What is menu development?
At Lumiere consultancy we believe menu development to be an essential process to any restaurant business. Your menu, like your interiors, service staff and social media needs to align with your brand. They are all important elements of your customers experience.
We follow a simple process with our menu development, its not rocket science-
Menus should begin with creativity and Ideas. Putting pen to paper is the first step. What is your business’s identity? What are you selling? Who are you selling to? What will be the format of your menu, the price point, the opening and closing times of your business.
We use sources of information to underpin our ideas, current trends, sales data, competitor analysis, social media and website knowledge and your own till system. We arm ourselves with as many facts as possible.
With ideas based around these points the framework of the menu can be built. We like to flesh out ideas with pictures and inspiration, perhaps of produce and suppliers important to the project.
With the menu written in principle, we present to you the client for approval. We make suggested price points, and look for feedback. This is a critical stage of the development, are we all in alignment? Does the menu match the brief?
Once a menu is agreed we start work on the development. Dishes are trialled and tasted, and critiqued. This is the fun part of our job. Cooking food and the reaction we get is what its all about for us. We like to get opinions from the whole team at Lumiere. These open sessions are really enjoyable, where people not involved in the project will enter into the discussion and tasting for a completely objective view point.
At our client tastings we present the finished dishes to you. Ideally on suggested crockery and in your kitchen. This is our opportunity to not only present the food or drink to you, but also to make sure it is operationally thought through.
Depending on the size of the menu, this could be split into 2 or 3 days or more. We record the weights, sizes and cooking times for the recipe & build cards. The build cards can be tailored to suit your business, some require a detailed approach that is easy to follow, others are more technically minded and are written accordingly. Usually we include two pages, one for the front of house with pictures and a story for each dish on provenance and a second more factual for the kitchen with weights and storage information. Both sets would always contain all the relevant data on allergens, such a vital part of any training material.
Overall the idea is, whether it’s a whole menu or just a seasonal refresh, that it’s a methodical process where you the owner you are left with tangible assets. These being a training manual, an informed team, a better cost of sales and a more consistent product.