Menu engineering is mentioned most often on traditional paper based, printed menus, but it's also
important to use it in online presence, drink menu and on table tents and on street boards, too. The fact is
that if you sell a product, the profit and popularity depends mostly on how and where do you show it on
your commercials and promotions.
Gregg Rapp is a menu engineer, whom has been working for restaurants for more than 30 years and he is
helping them to make their menus more profitable. He worked for american restaurant chains, he had
been quoted by professional publications and appeared on NBC Today Show by his expertness on
As he wrote in a 2013 publication menu engineering is the study of the profitability and popularity of
menu items and how these two factors influence the placement of these items on a menu. The goal is to
increase the profitability per guest.
A well designed menu can increase the restaurant's profit by 10-15 percent and sometime it doesn't stop
there. The effectiveness of menu engineering is not depending on the type or size of the establishment. It
is depending on the knowledge of the restaurant's menu and how much effort can be spent by the owner
or the manager to understand the menu design process and to change the menu card.
If you take a look at the american restaurants, only about 40 of a 100 randomly chosen restaurants deal
with menu engineering on a more or less efficient way, but Gregg Rapp estimates only 10 percent of these
restaurants which designed a good menu card and whom menu had reached the most of the profits. In
practice the 60 percents of the american restaurants leaves a small amount of money on the table.
The 4 steps of menu engineering is:
- Cost calculation
- Categorize menu items by profitabilty and popularity
- Design menu by calculation and categories
- Testing new menu card
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