Case Study on Menu Planning

Introduction To Menu Planning

Menu planning is a process through which the service provider displays the food which will be offered or served by them to the customers. If the menu will not be provided by the service provider to the consumer then it will be difficult for them to show the various option which they serve (Rama, 2008). A proper design of the menu serve their purpose by selling of the products and even it helps in the marketing the services offered by the organisation. The main purpose of the study was to identify the important factors that influence the menu planning decisions and understands how menu for the new development product can be processed. It also tried to understand the ways that can be applied to design the principles within a food service environment and also to develop the specific and actionable recommendations for a new food service concept.

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Principles of recipe development

There are many principles with respect to the recipe development which have to be followed by the food service industry to compete in the competitive environment in UK. The points which has to considered are:

Bringing out the flexibility according to the climate- The menus of food service must be very flexible so that it can be prepared to suit the requirements of the climatic change in the environment (Wagen and Goonetilleke, 2007). It will help them to bring out the more recipes in their menu card and can even make the change with respect to the ingredients required in the food preparation.

Recipe offered must be innovative and creative in its appearance- This will help the organisation to attract more customer base by accessing the services offered by the particular food service (Mavrogiannis and, 2008). Many customers can be influenced and will also help to fight against the competitors in the market.

Prices offered in the menu must be economical- The customers judges the value which they are going to derive when the price displayed in the menu gives them the same satisfaction as they were expecting (Bechet, 2008). So the price stated in the menu must be economical enough so that it helps in the development of the business.

Involvement of the employees in recipe development- It is important for the food service to employ its all employees for the development of the recipes in the menu. This will bring out the new ideas which can be incorporated in the business operation.

Specific customer base- The need and preference of the customer must be understood and accordingly the menu must be developed with the newer ideas (Holm, 2005). So that strong base of service chain could be created by the business.

Factors that influence menu planning decisions

There are many factors which have to be looked upon before planning or deciding out the menu of the food service industry in UK. These factors have to be considered important in influencing the activities to be carried out with respect to the menu development.

Actual amount of finance needed- Food service provider has to decide about the finance that will be required by the business in operating out its operation (Pechan, 2005). If the roper budgets will not be prepared hen it can take the organisation into losses and even service provider have to bear the heavy debts on its back.

Number of customers expected- The operations of the food service companies depend on their prospective buyers (Kivela, 2001). So organisation has to provide the services according to the need and preferences of the customers for increasing their sale. So the menu is to be prepared after having a proper research and planning.

Menu must be based on the season- The menus of the food service provider must be according to the season. The need of customer changes with change in a season. During the winter season consumer prefers to have hot recipes in their meals and in the summer season they will prefer to have cold recipes (Oosterveer, 2007). So organisation must develop their menu according to the changing season.

Identification of the employees needed in the kitchen- Firm must be identify those chef in their organization who are capable enough to provide with the services which the customer prefer to have in their meals. So chefs hired must be capable enough to provide the services to the customers of the entity (Mix, 2014). It will help the management to design the menu accordingly.

Factors that influence service methods

There can be many factors which are influenced by the service method provided in the food service industry.

Design of the menu- This in one of the important factor which has to be considered with respect to the food service industry (Arora, 2007). Menu must be prepared in such a way that it provides all the information with respect to the food which will be served to them. It also help customers in taking the quick decision with respect to the food which they will prefer to have and saves the time of buyer and food service provider.

Staff efficiency in providing the services- The chef role is very important for satisfying the needs and preferences of the consumer. They have to serve the food which satisfies the customer and increases the sales of the business (Amjadi and Hussain, 2005). If customer will not be served efficiently then it will create a drawback for the service provider.

Stages of planning of menu product development

Identification of the prospective buyers- Service provider has to look after their various customers who can be the children, youth and senior citizen (Mealey, 2014). The menu must be prepared according to the various prospective of their food.

Choosing the menu type- The menu of the food provider can be according to the taste of the customer. The menu can be differentiated on the basis of vegetarian and non vegetarian food.

Analyzing the items to be included in the menu- According to the preference of the customer the food is included in the menu of the food service provider.

Content of the menu- Here the food is distinguished on the base of its price and has been shown in the menu accordingly (Dopson and Hayes, 2010). The menu also represents the company name with its logo and added pictures to it.

Design of the menu- This is completion of preparation of menu by the enterprise by providing it with the beautiful colours and images etc.

Evaluation of influences of development process

With the change in time, needs and wants of customers gets increased up to a great extent and therefore it is required to assess the same so that it can be addressed in an effective manner. Same is applied within the scenario of menu development process. It is essential that menu must be developed as per the needs and wants of customers so that high amount of support can be attained through it. In this context, there are various factors that influence the menu development process. One such influences is the wants and desire of customers as they are the one for which menu is being developed. Further, brand image of restaurant or hotel is another set of factors that influences the development activity (Lockwood, Alcott and Pantelidis, 2012).

