This is solution of Menu Planning and Product Development Assignment is given for the course of HND diploma in Hospitality Management
Menu planning is method or process to plan the best possible presentation of the recipes and servings made for the guests in a well-defined and well understood method that meets the needs of the customers and the occasion of serving most effectively. Menu planning is a process which is affected by many characteristics of the restaurants or place where food is served these factors is: - ambience, style of service, method of service, customers’ needs etc. (McVety, Ware & Ware 2008)
a) Principle factors Affecting Recipe Development
- Availability of raw material, time and money: Seasonal food should be considered while strategy planning and the menu and some substitutes of the off season food can be thought off rather than using that food. Quick service should be provided to the customers and the food managers must plan the menu according to their budget.(Brown 2007)
- Food habits of customers: A survey should be done to know the tastes, preferences and food habits of the customers in the locality in which the food establishment is situated. What is the culture of the people living in the nearby areas, their customs, traditions and religion should be covered in the survey.
- Type of customers and business: The nutritional needs, occupation, age, sex and the socio - economic status of the customers must be considered before opening a restaurant. And what kind of food establishment one is planning to open, as in coffee shop, cafeteria, luxurious or canteen.(Brown 2007)
- Occasions: The managers of the food establishments should provide special menus for the occasions such as birthday parties, New Year’s, Christmas, meetings and the like. Good varieties of appetizers, snacks, main course, drinks and desserts should be planned.
b) Influences on Menu Planning
- Weather Conditions: Dishes must be offered as per the weather conditions. In summers, a large variety of ice cream flavours and mock tails must be kept. In winters, focus should be kept on dishes which tempt the customers and he/she cannot stop him/herself from tasting that food item.(Drysdale & Galipeau 2008)
- Availability of food: Seasonal food is easily available and hence influences planning of menu and some substitutes of the off season food can be thought off rather than using that food.
- Tastes and preferences of the customers: The tastes, preferences and food habits of the customers in the locality in which the food establishment is situated influences in the menu planning. What is the culture of the people living in the nearby areas, their customs, traditions and religion should be therefore studied.(Drysdale & Galipeau 2008)
- Budget : What is the budget of the person who is planning to open the food establishment has a great influence on menu planning as one plan for expensive food items only if his budget allows and vice versa .
c) Types of Service
- Self Service: Service can be classified into two parts and self-service is one it. Self-service systems are usually found in the cafeterias, canteens, pubs and fast food corners such as MacDonald’s, Subway, Barista and many more. Buffet system is a kind of self service system where the customers are offered a huge variety of dishes from which they can choose whatever they like to have. (Mill 2006)
- Seated Service or Table Service: Seated service or table service is another kind of service system where the customers can order form the menu what they want to have to the waiter and can enjoy the meal by sitting on their tables.
d) Factors Affecting Service Methods
- Occasion: Services should be offered according to the occasions, which mean that on big occasions, such as birthday parties and anniversary celebrations on large scale, weddings and the like, buffet system should be kept wherein the customers can choose their favourite dishes according to their own tastes and preferences from a huge variety offered.(Mill 2006)
- Type of gathering: Service method should be chosen according to the type of gathering. If there is a high class meeting or an official meeting, the best service should be provided, in the sense that the most experienced and trained waiters must put on work. This is because if a waiter who is not experienced and is new to the field is serving these kinds of customers, he might take time or get confused in taking the orders which will kill their time.
- Consumer needs: The needs of the consumers must always be kept in mind while serving, apart from the above mentioned points. This is because there are some aged customers or handicapped customers who must be given special services even if there is a buffet system or a self-service system.
e) Stages of Menu Planning
- Know the occasion or gathering: - first of all one should know what is the occasion and then plan the menu accordingly for example: - a chef in the fast food restaurant knows the guests would want to change the taste and try something different thus he would add taste and the importance to nutrition although will be there but secondary as the gathering is different.(Drysdale & Galipeau 2008)
- Plan the recipe: - As soon as the gathering and their needs are known one would have to plan what to serve and how to serve this would include recipe development process and thus the recipes would be made.
