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Menu engineering for restaurants


Cooking Europe.Tilburg, May 19th 2023.

How to create menus for restaurants that are surprising and also profitable?


At Cooking Europe we create menus that match with the Food & Beverage concept but also how to implement the right standards and decisions in the menu engineering.



What is menu engineering?


Menu engineering is the use of knowledge and tools to maximize the profit and margins of all the food products and dishes included in the menu of the restaurant. We have to think that restaurant guests are reading the menus very fast most of the time. In that period of time, we have to make sure that the menu proposal is exciting, easy to understand and focusing on the financial expectations of the company. Once the guests are inside of the restaurant, the menu is the final advertising tool that we can promote.

Make sure all those dishes are mouthwatering!




Food cost


The first step to develop the menu of the restaurant is to work on the food cost of each dish. We have to calculate well every ingredient cost and measure the weight of each product in the dish. We can’t forget to also measure garnishes and secondary ingredients. One of the common mistakes we have seen in the past is that restaurants forget to calculate the evaporation of sauces and stocks or the waste that some products have like bones, fat…

Once we have made a proper cost calculation of the dishes, it is the time to place all the pieces of the puzzle in it. Let’s go!



Upselling (also in the menu)


Upselling is probably the favorite word of our Food and Bevege consultants. They have a close relation with this because when creating and designing a menu for a restaurant, the dishes have to stand out, so the guest can imagine already in their mind what is the sensorial experience of the gastronomic proposal. In this moment begins the gastronomic experience in the guests, is an impressive moment for them.


The idea is to put in the design of the menu all the dishes in the correct place, looking at the profit margins established previously. Now that the menu looks great, it’s time to analyze and make corrections.



Dish sale analysis


Analyzing what the guests are buying in a restaurant is a very important stage in menu engineering. We know what the cost of a dish is and also we have implemented it in the menu design. Now we have to check which are the favorites and the top sold.


For this, we have to look at the data and analyze how to improve the position of these dishes in the menu design. Another option is to change those products that don’t work well as even if they have a high profit margin, the revenue gets affected by it. Correcting this helps the development of the restaurant menu and increase financial results and guest satisfaction in the food & beverage concept.


Staff training


Once we have done proper menu engineering, it’s now the time to achieve staff knowledge; because the menu has to be alive and training the staff in the correct use and upsell of each dish is a guarantee of satisfaction. It’s simple, if the staff recommends the right delicious dishes and the ‘star’ products, the restaurant will be a favorite destination to all guests.

If you would like to know more how our Food & Beverage consultants can help you in Menu engineering, send an email to or visit our website

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