Menu Development

The Importance of Developing A Restaurant Menu


The menu you develop defines what the restaurant is and what it offers, which is essential for defining your target market.


The menu also defines the following:

  • Ingredients you need to purchase
  • Equipment the kitchen needs for preparation
  • Staff requirements


The Menu Board specialises in wholesome, cost-effective menus that can be adapted for any kitchen.

How To Develop A Restaurant Menu


Developing your restaurant menu should include a few key factors:

  • Deciding on the type of menu you would like to offer
  • Deciding on the types of meals you would like to serve
  • Deciding on what to charge for the meals
  • Designing an eye catching and easy to read / understand menu

What Type Of Menu Will You Offer?

  • A la Carte – guests choose their menu item from a selection. Meals are prepared on order. It offers variety but takes a while to prepare
  • Table d’hôte – a “set menu” which is easy to prepare and budget for but can be boring to a Customer or Customers may not like everything on offer
  • Buffet – a selection of food items that Customers self-serve. It offers variety but requires lots of preparation and is costly if you don’t get the required numbers to make it profitable.
  • Tasting Menu – a fun and trendy way to showcase your Chef’s talents and to use seasonal ingredients.

How do you decide on what meals to offer?


  • The staff in your restaurant must have the skills to prepare the meals on offer.
  • Operationally, the size of your kitchen, the available equipment and storage facilities will also drive the menu offer.
  • Competitor menus in your trading area / target market – don’t offer the same menu – be different

How do you price your menu?


Menus that are well priced and offer value for money, will attract Customers but be sure the menu is profitable and that your sales will generate enough gross profits to pay the business costs to operate the business.

Each menu item must have a recipe to ensure the meal can be costed correctly to establish the correct selling price.

Understand how to cost a recipe correctly
Ensure your business’ profitability

What to remember when deciding on the menu design?

The design and layout of the menu influences the Customer’s choices. Your Customers can be influenced to select certain profitable menu items, if shown correctly on the menu.

If using images, ensure they are original, high quality images as anything else will reflect badly on your menu and business.

The menu descriptors must be clear and easy to read and understand.

The layout must not be cluttered

The font and size must be easy to read

Finally, check the menu thoroughly for spelling mistakes before going to print.