramatically from that of a fine-di ning restaurant and not just because of the food. Here are some examples of diff erent menu types, where you can expect to find them and how to choose your meals wisely to have the best possible dining experience Static Menu: An example of a static drink menu with easily cleaned slip cover. c obalt123:Flickr.comThe most common type of menu, a static menu, changes or is up dated infrequently. These menus are usually laminated for easy cleaning and reus e or printed on a wall. Fast-food restaurants, chains, diners and delis usually have static menus. Menus are usually divided into appetizers, salads and soups, entrees, and desserts. The Entre items are usually served with specific or the gu est s choice of side items included in the price. Some of the benefits of runnin g a static menu are increased familiarity among guests, dish stability across ma ny different locations and a speedy production. Disadvantages include difficulty finding seasonal ingredients, stale menu items and the risk of customers gettin g bored. la carte Menu: An la carte pricing system. More of a pricing system than a menu style, an la carte menu is not defined by how long it remains the same, but by h ow the customer orders. Main dishes are not grouped with side items under one pr ice, but rather a guest orders meat, starch and vegetable separately and pays fo r them separately. This is a good technique for restaurants to earn higher profi ts on inexpensive side items such as potatoes. Truly versatile, an la carte pric ing scheme can be similar to a static menu if its items rarely change and can be found in many restaurants ranging from fast food to fine dining. Table d hte Menu: A prix fixe menu with choices. Also called a prix fixe menu, a table d hte (meaning "host s table) menu offers several courses (usually with ch oices) for one fixed price. These menus sometimes include amuse bouche (An amuse -bouche or amuse-gueule is a single, bite-sized hors duvre. The term is French, lite rally translated to "mouth amuser". The plural form is amuse-bouche or amuse-bou

ches), appetizer, salad, soup, intermezzo, seafood, meat and dessert courses. A prix fixe menu can be quite expensive, but also offer a lot of food. Found mostl y at chef driven, fine-dining restaurants, a table d hte menu changes frequently and usually focuses on seasonal ingredients. Sometimes listed as the Chef s Tast ing Menu or the Degustation Menu, John R. Walker describes in his book, "The Res taurant: From Conception to Operation," as "showcasing the chef s flair for comb ining flavors and textures." Du Jour Menu: Brunch menu being written on a chalkboard. "Du Jour" translates to "of the day," as in "soup du jour." These menus change daily and are ultimately focused on seasonal ingredients, preparing the freshest food possible. Where so me restaurants only offer daily specials, every item on a du jour menu is a spec ial. Often called chalkboard menus (because they re written on one), du jour men us will highlight fresh fish and seasonal vegetables, centered on preparations i n sync with the time of year. One of the drawbacks to chalkboard menus is that t here is a limited supply window for certain ingredients and guests can t come ba ck for the same dish all year long. Cycle Menu: A cycle menu is a set of dishes or menu items that are different for each day during a cycle and repeats. These menus are chiefly found in school ca feterias, prisons and jails or any other institutional facility. The goal is to avoid boredom while keeping the dishes easy to remember and to prepare for the s taff. Cycles can run from one week to one month and beyond. Content 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. of a Menu: Choose the dishes to offer, and the prices for each dish. Write descriptions based on the restaurant s style. Break down the sections of the menu. Choose photos (optional). Create preliminary mock-ups of the menu layout. Create a second round of mock-ups. Select the final layout.

Five Amazing Strategies to Proper Food Merchandising 1. Evaluate your workspace 2. Choose appropriate themes and colors 3. Use relevant props and displays: (items you can use for display: if you opera te a restaurant that serves pizza and pasta, you can use cutting boards, large f lour sacks, rolling pins, the chefs top hat, etc. for display around the dining a rea. All these promote a sense of freshness that customers love) 4. Fire up the senses (Stimulating all five senses) 5. Make use of food sampling: Its a cost-effective way to give customers a taste of what your menu is like, and it also encourages customer feedback. Menu Displays: Paper: While some restaurants may use a single menu as the sole way of communica ting information about menu items to customers, in other cases, the meal menu is supplemented with ancillary menus, such as: An appetizer menu (nachos, chips and salsa, vegetables and dip, etc.) A wine list A liquor and mixed drinks menu A beer list A dessert menu (which may also include a list of tea and coffee options) Take-out restaurants often leave paper menus in the lobbies and doorsteps of nea rby homes as advertisement. The first to do so may have been New York City s Emp ire Szechuan chain, founded in 1976. The chain and other restaurants aggressive menu distribution in the Upper West Side of Manhattan caused the "Menu Wars" of the 1990s, including invasions of Empire Szechuan by the "Menu Vigilantes", the revoking of its cafe license, several lawsuits, and physical attacks on menu di stributors.

