How To Put Together An Interesting Menu For Your New Catering Business

13 04 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from soyculto

Have you recently opened a café or restaurant? Or perhaps you’re planning to make your big break in the food industry and hope to become an award winning Michelin star chef? You may simply want to turn your passion for cooking in to your everyday job. Whatever your motivations for starting a catering business, one aspect that is really important to get right the first time around is the menu. People don’t go to a café just to soak up the atmosphere – they go for the tasty food and drink available. Read on to find out how to put together an interesting menu for your new catering business.

Choose a colour scheme to match the style of the establishment

If your restaurant is fancy and you’re serving up haute cuisine, you may wish to opt for dark colours on your menu to convey a sense of seriousness and professionalism. A casual restaurant calls for warm, muted colours that make it look inviting and enticing, while a restaurant aimed at younger clientele calls for a brightly coloured menu with a wackier theme. Making your menu match the style of your restaurant and age range of your expected clientele is a safe bet.

Order your menu logically

It may be obvious but make sure that the order in which you display the dishes you offer is logical. That means that any breakfast dishes must come first, followed by lunch and then the evening should be split into starters, main and desserts. It’s traditional to list drinks last with specialty drinks such as wine or cocktails being listed on a separate card.

Visually section your menu

Break up the different food categories using large and simple headings. Alternatively, list each category of dishes on a separate page. As well as main sections such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, you may require subsections too, such as fish, poultry, vegetarian, pasta, salads.

Make it visually appealing

Add images to your menu to make it visually appealing and show the customers what they can expect from the food you serve. Try not to include too many pictures as they can make a menu seem less elegant. However, if you offer a truly show-stopping dessert, be sure to include it on the dessert section of your menu to entice customers to leave room for pudding.

Price carefully

You want to make sure you take home a profit but you also have to be careful not to overprice your food, or you’ll lose out on customers. A good way to gauge your pricing is to estimate based on food cost and portion control. You could also check out the competition, and if you do happen to have seemingly too high prices, you can use it as an excuse to put on a special happy hour offer on drinks.

Specialty Menus

When the time comes for seasonal holidays, make sure you show your customers that you have their best interests at heart by planning a specialty menu for the occasion. Mother’s Day is a great time to use a specialty menu in addition to your regular menu. You’ll find that many households want to give Mum the day off from cooking a big meal on Mother’s Day. You could even increase customer numbers by giving each Mum her meal for free.

Menu covers

Think about the style of restaurant you’re opening. Will it attract customers with younger kids? In which case, it may be wise to cover your menu so that it is water resistant and can be cleaned easily if any food items drop on it. Protect the edges so that there is no risk of the cover getting torn off and child proof your menus by ensuring they are not sharp cornered.

Make it really easy for customers to order food in your restaurant by placing your selection of menus in a menu holder on each table. UKPoS menu holders are a useful way to store your menus so that your customers have access to all of the food and drink options available in your establishment.

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One response

29 05 2013
Catering Liverpool

some good tips here for new catering companires. Well done!

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