Having done some research on Menus recently, I am intrigued as to how often restaurants, pubs and hoteliers change their menus.
I can think of one Italian high street restaurant in particular, that I frequent with my family at least once a month, and I can honestly say I have never had the same plate of food twice, and that is without ordering from the specials. So is it best to have loads on the menu to start with and never have to change them, thus saving on time and paper. Or is it better to have a very basic menu holder and loads of specials that are written up on lovely chalkboards?
If you use chalkboards, do you have a sign writer to do them for you, or is it a working document that gets re-written after every service? The options for menus and advertising your wares are vast!
If you are changing the menu fairly often, let’s say weekly, do you use menu covers and then re-print your dishes on pretty card to insert? The added advantage of this is if they get covered in chocolate pudding, the menu covers are wipe clean and the inserts can be replaced.
Chalkboards, I always think are a lovely addition to any venue serving food. To me, it shows that the menu is being refreshed on a regular basis…using a specials board shows the ingredients are fresh.. Once they’ve gone, they’ve gone! Once the fish or pie of the day has gone, I can imagine the satisfaction of the chef telling his waitress to strike it off the ‘specials’ board! Do you make the menus all look the same; with clean lines and smudge-free using stencils and waterproof pens? Coloured chalk or the good old fashioned white stuff? Chalkboard Pens or proper chunky chalk?
Should menus be changed with The Seasons? quarterly – therefore encouraging chefs to use the freshest ingredients, giving them time to cost up and taste every dish before they present them to the public?
Do you keep a tally of best sellers, so you know which ones to keep and which ones to change?
Do you only change the menu when there is a price change on ingredients, or do you have inspiring young chefs that you allow to put one dish forward each month?
All these questions that go into deciding how often to change the menu… Who would have thought that writing out what we as customers can eat, would be such a challenge?
Patrick Huggins – Director