- Put a test check: - Once the recipes are placed well there is a quick test run as to is everything in place because in case of hospitality industry a mall mistake and that too in food can create a big mess.(Drysdale & Galipeau 2008)
- Final menu: - After all the tests checks the final menu is presented in front of the customer and the occasion or the place of service is used to serve the guests coming to the place.
a) Types of Menu
- A La Carte: In this each food item is priced individually and the customer can choose any dish he wants to have. This kind of menu allows the customer to order according to his pocket. (McVety, Ware & Ware 2008)
- Table D’ Hote : It offers a set menu with fixed price , for example , menu of a school cafeteria which offers complete meals for the students and that too at very reasonable prices .
- Du Jour Menu: It is special menu which is offered only for a single day. It can be offered with the a la carte dishes or can be the only menu for the day.
- Semi A La Carte: It offers different food combinations, like offering salad or beverage with the main dish. This kind of menu is advantageous as the customers can choose from different combinations of food according to their budget.(McVety, Ware & Ware 2008)
- Short Orders: They offer very few food items, like French fries and hot dogs, pasta and pizza etc. These are generally found in personal development of various specialty houses. It is easy to enhance the quality of food and bring down the food cost by reducing the waste which is left by the customers.
- Cyclical Menu: It is also known as master menu and is repeated again and again for a specific time period.
b) Justification of the menu type
The perfect menu can only be selected once the recipes and there development is well incorporated and understood also the service methods and factors affecting them are once well incorporated the menu can be selected aptly because:-
- If one knows how long will it take to prepare a recipe or which recipe is used in which course i.e. starter, main course etc., then the menu can be prepared meeting the customer needs in the best possible way as in that case chances of confusion for the consumer is very low,
- Only when the person or the menu planners is in a position to evaluate the complete guest characteristics that is taste, needs etc., then the menu can be planned in the most efficient and effective manner.
c) Designing Area
For starting up a restaurant , one needs to plan carefully as to what would be the most attractive location and what would be the best menu catering to the tastes and preferences of the customers . The location should not be in the interiors as customers prefer to go to places which are easily accessible. Performing a thorough research on finding out the competitors in the market and arranging the funds required to establish the restaurant is very necessary. One has to decide whether he/she will take the place on rent, will design and build the restaurant according his own choice or purchase the restaurant, are very important decisions for starting up a restaurant. The design of the restaurant should be such that it attracts more and more customers. Customers should be willing to come to the restaurant just by getting fascinated by the interiors of the restaurant. The design and interior decoration of the restaurant is the first thing that pulls the customers and hence it should be very attractive. If the design of the food establishment is not so attractive, it will not appeal the customers and they will not like to come to that particular place. Therefore the area, design and the interior decoration of the food establishment must me excellent and such that it pulls anybody who sees it.
d) Importance of Ambience, Décor, Music, Menu Etc. on Service Environment
In the year 2000, Susskind & Chan discovered that the food and decor are more powerfully linked to a high rating of a restaurant by customers than service.
In the year 1994 according to Stroebele & De Castro, of the year 2004, Bell et al. showed that by changing the ambience of a restaurant, increase or decrease in the number of customers can be seen immediately. (Meehan 2009)
The ambience, design and interior decoration, music played in the background, menu selection of the restaurant is the things that attract the customers and hence they should be very attractive and excellent. If the ambience of the food establishment is not so pleasing, the customers will not feel good and hence they will not like to come to that particular place again. Therefore the ambience, design and the interior decoration of the food establishment must me excellent and such that it pulls anybody who sees it. Music also plays an important role on the service environment. (Meehan 2009) The background music played is sometimes so appealing that the customers enjoy a lot. Many restaurants have their bands that play music which is a great idea as the customers have a good time pass and sometimes they just want to sit and relax in that pleasing environment . Therefore, the music played should be soothing and light. In the year 2002, Caldwell and Hibbert said that if people enjoy the music, they will spend more time and money in the restaurant. Storable ad De Castro, in the year 2004 said that dark and bright colours are liked by the young people whereas the older generation likes pale and dull colours of the walls and furniture’s. Therefore, colours of the walls should be chosen according to the tastes of the customers and not according to the choice of the manager. And hence it is very important to perform a survey before opening a restaurant to know about the customers so that their choices and preferences can be kept on mind. (Meehan 2009)
a) ConceptOpening up a restraint at the seashore near the Kenning ton park road which will serve sea food and other cuisines. However the specialty will be sea food with a twist in flavours which will all be Asian including Thai, Chinese, and Indian etc.
