Menu engineering: to boost profits

It’s hardly a secret anymore: the availability and applications of data are set to skyrocket in the near future. And even though you may think that data can only be relevant for ‘the big boys’, you’ll find that it can also be used by smaller fries looking to make moves based on cold hard facts & figures. Data can give you insight into industry performance and product popularity... but what if there were a tool that could evaluate and optimise your menu? Let us introduce the menu engineering tool.

Let the tool work for you, not the other way around

So how does our menu engineering tool work, you ask? You start by entering the costs for all of your dishes and their turnover rate. The innovative tool will then use these numbers to determine which dishes are your ‘winners’ or ‘runners’, and which your so-called ‘sleepers’ or ‘laggards’. This will give you clear insight into which dishes you should promote more, which ones are priced too high, and which ones should make way for a more suitable alternative. It’s a perfect way to let your own data upgrade your business and boost your profits.

1. Collect your data

Menu engineering lets you compare several menu items (a minimum of five dishes is required). Make sure you have the following data on hand for each dish:

  • Popularity: How many orders do you get for the dish on a weekly basis
  • Food cost: The total costs of all ingredients in the dish
  • Chef time (min): Time spent by the chef preparing this dish
  • Kitchen help time (min): Time spent by kitchen staff preparing this dish
  • Menu price excl. VAT ( € ): The menu price of the dish before taxes

If you don’t have these data yet, now is a great time to start collecting them. Keep tabs on your sales figures and make sure to record them for a few weeks.

2. Menu engineering matrix: are your dishes in it to win it?

Once you’ve listed all the menu items and data, just click the button to start. The tool now compares your menu items and helps you identify opportunities based on popularity, profit margins and sales numbers. Your dishes will be presented in 4 categories:

Winners  Dishes that, comparatively, are your popular, big earners.
Runners Popular dishes that might be able to bring you more profit.
Sleepers  Dishes with potential but that aren’t popular enough to really boost sales.
LaggardsDishes that aren’t particularly popular or great earners, but may still be essential for your menu, such as special dietary options.

3. Expert Advice: menu engineering tips

Each result comes with a selection of videos and articles with hands-on solutions and insights that can help you improve the dish. One of the chefs at Luigi’s, for example, made a video about their winner dish ‘Luigi’s pulled pork burger’, and how they use social media to boost sales to a whole new level!

4. Continuous improvement

Implementing new ideas and improvements is the end goal, but it’s also an ongoing process. That’s why you can always return to the menu engineering tool to adjust and learn. Get started now to engineer a menu for the ages!

Ready to boost your menu’s profits with the menu engineering tool?

Visit and create your own account (And your personal data? It’s yours to keep)

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