The Kitchen Key, An Opinion. September 2020

The Kitchen Key, An Opinion. September 2020

The 80/20 versus the Menu Matrix.

In the past, a minimum selling price was ascertained loosely by a calculated food cost figure, multiply this  by three, apply the required VAT and keep an eye on your labour cost across your rota.  Pick your best sellers and keep these staples on the menu. This is now, and the 80/20 rule referred to above is loose at best.

Menu planning is more than spying on  what the local competitor is selling and doing the same but cheaper,  it should be more than eating something on holidays and deciding it fits your bill of fare. Good menu planning will allow you to experiment and try new things and variations on the old, but the real trick is the Menu Matrix.

You may not have referred to your menu in astral terms before but hidden in your pages is a different world. This system may not be new; however, the approach is modern.

Step 1 
Spend time and carefully cost each dish in the menu plan and work out your margin according to your selling price.

Step 2
From historical data on your till sales,  assign a moniker to each dish.

Lovely to look at , but useless….they may or not make an appearance on the sales sheet, they have been around for ages, the margin is haphazard. You like these as they are part of the fabric.

The old dependable , slow movers, they hang about, make enough regular appearances to be noticed, the margin is great, but not great in sales volume to make an impact.

This is solid , you know these are there, margins are good but not great, but the volume is consistent. We like the sun….but it is not reaching for the stars.

Shiny, great margin, customers love these, we can stretch the sales price, the consumer pays this regardless, these are  the nuggets that are not price sensitive…….but they only twinkle in a few areas across your menu plan….

Step 3 
Now that you have identified each menu item to a planet, we need to apply these to a matrix.

Step 4
Reach for the Stars

Once you have identified each menu item and put them into the desired box, Your task is to lose the comets, turn the moons into suns by reviewing the ingredients, improving the sales points, marketing to create volume and pursuing better pricing across the   cost base by better purchasing, identify better ingredients to do the same recipe, upsell by training staff to be creative and entice revenue. 

Step 5 
Change the suns into stars
This should be easy, they already sell well, you may have to promote or change the description or remove an obstacle ingredient.

Step 6
Review after a month.
You will find as the planets move, comets are newly created, suns lose their shine and become moons and stars will twinkle. But your role is to keep polishing your suns into stars

This plan if consistently reviewed, will create a menu that is full of stars, and where we have lots of stars , we create superstars….

Now who does not want to be surrounded by superstars?