[Menu Design: High Rent Areas]
Think of your menu as a property development and yourself as the master developer. Where would you put the high-rent condos and where would you hide the necessary utility stations? Every inch of your menu should be paying its fair share of rent. For those menu items worthy enough to get the high-rent areas on the menu, they need to be paying what the space is worth or surrender it to another menu item that can pay a higher rent. Put your menu on a grid and assign value to each section based on how the eye flows over a menu. In a three panel menu, for instance, the eye will typically go to the middle of the middle panel first, then top right section of the far right panel, then across the top to the far left section of the far left panel. This is sort of the Golden Triangle of your menu. Put high-margin signature items in these spots. Then, within each category within each panel, keep in mind that usually the #1 and #2 listed item in any section will be the top selling items in quantity (sort of like being on the top floor of a luxury condo) but then there are also those who like to rent the ground-floor units (which is why on some menus you will see the pattern that the last listed item in a category is #3 in popularity for that category. Your menu items are renting valuable space from you. Make sure they are paying their fair share or send them an eviction notice.