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The Power of Print

The techniques of menu psychology are most applicable to the printed menu. (However, there are others that can be employed with verbal menus, i.e., menus delivered orally by the server. In some restaurants, this might just include specials. In very upscale establishments, this might include the entire menu. But this article is devoted to only the printed menu.) What are the techniques employed in the design and production of a menu? Some of the techniques involve such elements as the print style and size, the paper and ink color, the texture and finish of the paper, graphic design, art work and illustrations. Even the placement of items on a page or with a list is done for specific reasons. Actually, menu psychology techniques can be anything that is used to direct the readerís attention to certain parts of the menu to increase the likelihood that those items will be remembered. If they are noticed and remembered, they are more likely to be ordered than an unnoticed or forgotten item.

In a study by a hospitality management student at Florida State University of a Benniganís menu from the early í80s, more than three-fourths of all menu items sold were either snacks or appetizers. The menu at the time contained 14 pages and the dinner entrees were listed on the last two pages. The customers didnít bother to read past the first four or five pages and the menu length and design was significantly contributing to the poor sales of dinner entrees in the overall menu sales mix.

You can improve your sales without changing any menu item or price. All you have to do is reposition the items and employ menu psychology techniques on your menu. There are several different menu formats and each has a different area of sales concentration. The items you put in the area of sales concentration should be selected with care and purpose. They should be items that you want to feature and do better than the competition. This is where you want to list your house specialties and signature items.

In addition to the format, the menu items are typically grouped into menu categories. The number of and names used for the various menu categories will be greatly influenced by the type of restaurant, the price range, and number of menu offerings. For example, the typical categories for a restaurant featuring steak will be different from that featuring seafood or ethnic cuisine, such as Italian or Mexican. The industry standard is to put menu items into categories and in the order in which the items are typically eaten. Restaurants with higher check averages typically have more menu categories than those with lower check averages.

Date: 2015-01-11; view: 138

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