What is Menu Engineering? Definition of Menu Engineering, Menu Engineering Meaning and Concept

Menu engineering is a discipline inherent to the field of marketing characterized by the application of marketing methodologies when designing and putting into operation the product offers of companies in the catering sector (restaurants), generically.

Although it is a marketing concept, there are many other fields of study where they have a presence in this type of strategy, making menu engineering a multidisciplinary concept and constantly open to new changes in its nature.

By means of this type of engineering, restaurants are able to design and adapt their menus taking into account different factors previously studied or measured. In this way, the hospitality industry is capable of modifying its offer quickly, taking into account multiple and diverse variables, especially related to the customs and tastes of its consumers.

Menu engineering success is when the highest possible level of profitability is reached .

Although this definition is usually linked to the day-to-day hospitality industry, there are other economic sectors in which companies use these marketing tools to adapt their list of products offered taking into account their consumers.

Menu engineering mission

Basically the catering companies (restaurants) pursue the maximization of their profit, also making use of the preparation of an effective menu. That is to say, it seeks to reach maximum profitability taking into account the maximum utility or customer satisfaction simultaneously.

For this, it will be necessary, through marketing mechanisms, to know in detail the cost of the dishes, the valuation that the guests make of them and the consequences from the economic point of view of making changes to the menu of various kinds.

A special economic aspect to take into account is the setting of prices. For this reason, it is important to note that menu engineering is also related to areas such as microeconomics, in line with the search for profit maximization or resource optimization, for example.

Product classification

According to menu engineering theorists and large companies that have turned this trend into a business line to follow, there are four representative product levels:

  • Stars: More successful and profitable
  • Plow horses: The bulk of a card, successful, but with lower profit margins.
  • Puzzles: Dishes with anecdotal success, with large margins without being so popular and in demand.
  • Dogs: They do not have a high level of demand nor do they usually leave significant margins

Marketing elements related to menu engineering

The marketing elements related to menu engineering are:

  • Neuromarketing, as a tool to anticipate the decisions of the applicants and thus a better level of optimization.
  • Market segmentation, since it is necessary to adapt the menu to the type of public that the restaurant has in order to more efficiently adapt the product offer.
  • Continuous evolution, since the methodology of change must be taken into account, since the uses and customs of consumers tend to be variable, as well as the production conditions (existence of a greater or lesser level of competition in the sector, prices of raw materials, seasonality, etc).
  • Pricing or pricing strategy and promotion.