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Back House Biz $1.01 - What Is Menu Engineering

I want to talk a little about what menu engineering is. Most people might have seen it on my website and wondered "what the heck is that". I am here to tell you it is one of the most important analysis you will do to make your menu as efficient as possible.

Your menu is not a pretty price list that tells your customers what you will make them. It is the core of your business, your #1 marketing tool above anything else. Your way of pushing your customers into items that will make you the profits you need. What is menu engineering?

Menu engineering is the art and science of how and where to place items on your menu. It helps you understand profit contribution as well as product mix, to maximize profitability. It analyzes three elements:

~ Placement and positioning of menu items.

~ Profit margin of menu items

~ Popularity of the menu items

It also classifies your menu items into four categories based on the profit and popularity. The categories are:

~ Star (Above average profit and popularity)

~ Work Horse (Below average profit and above average popularity)

~ Puzzle ( Below average popularity and above average profit)

~ Dog ( Below average popularity and profit)

The object of the engineering is to analyze and manipulate your menu items to maximize the "money in your jeans" contribution margin (profit). The process is complicated and recommended for someone who has had experience in conducting this exercise. It takes the emotional aspect out of the menu process and relies on cold hard figures to paint the picture for you.

To begin the process of menu engineering you need to do some preliminary work first. Two pre requisites you need are:

~ Costing of your recipes and menu items.

~ Setting up your POS to track each menu item velocities.

If you are interested in having this analysis done on your menu, please reach out to me at 778-988-5669 or e-mail me at Most restaurants will just raise prices across the board and remove items or add items based on emotion. With this you strategically increase your prices with little or no fall out from your customers. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

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