Menu board: Some restaurants typically fast-food restaurants and cafeteria-style establishments provide their menu in a large poster or display board format up high on the wall or above the service counter. This way, all of the patrons can see all of the choices, and the restaurant does not have to provide printed menu s. Some restaurants such as cafes and small eateries use a large chalkboard to d isplay the entire menu. A high-tech successor to the chalkboard menu is the wr ite-on wipe-off" illuminated sign, using LED technology. The text appears in a v ibrant color against a black background. Outdoor: Some restaurants provide a copy of their menu outside the restaurant. F ast-food restaurants that have a drive-through or walk-up window will often put the entire menu on a board, lit-up sign, or poster outside, so that patrons can select their meal choices. Digital displays With the invention of LCD and Plasma displays, some menus have moved from a stat ic printed model, to one which can change dynamically. By using a flat LCD scree n and a computer server, menus can be digitally displayed allowing moving images , animated effects and the ability to edit details and prices. Online menu: Websites featuring online restaurant menus have been on the Interne t for nearly a decade. In recent years, however, more and more restaurants outsi de of large metropolitan areas have been able to feature their menus online as a result of this trend. How to Price Your Restaurant Menu: Food cost and portion control are two ways to help price your menu correctly, so you make a profit but be careful not to pric e yourself out of the local market. Another way to ensure a profit is to create a balance of expensive and inexpensive items. Menu Pricing: (Food Cost) Food cost refers to the menu price of a certain dish in comparison to the cost o f the food used to prepare that same dish. In other words, how much you pay for food will determine how much you need to charge for it. Generally, food cost sho uld be around 30-35%. This means that if you pay $1.00 for something, you need t o charge minimum of $3.34. It may seem like you are charging a lot more than nec essary, but keep in mind that you aren t just paying for the food itself. You ar e paying someone to prepare the food, serve the food, and clean up after the foo d. Everything in your restaurant, from payroll to the electric bill needs to be covered by the food you serve. Lets look at a typical menu item that many restaurants offer: Filet Mignon Dinner . The initial cost of a filet mignon dinner can be broken down into the following areas: The beef filet costs you $6.00 per portion The wrap (the potato, vegetable, salad and bread that comes with the filet, as w ell as any condiments the guest asks for) costs $2.50 Therefore, the entire meal costs you $8.50. If you wrapped the filet in bacon an d topped it with herb butter (very tasty) your costs would increase. So, then yo ur prices would increase. Get the picture? Everything that goes onto the custome rs plate needs to be accounted for. So how do you decide on a final menu price? Time to brush up on that high school algebra you swore you d never use. The formula for costing goes as follows: Cost of your product/.35=menu price or $8.50/.35= $24.29 $24.29 is the absolute minimum you need to charge in order to make a profit off the filet mignon dinner. Of course, $24.29 is an awkward looking number, so you might strike it up to $24.99. If you bumped it up to $29.99, your food costs wou ld drop below 30%, which means you make a bigger profit. Food cost Calculations: The simple side of the ultiplying the cost to sell a menu item by the is analysis may be accomplished for the entire ecific menu item. The result of the formula is

ideal cost calculation involves m number sold in a given period. Th menu, a specific category or a sp divided by the sales to arrive at

