Menu Analysis

Menu Analysis Report| Hellenika Restaurant| By Rachael PrattSouthern Cross University, 2011| | Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to evaluate the effectiveness of an establishments menu in relation to what it communicates and its overall appeal. Hellenika restaurant is a Greek restaurant which services traditional home style dishes in a friendly and rustic atmosphere. With a casual formal dress code and thorough table service the restaurant caters to the higher end of the market with options of both table d’hote and an a la cart menus.Menus are printed in a basic black font on a white page offering both table d’hote and a la cart banquet options.

Item are listed in Greek and briefly described in English targeting the higher end of the market with greater disposable income. Studies present simple descriptions to sometimes be more effective then elaborate once; in addition simplicity keeps in turn with the basic, home food style theme. The option of smaller, moderately priced portions can help to encourage those unfamiliar with the restaurant to take a risk on the unknown as it minimizes the risk associated with trying something new.In addition the majority of menu item end in the digit 5 which presents quality to customers in accordance with research. Finally several recommendations can be made to improve the effectiveness of the menu including increased item description and improved presentation through delivery.

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Menus may be placed in leather folders similar to the wine lists thus keeping in theme, whilst creating a more unique and stylish appearance. Contents Executive Summary1 Introduction3 Discussion3 Critical Evaluation4 Conclusion5 Recommendations5 List of references6 Appendix7 1. 7 2. 8 3. 10Introduction A menu is one of a restaurant’s most critical marketing tools, simply due to the fact that it directly communicates an establishment’s offerings to its customers. The menu is also the key element in producing a profitable restaurant and therefore precise and extensive planning is necessary to ensure the establishments survival both in the long and short term.

This report will breakdown and analyse a menu, examining the importance of presentation as well as item prices, description and layout. The menu chosen for review is one of a privately owned restaurant.Analysis will demonstrate whether it accurately and effectively represents the outlet and the image it serves to portray. The selected outlet is Hellenika Restaurant; opened by Simon Gloftis almost two years ago in Nobys Beach. Hellenika is a Greek themed restaurant, offering traditional home style dishes in a rustic themed and friendly atmosphere. At Hellenika it’s all about sharing good food ; wine with friends ; family’ (Hellenika).

This restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through to Sunday and for lunch on Sundays.With a casual formal dress code this restaurant provides full table service and as well as a fully functional bar. Discussion A customer’s perception of an establishment can be directly influenced by reviewing an outlets menu (Stoner cited by Mccall ; Lynn, 2008). A menu must entice patrons to select their restaurant, by meeting customers’ needs and expectations all the while enticing them with their image and reputation. If a menu fails to entice such interest with their menu, potential customers and profits can and will be lost.Hellenika’s menu begins with a list of starters consist which include an array of dips and olives.

This is then followed by ‘Mezedes’- which are small share portions; including char grilled prawns, octopus and lamb cutlets. Furthermore these are then shadowed by main dishes g of the house speciality slow cooked lamb ‘Arni,’ pasta bakes and other meat and vegetable dishes, finishing with a selection of Greek sweets. Food menus are printed on a one sided A4 sheet of white paper in black ink and are placed in thick plastic sleeves.The drinks and wine list is extensive and is found in a small leather booklet, which firstly presents a table of content and then spans over several pages. Hellenika offers traditional banquet style dishes which are designed to be shared.

These dishes are offered on two types of menu options; table d’hote and an a la cart, as defined by Davis, Lockwood, Alcott and Pantelidis (2008). Several set table, d’hote (banquets) menus are available depending specifically on the number of patrons attending and the money they are willing to pay.Whilst on the a la carte menu, dishes are served with a banquet or tapist style service, although choices are fully at the customer discretion. Menu items are listed by their Greek titles followed by a brief English description/translation. Dishes are categorized under bolded headings which groups them under there equivalents nature; starters, entrees, main and sides. Additional daily special are also offered separately on a hand written page.

With an average of seven wait staff on duty and sections consisting of four tables, the restaurant aims to provide a casual fine dining experience with professional and thorough table service.The restaurant is not presented as a cheap dining experience; which is evident in the banquet prices presented in appendix 2. As evidenced by the lack of a kids menu, the restaurant clearly doesn’t specifically target the young family segment. Thus the menu is designed and focuses on the higher end of the market, including those aged in their late twenties through to their early sixties with high disposable income levels. Critical Evaluation Due to the restaurant specific cultural inspiration, naturally people of Greek heritage and background would be attracted to the venue.