The market for the restraint will consist of the targeted segment which will be:-
- Asians working in London to enjoy the taste of their own country,
- Young crowd between the ages of 20-26 yrs. Who are ready to try new experience and hop to newer places,
- Also couples and family can be another target audience as they can come and enjoy the ambience as well.
Statistics and Analysis
- London is a home to around 5000+ big and small restraints
- Total population in London is around 8.308 million accordingly to 213 census report, nearly 2/3rde. approximately 44% of the population is young crowd below the age of 40 which will be our target audience
- 4 out of every 1 Londoner identify himself belonging to a group who have come from other countries to London, and 2 out of every 4 person is Asian which will again be our target audience,
- For a person working in London gross median weekly pay is expected to be £651 per male and for female this figure is £575, making London a high income earning spot, thus the demand will be expected to be high for niche products.
- The whole look of the restaurant will be like sea world where in waiters and waitress will be dressed like mermaids or men,
- The tables and chair will also be placed a bit on the shore so that people can enjoy the view and water can also be felt at the same time,
- The whole restaurant will have Asian look like wooden finish, serving plates can be cultural like for Chinese flavour we can use platter etc.,
- The whole place will have live music where in people can also enjoy music,
- Also there can be a small arrangement for swimming in the nearby area.
The importance of the ambience to such a concept restaurant is very important as it is the ambience that scores high and people or guests coming to such restaurants for ambience most of the times.
b) Marketing Planning
The basic question behind owning up such a restraint will be how to market the restaurant and make the guests to visit and re-visit the place. (Schirmbeck 1983) As the taste and flavours are different for London localities and Asian working there can have problem in regular visiting, thus Local londonalites (people staying in London) will be made to visit, the problem then comes how exactly, hence the marketing principles and plan will be:-
- Sea food with the Asian blended taste giving it a differentiated taste so that people can find it different and come in regularly for the taste,
- Also we would sell products like Chinese, Thai, and Indian etc. so as to complete the product range of the restaurant.
Price: - As the ambience will be unique also the guest we will accommodate and the food we will sell will not be common thus we would mostly cater to a niche market, thus we would use “Penetration pricing” initially, where in we will charge less and develop a taste with the localities and once we have succeeded in doing so we would use a technique of “Price Skimming” where in we would increase our charges by providing something new.
Place: - Place will be the seashore at the kenning ton Park, we have selected this space because it will match with the theme we had planned.
Promotion: - We would initially use the strategy for advertising and promotion of giving discounts on the billed amount, giving small free samples or taste to the people coming to the park or nearby areas thereby trying to develop their taste, however later we would use the promotional strategies of discount cards for loyal customers etc.
However newspaper or TV advertising on local channels would continue for a longer period so as to make the target customer base aware about the restaurants and its schemes.
c) Customer Preferences and changes
- As the food we are planning will be high on spices as the Asian food is, however British people of the London localities may not prefer too much species thus we will have to manage the spicy constant, by keeping variants like less spicy, spicy and extra spicy for all out servings so that the customer preferences can be met with,
- We would also have a customer feedback form and this would be scrutinized so as to find f any change is required,
- Also the customers may have special preferences like suiting preferences or food preferences as to how to serve thus we would have flexible approach wherein we could easily accommodate any customer preference as and when it comes up.
d) Recommendations to launch
- We would launch the restaurant with the promotions over TV and local newspaper and also we would try and invite a celebrity so that the local crowd can gather and try and taste the new food concept,(Carsrud, Brännback & Brännba 2007)
- Also we could have an open kitchen concept like the chef could be seeing while cooking so that the guest an also customize their food,
- We would also have discounts and offers for our guests like lucky draw for each hour and a special discount package for each guest,(Carsrud, Brännback & Brännba 2007)
- Each guest would be greeted in Asian style, as the feel should be Asian which is the very concept of the restaurant,
- Also we could tie up with local event managers etc., so that we could also take orders for parties and gatherings as well.
