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Menu pricing and strategy Websters defines menu as a detailed list of food served at a meal This definition came out of a kinder gentler time for the restaurant owner a time when competition was less fierce tax laws were less rigid and operation was not measured by yield management and the patrons knowledge and expectations were lower The role of the menu in a food service operation far exceeds the basic dictionary definition It is an oversimplification to consider the menu to be a mere list of the food items a restaurant or food service operation has to offer The nucleus of any food operation is its menu but other factors may affect sales and customer participation The menu will be the ultimate controlling factor as the profit center customer attractor and theme determiner The menu should not attempt to be all things to all people The menu become the final limitation As a limiting factor the menu will provide the basic guidelines that you may have concerning space equipment and the personnel required for operation When the menu is built around a predominant menu item for example hamburgers fried chicken or Italian food certain operational aspects of the restaurant are simplified and easier to mange and control Although today about forty percent of us eat at least one meal a day away from home most colonial Americans never dined in restaurants even once Restaurants in those times were really just stores just specializing solely in the selling of food for on premises consumption The term restaurant was coined by the French in the 1760s Earlier the term had referred to fortifying oneself with the respect of food Lunch wagons evolved
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