The Menu Design Guide Book

Inside this guidebook you will find everything you need to know about designing a great restaurant menu and some excellent tips on how to turn your menu into your most important marketing tool.
Full of helpful tips to help you can create your own eye-catching layout with ease. Learn how to utilize the psychology of item placement.

Restaurant start up guide

Click here to download the menu design guide

10 Simple Ways to Control Your Food Cost

  • Instill a sense of ownership among your staff, most importantly among your kitchen staff. You need to include them in loop. This means keeping them aware of the current food costs, areas where we need to improve and what our goals are for the next period.
  • Listen to your staff. Have a “best suggestion” competition every month. Have a prize for the best cost control idea generated. Do you have weekly managers, chefs meetings? Are they held at an agreed time and place every week? Is there a time limit put on the meeting? Are minutes kept?
  • Restaurant chef in the kitchen

  • Identify 2 or 3 cost cutting efforts every week. This way your staff will feel that it’s an achievable even fun project rather than a massive undertaking.
  • Make a rule that no leftover food can be taken home by staff, even if it is surplus. This will create a culture where excess production starts to be made and the line blurs between legitimate leftovers and pilfering.
  • Make sure that your staff are not deliberately creating mistakes or too much so that they can consume them. Do not allow employees to consume mistakes.
  • Spot check all product received by weight. Ensure weights match the invoice. Meat and fish should be trimmed and ready for use and free of excess fat. How much are you losing? Also look for signs of thawing and refreezing, such as large crystals, solid areas of ice, or excessive ice in containers and remember reject anything that you are not happy with.
  • Keep all storage area’s organized daily to aid in ease of counting & ordering. All product removed from open cases, only full and sealed cases, All labels facing out, All like products together in one place and neatly placed on properly labelled shelves, Reduce the amount of multiple storage areas.
  • Why not try working out how much you need to cut purchasing by to improve your GP by just 1%. For example if your business has a turnover of £10,000 per week, you need to cut purchasing by only £100 a week to improve your GP by 1%.
  • Do you know the cost price of everything you buy? Do your managers and chefs know the cost price of everything they buy? You should, they should. Test yourselves.
  • Reduce your inventory levels and organize your food storage areas. Only keep the amount of product on hand that will be used. One of our chefs calls this “the toothpaste tube theory”. The end of the tube seems to last almost as long as the rest of the tube. Remember when you have excess you have waste.
  • The Future of Restaurant Paging – No Wait App

    NoWait simplifies hosting with its iPad Wait List App. When guests leave, the restaurant loses money. When guests walk off with restaurant pagers, the restaurant loses money. Instead of losing customers and money when the restaurant is busy, NoWait retains guests with its easy to use iPad Waitlist App. NoWait simplifies hosting and makes a busy restaurant a more profitable restaurant


    Remember your business success is based upon your success at gathering together a group of workers with different skills and experiences to produce a quality product.

    Restaurant Hiring

    It is critical that you start by hiring the right staff. All too often we visit new restaurants that have spent a fortune on design and layout but have paid no attention to hiring great people.

    Hire people who have the potential to be effective servers-and salespeople. Look for candidates who are friendly, personable, good at listening and persuasive.

    Why don't you do some role playing in the interview, play the part of a difficult customer and ask the candidate to improvise. They staff with potential may not necessarily have the right answers for the situation but they should have the right attitude.

    Always resist the temptation to panic hire. Never in desperation hire the first person you interview. Always hold out for the right person.

    Ten tips for starting a restaurant

    How to open a restaurant

    • Location, location, location, it can make or break a restaurant. Don’t just get stats from the yellow pages or the last census. Instead pound the pavement, check out the potential competition, their pricing, service, style, when are the busy, when are they not? Make sure there are enough potential customers in the segment you are targeting to ensure you can get your share? Stand on the street with a clicker-counter, in the rain if necessary. Always make sure that there is enough passing trade. Remember, once you have agreed the lease and opened your restaurant, the one thing that is almost impossible to change, is your location.
    • Write a business plan. Remember your business plan is not just a document for raising finance from the banks rather it should be the blueprint for how you plan to run your business. Decide on how many customers you need daily to break even, be conservative.
    • Keep your set up costs low. Can you buy second hand equipment? Can your friends help you fit out the store? Do you need that £5,000 till system? Over the years we have seen way to many restaurants that would have a viable business if they weren’t crippled by their start-up costs.
    • Don’t limit your offer.  Don’t limit your offer to a single day part. Just because you have a coffee shop during the day doesn’t mean that with a few tweaks to the menu that you can’t run a wine bar or bistro from the same location in the evening.  Remember you pay rent 24/7 on your new location so you need to sweat the asset.
    • Always compete on great service. Service doesn’t really have a cost. And the smaller owner run business can always out service the big chains.
    • Restaurant start up guide

      Click here to download the restaurant start up guide

    • It is critical that you start by hiring the right staff.  All too often we visit new restaurants that have spent a fortune on design and layout but have paid no attention to hiring great people. Only hire staff that SMILE. The number one reason that customers return to a restaurant is great service.
    • Never think that the cash in your register is yours. It isn’t, it belongs to your suppliers, your employees, the government etc. Always pay yourself last. In many instances the owner is the first person to take cash out of the till and at the end of the month there is no money to pay anyone else.
    • Set up a Facebook page for your business. Why, because it is a great way to engage with your customers and it is free?  Don’t worry about a website until your business is up and running.
    • Find a good accountant, before you even think about setting up a restaurant.  Ask friends and colleagues for advice. Open a business bank account immediately and always keep your personally finance separate from your business. If book keeping and pay roll is new to you consider going on an evening course to learn the basics. There are plenty of courses available particularly for Sage and Quick Books
    • Remember the biggest barrier to running a restaurant is never getting started. It is easy to plan but never take the plunge. You need to be prepared, you need to have funds and you need to be willing to work hard but most of all, if you want to realize your dream of running a restaurant, you need to get started – today!