Thus we would try and create a mini home away from home experience for our guests and also give them and ambience which could be lavish and happening at the same time. Thus the guest can spend more time in our restaurant and the more time a guest spends the more are the chances he will try newer dishes and the more are the chances he would become loyal to our restaurant, as gaining loyalty is the name of the game for any organization in the hospitality sector.
Improvements Required In the Concept
- Pricing: Prices of the food items offered should be such that anyone can afford it. This will enable more and more customers to come because the customers first see the rates of the food items and if they find it very expensive they avoid coming to that place and hence the rates should be kept reasonable. In today’s world when not even a single thing is kept away from price rise, people think that they should get at least some good food to eat at reasonable price. People already have so many expenses and in this if they find a restaurant which serves food at best prices, they will definitely go there again and again.(Hoke 2004)
- Delivery to the door steps: Now – a - days a large number of Asian populations have moved to London for the purpose of either studying or working. London has become the home for many Asians. They work from morning till night and have so hectic schedule that they do not get time to prepare food for them. In such a busy schedule they just want that whatever they order comes to their door steps in just no time. And hence home delivery should be offered by the restaurants to make the hold of customers. (Hoke 2004)
- Menu selection: The selection of the menu should be done very carefully as it is the basis of the restaurant. If the selection of the menu is not good, you cannot have a hold on the customers. There should be a perfect blend of the spices which satisfies the taste buds of the Asians and well as the local people. If the food is too much spicy, the local people of London will not like it as they do not have a habit of eating spicy food. Whereas if the food lacks spices, the Asians will not like it. Hence, the amount of spices and other ingredients must be prefect enough.
- Promotion: Promotion of the restaurant should be done with the help advertisements in the local media to attract more and more customers. Free taste samples should be offered to the public.
- Ambience planning: The ambience, design and interior decoration, music played in the background, menu selection of the restaurant is the things that attract the customers and hence they should be very attractive and excellent. If the ambience of the food establishment is not so pleasing, the customers will not feel good and hence they will not like to come to that particular place again. By changing the ambience ofa restaurant, increase or decrease in the number of customers can be seen immediately.
Menu planning is the backbone of the hospitality sector in today’s world wherein the guests and occasions have become highly demanding also when the changes coming to the people’s fooding and gathering habits have become very frequent and radical. It is in times like this that the characteristics and factors of menu planning, recipe development, service methods etc. are given equal and greater importance as the one given to food and how it is prepared. (Hoke 2004)
Also the importance of ambience and décor etc. of an organization or place in the hospitality sector is another important characteristic that defines the effectiveness and success of a place. The concept presented in this assignment is a unique one with individual choices, customer preference research etc. imbibed in it also areas of improvements are also highlighted. (Gross 2009)
Brown, DR 2007, The Restaurant Manager's Handbook: How to Set Up, Operate, and Manage a Financially Successful Food Service Operation , Atlantic Publishing Company, Florida.
Carsrud, AL, Brännback, ME & Brännba, M 2007, Entrepreneurship, Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport.
Drysdale, JA & Galipeau, JA 2008, Profitable Menu Planning, Pearson Prentice Hall, London.
Gross, J 2009, Dimensions of Organisation Development, Wordclay, Western Australia.
Hoke, A 2004, Restaurant menu planning, Hotel Monthly Press, London.
McVety, PJ, Ware, BJ & Ware, CL 2008, Fundamentals of Menu Planning, Wiley, Wales.
Meehan, JR 2009, Capturing Mood, Ambience & Dramatic Effects, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc, New York.
Mill, RC 2006, Resource Management: Customers, Operations And Employees, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Great Britain.
Schirmbeck, E 1983, Restaurants, architecture and ambience, Architectural Book Pub. Co., Germany.
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