This is so because menu certainly supports in determining the status and level of hotel within target base. If menu will not be as per the brand image, then customer gets attracted to another brand and hence overall business opportunities will go in the hand of rivals. Beside this, it is also required that to evaluate the target customer and their paying capacity while developing menu so that it can be developed as per their needs. Hotel management also need to consider the cost of ingredients and its availability also within the geographical region so that better development can be done in terms of cost, needs and paying capacity of target audiences (Allen and Albala, 2007). Additionally, demand of particular set of food is another influence on menu development process. It is required to involve highly demanded dish in the menu so that firm can able to enhance their revenue in an effective manner and also able to address diverse needs of customers. Hence, these are few of the influences of development process that needs to be taken into account.

Design of menu taking into account recipe devlopment

For any restaurant, menu is of key importance because it is one of the elements that aid them in gaining more of responses from target customers. With this scenario in general, this sections is developed with a motive to develop a menu for an Indo Italian restaurant located in East London. In this context, menu development process is conducted by considering the recipe development. Major attributes that are focused majorly are nutrition, hygiene, taste and healthiness. Moreover, menu is also influenced from ingredients that will be required at every moment and hence only selected items are involved into it (Rodgers, 2005). This is so conducted so that brand image of company doesn't get hampered in future if any of the ingredients is not available within the geographical reach. Further, paying capacity of customers is also taken into account in order to ensure regular responses from their side and to boost their market share. Moreover, scope of seasonal foods is also involved in it in order to gain extra benefits from it. Meanwhile, several cooking style is incorporated in kitchen of restaurants so that customer can be served with best of Indo Italian foods (Harris and Monticello, 2001). For this purpose, major cooking style that employed are cook freeze, boiled, baked, deep fried, conventional, batter dipped and few more others are engaged. Further, emphasis over ambiance of restaurants is also incorporated along with attractiveness of customers so that diverse need of customers can be assessed in an effectual manner. In this context, support from theme is taken so that a new and refresh ambiance can be offered to guest with their every visits. Additionally, specials foods are marked above for better references (Dittmer and Keefe, 2009). This has also been viewed that menu planning is incomplete without deciding service system and therefore in present research, A la carte style has been employed with a motive to gain high amount of response from customers.

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Development of food service environment to support the menu, recipe & service style

It has been noticed that food service is of key importance in restaurant therefore efforts are involved over it so that high amount of support can be attained through it. In this context, A la Carte system is engaged in order to offer high amount of hospitality to guest and also to address their needs effectively (Negi and Manoher, 2009). Under this, food is prepared and plated by chefs and same is served by stewards to guest personally. This is also engaged because there are differences in price of each dish. Moreover, theme of restaurant is developed in a manner from which glimpse of Indo Italian culture gets reflected (Cousins and Lillicrap, 2012). For this, dark food service environment is created along with décor with rich interior. Masks and other items are placed at different areas of restaurant in order to give perfect environment. Further, soft music will be played in background in order to offer high satisfaction to guests. This will essentially assist in gaining loyalty from customers. Chairs and table will be of wood within Italian work over it so that a royal feel can be offered to guest (Menu Planning. 2002). Hence, these set of food service environment will essentially assist in offering better services to different guests.

New food concept including justification and recommendation

Hotels and restaurants can increase their profitability by bringing new food concept (Notes on Recipe Development, 2014). The food concept discussed in the study is as follows:

The Italian meal: This meal is consisting of seven types of different recipes. The meal fulfills the needs of customers as well as it is provided at reasonable prices. In accordance with the taste and preference of the prospect the new concept aims at bringing ten products (Allen and Albala, 2007). The ultimate product can be delivered in the following procedure:

Base product selection: Within the Italian product the base product can be rice as well as chapatti.

Base filling: There are three filling ingredients which can be included such as chicken, tomato and chili. This will enhance the taste of the ultimate recipe (Arora, 2007). The ingredients used in filling can be altered as per the requirement of the customers. This will make the product in unique from others.

Covering top: This is the last step which includes covering of base product. Final garnishing of the product can be done through peanuts, onion, pepper, coriander and fruit pieces (Cousins and, 2011). This makes the meal more tempting and appealing to the buyers. Further it will attract them towards meal.

