Jump to content

Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.


What to put on the printed menu

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 sugarseattle

  • participating member
  • 349 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:17 PM

I am re-printing my menu and want to achieve a few different goals this time around.


1. I want to put just the basic things we usually have.

2. I want to drive traffic to my web site where I can put info on daily specials. (easy, I'll just put graphics in key areas of the menu.)

3. I want to entice people with what we could POSSIBLY have.


For cakes, this is not a problem because we don't have all of our cakes available daily.


For lunch, it seems weird to me to list all the items and then the customer comes in finding we don't have a particular sandwich. Of course, all our items are subject to availability. 


I don't know that I want to have "inserts".


Does anybody have any examples of how this could work semi-smoothly?

Stephanie Crocker
Sugar Bakery + Cafe

#2 Lisa Shock

Lisa Shock
  • society donor
  • 2,543 posts
  • Location:Phoenix, AZ

Posted 12 August 2014 - 02:57 PM

Will this menu be available for people to take home, or is it just available onsite when a server hands it to you?


IMO, it's annoying to see things you cannot have when you are there and ready to order. You say you want to update the website menu daily, which is fine, but, if I am onsite right now, I want an accurate list of what's available for me to eat. I don't want to have to go to your website after I've been seated. Do you have a menu board on the wall that also changes daily?


When you talk about enticing people with what you could serve them, what do you mean? What events would have to transpire for you to serve these things that you cannot serve now & how is your customer supposed to be involved in those events? (I mean most chefs can make almost anything, it's choosing what they will serve that defines a restaurant's character.)


As a customer, I check a restaurant's website a few days in advance to see if they have anything that I want to eat. Daily specials are ok, but a core menu is very important. Also, unless you do a lot of carryout business and are handing out printed menus all of the time, I don't see a menu driving people to a website -I mean, I'm there talking to a server, I'm not going to start searching for online info on my phone when I could just ask the server. And, if the menu's a mess, like half of it's unavailable when I am there, I doubt that I'd be checking online for specials on future days because I probably would not return.

#3 sugarseattle

  • participating member
  • 349 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:07 PM

that's very good advice, lisa! I'm actually a quick service bakery so this is for our takeout menus for our customers to place orders from. We're trying to increase our lunch and catering sales, but we are introducing a lot of new products so we want to be careful not to commit to them if they don't sell. Our new menu items are also going to put a little bit of strain initially on our chefs, so I want to be really careful on how I proceed. Planning Planning Planning.


However, I think I really need to rely on my instincts about my customers (we've been in business 7 years). I also really agree that the printed menu should be our "core" and that really helps me to make some decisions. I think I should make a little test to make sure each item on my core menu fits my overall creative vision, and fits into the production cycle of the bakery. 


We do plan on building a more modular menu board which will reflect our daily specials and things that we could test out. 

Stephanie Crocker
Sugar Bakery + Cafe

#4 lesliec

  • host
  • 1,362 posts
  • Location:Wellington, New Zealand

Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:43 PM

It occurs to me you could include a QR code - one of these things:




linked to your daily/weekly specials.  This may be a little more tech than you're up for, but would give smartphone-owning customers the ability to see what's good before they come to you.


I'm not sure exactly how these things work.  Have you got a tame geek you could talk to?

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

#5 pastrygirl

  • participating member
  • 1,291 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA USA

Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:51 AM

I don't think a QR code is as much of a shortcut as it seems.  If you have a smartphone, you can just go directly to the store website or facebook page (whatever) instead of opening the QR scanning app, scanning, and then being re-directed. 


You said "I want to entice people with what we could POSSIBLY have." -  This only makes sense in terms of special orders.  If we are talking about lunch today, people only need to know what you ACTUALLY have to offer TODAY.  I think you should start with a limited menu of what you know you can do well, and add a few weekly or monthly items to see how they work.  Put the specials on your website, facebook page, etc, and be clear about their time frame so people aren't disappointed.  Or, have a limited menu for individual lunches, plus another 'catering' section for larger quantities that must be ordered ahead.  When I was doing catering we had 3 or 4 seasonal menus, with the usual subject to availability/change note.  For you, that might mean you would offer BLTs and gazpacho in the summer and reubens and chili in the winter.