food and beverage underground

Turning A Restaurant Menu Idea Into
A Profitable Additiuon To Your Menu

When you are looking to put a new restaurant menu idea into operation there are several factors that need to be considered. There is much more to the process than just coming up with a great tasting dish!

The first thing to look at when coming up with a new restaurant menu idea is how your current line set up is and assure yourself that the new item will not throw a kink into your flow. Take a good honest look at your line when your operation is at capacity. Focus on one station at a time and see which one is the heaviest hit, and which is the one that is bogged down the most. A new restaurant menu idea that adds to your toughest station may not be the best idea for your overall operation unless it is replacing something that is also coming off that station. You will also have to consider the prep needs for the item as well.

Secondly you need to look at your menu mix and if there is a spot that makes sense for an item. When you look at your menu mix break out any items you feel would compete with the new menu item or what spots in your mix may be missing or could be strengthened. If you are thinking about adding a new fish dish chances are that it will draw sales away from your other fish dishes. Make sure you do not add something that will kill one of the current items sales, or simply do a replacement.

The third consideration when adding a new restaurant menu idea should be cost. Yes, I’m sure you are a great chef and want to show what wonderful creations you can put in front of your guests, but if that plate doesn’t make any money your not going to be there long! I’m not a high profile chef, but I could certainly give any of the top chefs out there today a run for their money with my customers if I could put a 6 oz. filet of beef topped with foie gras and accented with white truffles for $15.95. Unfortunately 99.9% of us work for establishments that have to make money so items that do not add to the bottom line just don’t make it.


You may also have a price point to consider here depending on your situation. I often give my chef guidelines like “I would like to add a chicken dish to the menu with a price point of $16.95.”

At this point you should have an idea of what you need and what cost structure you have to work with. Now you get to be the chef. Remember, being a chef is not the ability to create something that is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it’s about producing an plate for your customers that they love while producing it under the constraints your kitchen puts on you and your operational bank account demands!

You now have your constraints in place so now it’s time to make that restaurant menu idea into something wonderful, and price it appropriately!

Go from Restaurant Menu Idea to Kitchen Prep List

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