Both menu engineering and menu design are important, but what’s the difference? What are the basic similarities and differences in menu engineering versus menu design? Why do they both matter?
Menu Engineering Versus Menu Design
Think of menu engineering as the science to menu design’s art. One of the most important considerations with regard to menu design is to start from a foundation of knowledge and analysis gained through the complete menu engineering process. The menu is the core of a restaurant. Everything depends on the menu – inventory, kitchen layout, restaurant location. There are many questions for how the menu should be crafted including how many items, what kind of ingredients, pricing, food cost, marketing strategies, segmentation, and more. The answers to those questions come from menu engineering and analysis. Menu engineering is the process to find out what’s working or not working on a menu and how to address it for maximum results and profitability.
Menu Design has its place and importance as well. How you brand your restaurant and your menu will influence guests’ opinions and your reputation. There are many important considerations when designing a menu. From the visual art side, you need to pay attention to typography, white space, negative space, balance and other important design principles. From the marketing side, you need to find out what your best “real estate” is on the menu and use that to your advantage when creating strategy and placing items on the menu.
Menu Engineering Versus Menu Design: Who wins?
Design can help with aesthetics and even influence menu preference scores, but the real rubber-on-the-road for menu profitability is uncovered through menu engineering.