a theoretical food cost percentage. 1. Ideal Food Cost Per Menu Item = Menu Item Cost X Number Sold 2. Sales Per Menu Item = Selling Price X Number Sold 3. Gross Profit Per Menu Item = Sales Per Menu Item - Ideal Food Cost Per M enu Item 4. Ideal Food Cost Percentage = Ideal Food Cost Per Menu Item / Sales Per M enu Item Portion control: Careful control of the amount of food served to every customer or portion control is essential if you are to stick to your profit margins. Soun d portion control can save a restaurant hundreds, or even thousands of pounds ev ery year. For example, an extra 1p worth of meat served on each plate could mean a loss of 100 over the year when 100 meals are served daily. The amount of food allowed per portion depends upon the following criteria: The type of customer or establishment: There will be a difference in the size of portions served in a caf, where the customers are largely manual workers, and in a restaurant situated amongst shops and frequented by ladies-who-lunch. There is also likely to be a difference in portion size of, for instance, beef b eing served as part of a three-course menu for 20, and when the beef dish alone c osts 20 on an la carte menu. The quality of the food: Better quality food usually yields a greater number of portions than poor quality food. For example, low quality stewing beef is likely to require so much trimming that it may be difficult to get six portions to the kilo. The time and labour involved on preparing the meat also loses money. Good quality stewing beef, however, may give eight portions to the kilo. Much l ess time and labour is required in the preparation of the higher quality meat. Also consider the use of organic produce. An organic chicken breast can cost th e same as a whole standard chicken. It is therefore essential you know your tar get market and whether they would rather pay 12 for an organic chicken breast sal ad or 12 for half a roast chicken, chips and salad. The buying price of the food: A clever buyer will ensure that the price paid for the food corresponds to its quality. A good price should mean good quality, whi ch in turn should mean a good yield, which will help ensure the establishment of good portion control. However, if an inefficient buyer pays a high price for low quality food then it will be difficult to achieve a good number of portions. Portion control equipment: Certain items of equipment are necessary in maintaini ng good portion control. For instance, scoops should be used for mashed potato and ice-cream, ladles for soup and sauces, and specific sized dishes for soup an d desserts. Controlling the portion sizes you serve your customers is an easily overlooked b ut extremely important way to cut costs and preserve your restaurants margin. In the high-pressure atmosphere of a commercial kitchen during the dinner rush, yo u need simple but highly effective methods for keeping portions exactly the same . The first place to address portions is with proteins. A good portion scale can w eigh out protein portions quickly and simply, giving you an extra measure of con trol over what is probably the most expensive item on any entre plate. Check out this blog post for more info on scales. Secondly, your starches, veggies, soups, etc. need to be portioned out as exactl y as possible. Even a half ounce over the serving size called for in each entre can translate into thousands of dollars in lost revenue over the course of year. The easiest way to control these portion sizes is with kitchen utensils that m easure portions: ladles, dishes, and Spoons are all designed to allow the quick and effective measurement of portion sizes. Portion control is important because it is the basis for calculating your restau

rants profitability. Especially in an era of deep discounting and razor thin mar gins, being able to control portions is an incredibly important element when you decide how to price your menu. Thats because youre making assumptions about how much each entre served will cost you. Those assumptions go out the window if the actual quantity served is incorrect. Effective portion control allows you to dial up an aggressive price at a decent margin that beats the competition but keeps you profitable. Any restaurant manag er knows what a tightrope those margins can be. Without portion controls, youre far more likely to fall off than to make it to the other side. Guideline portion amounts: Plaice, cod, haddock fillet 8 portions per kg Cod and haddock on the bone 6 portions per kg Plaice, turbot, brill on the bone 4 portions per kg Salmon (gutted, but including head and bone) 6 portions per kg Crab or lobster meat 250-360g per portion Boneless roast beef 6-8portions per kg Stewing beef 8-10 portions per kg Leg of lamb 6-8 portions per kg Stewing lamb 4-6 portions per kg Leg of pork 8 portions per kg Duck and chicken 360g per portion New potatoes 8 portions per kg Old potatoes 4-6 portions per kg Cabbage 6-8 portions per kg French beans 6-8 portions per kg Peas 4-6 portions per kg Spinach 4 portions per kg