In this new concept customer requirement has been considered as the major priority. The meal is offered at reasonable prices. Moreover the meal can be prepared with time and efforts of the chef (Cousins and Lillicrap, 2012). Along with this there are various filling option made available to customers. Offering the food as per the preference can fulfill the requirements of the customers. The people who have less time in waiting for orders can be benefitted with this new concept. This concept can bring profitability to the hotel as new customers will be attracted towards this new concept. Thus customer base will also increase (Dittmer and Keefe, 2009). This concept focuses on fulfilling the needs of various types of people. These people can be the individual who are conscious towards health, people who are price conscious and also the individuals who are found of taking spicy food (Harris and Monticello, 2001). It is less time consuming on the part of both the concerned parties. Thus it results in increasing the revenues. The above mentioned Italian menu will increase the satisfaction level of the buyers. Carrying out the process in three stages makes product different from other which will persuade the customers. Packaging of the food can be made attractive in order to influence the buyers. Vegetarian customers can prefer products such as Tex, Mex products. These customers can also access the products such as herbs, grinders. The customers are free to alter the filling part as well as top layer per their needs (Lockwood, Alcott and Pantelidis, 2012). Non- vegetarian customers can effectively accomplish their requirement by this Italian meal. Thus the new concept of bringing Italian meal can enhance the profitability as well as it will help in getting an edge over competitors.

The new concept enables the hotel to enhance its performance. The following are recommendations provided in order to launch the new concept:

Discount schemes: By providing special offers at the time of launching the concept can help in attracting more number of customers towards the hotel and restaurant (Negi and Manoher, 2009).

Promotion through advertisement: The new concept of Italian meal can be promoted by putting advertisement on internet as well as social networking sites. This will help to cover huge audience with minimal efforts. Thus it will facilitate in quick launching of the concept (Mix, 2014).

Providing combo packs: The combo packs can be offered at minimal prices. The people have the tendency to generally prefer combo packs (Rehber, 2012). This may decrease the profitability of the hotel initially. But this will ensure success for future.

Feedback from the customers: The response and suggestions of the customers must be invited. This will enable in knowing their preferences. Thus it will help in launching of new concept within minimum time.

Eye catching menu: The menu should be designed so attractive that it attracts the customers in buying the products (Rodgers, 2005). Images should be put in the menu in the manner that it tempts the viewer.

The areas were people prefer Italian food must be selected by hotel. The hotel can open outlets in various areas so as to promote the product between the mass (Menu Planning, 2002). This will enable the firm to increase the volume of sales.

Review of performance with suggestions for improvements

The report enabled in getting an insight to menu planning. I have learned to conduct marketing research on the needs and wants of the customers. Report has presented various ways to increase the sales and profitability. In addition to this I have gained knowledge to making decisions in an effective manner. This has further enabled me in maintaining production flow in a consistent manner.

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In order to improve the new Italian food concept suggestion have been presented as such. The use of spices can be reduces as UK population are more health conscious. The process of preparing ultimate product can be improved by carry out in more steps. Further, more ingredients must be added to the products so that quality product can be delivered to the customers (Mealey, 2014). Improvement in process of production can bring higher sales volume and profitability. Prices of products can be increased as customers are more inclined in taking the products which are shows unique quality. In order to bring improvement I can look up to all such recommendations;

  1. I can make efficient use of available resources.
  2. Focusing on youth may further increase the profitability.
  3. I can provide some special schemes such as discounts, combo plans in order attract more new customers.
  4. Alteration in promotional strategy can bring success.


It can be concluded from the study that proper attention is required at the time of recipe development so that menu can be effectively designed. Appropriate menu planning will increase the sales of the business as well it helps the hotel to grow and retain its customers (Restaurant Menu Design Tips, 2014). It is analyzed that new concept can bring success as it has been designed as per the customer requirement. Further its uniqueness will fulfill needs of customers in UK.


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  • Cousins, J. and, 2011. Food and Beverage Management: For the Hospitality, Tourism and Event Industries. 3rd ed. Goodfellow Publishers.
  • Cousins, J. and Lillicrap, D., 2012. Food and Beverage Service, 8th Edition. Hachette UK.
  • Dittmer, P. R. and Keefe, J. D., 2009. Principles of Food, Beverage, and Labor Cost Controls, Study Guide. 9th ed. Wiley
  • Dopson, L. R. and Hayes, D. K., 2010. Food and Beverage Cost Control. 5th ed. John Wiley & Sons
  • Harris, P. J. and Monticello, M., 2001. Key performance indicators in European hotel properties: general managers’ choices and company profiles. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
  • Holm, L., 2005. Construction Cost Estimating: Process and Practices. Pearson Education.
  • Kivela, J., 2001. Menu Planning for the Hospitality Industry. New Delhi: Global Book Publishers

Bringing out the flexibility according to the climate- The menus of food service must be very flexible so that it can be prepared to suit the requirements of the climatic change in the environment (Wagen and Goonetilleke, 2007). It will help them to bring out the more recipes in their menu card and can even make the change with respect to the ingredients required in the food preparation.

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