However the English descriptions make the restaurant friendly to diverse backgrounds found within the area (English speaking, appendix 3). The restaurants provides an opportunity for Greeks and others who are fond of the culture or style of food, a chance to sample native Greek home style dishes and to try something new, in an area dominated by Asian cuisines. The presentation of the food menu is very basic and does not provide any visual representation of the food, therefore increasing the importance of the written descriptions to create an image.The language used within the menu presented in appendix 1 show a basic outline of a dish without the use of any flowery or exotic wording. Previously a more complex description of an item was associated with a higher quality of food (Nagles & Holden 2002 & Pavesic 1985, 1989, sighted by McCall & Lynn, 2008),although conflicting research questions its effectiveness in contrast to simple descriptions.

Research conducted by Lockyer (2006) presents that more sophisticated descriptions are not always more effective amongst customers. The accurate, brief description keeps in tune with the restaurants basic, home style theme.Due to the unique nature of the cuisine in the area, the restaurant must ensure that the menu is appealing to those first times. Restaurants can reduce the risks associated with trying something new by offering smaller portions and having lower prices (Lockyer, 2006). Hellenika Restaurant effectively uses their Mezedes to encourage selections, with small sharable portions and moderately priced dishes and thus this helps to reduce the risk of selecting the restaurant.

Research presents that consumers associate the last numbers used for pricing, to the quality or value of an item.According to research conducted by Naipaul and Parsa (2001), establishments that target the higher end of the market have ending number of 0 or 5, where those items which are on sale or budget will usually end with a 9. This study indicates that pricing can be used as a marketing tool to help communicate a restaurants quality or value to customers. In regards to the menus at hand it is evident in appendix 1 that almost all items end in a 5, with a few 0’s also incorporated, thus presenting this restaurants desire for cliental from the higher end of the market.An effective menu should present an accurate representation of the establishment, allowing customer to judge what to expect and entice customer to select the establishment (Pavesic ; Magnant, 2005).

The plain presentation of the menu does not communicate effectively the level of service and quality of food associated with the establishment. However the simple layout ensures attention is soely focused on the dishes and provides for easy reading. The appearance of a single sided sheet of paper may make customers feel that the options are insufficient and minimal (Davis, Lockwood, Pantelidis ; Alcott, 2008).Increased font size, alterative font style and bold presentation of headings attract attention to the various courses offered by catching the eyes of the customer. This increased attention throughout the whole menu helps to ensure that that customer stays focused and gives more consideration to the selections offered amongst the different courses (Pavesic ; Magnant, 2005). Conclusion Simple descriptions and a basic layout of the menu keeps with Hellenika simple, home style theme.

However it can affect customer’s perceptions of the restaurant especially with it targeting the higher end of the market.In turn the use of ending numbers in this case, 5 helps to communicate the restaurants quality in accordance with research completed. In addition the listing of smaller moderately prices items helps to reduce the unknown risk associated with trying something new which encourages a customer to sample a vaster range of dishes and can create an exciting dining atmosphere. Recommendations A) Design headings to stand out more through the use of colour thus increasing and directing attention better and definitively defines the categories (Pavesic & Magnant, 2005).B) Present the menu in a leather folder similar to that of the wine list or on woddel board, which would still keep to the simplistic theme, whilst creating interest and portraying the establishment as the stylish and quality restaurant that it is. C) May change more of its prices on the menu to full dollar amounts to further associate itself with the high end of the market.

D) Without going overboard could utilise some simple descriptive language to ensure a comprehensive understanding by the consumers of what is on offer.E) Bring the whole menu down a size to a folded A4 sheet of paper allow for a tighter neater layout, which also gives the appearance of more menu items. List of references Davis, B. , Lockwood, A. , Pantelidis, I. & Alcott, P.

2008, Food and Berverage Management, 4edn, Elsevier, Burlington, USA. Hellenika Restaurant, www. hellenika. com. au, sighted on 14th November, 2011.

McCall, M. & Lynn, A, 2008, ‘the effects of restaurant menu item description on perceptions of quality, price and purchase intention,’ Journal of Foodservices Business Research, Vol. 1, Iss. 4. Naipaul, S. ; Parsa, H.

2001, ‘Menu price endings that communicate value and quality,’ Cornell University, CORNEIL Hotel & Restaurant ADMIN Stration Quarterly. Lockyer, L. 2006 ‘Would a restaurant menu item by any other name taste as sweet,’ FIV Hospitality Review, Vol. 24, Iss. 1. Pavesic, DV and Magnant, PF, 2005 ‘Psychology of menu design,’ Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, pp.

162-168. Appendix 1. Hellenika Restaurant sighted on 4th November 2011 2.Hellenika Restaurant sighted on 4th November 2011 Hellenika Restaurant sighted on 4th November 2011 3. Languages spoke with in the area of the 4218 post code (Nobby Beach, Mermaid Beach, Mermaid Water, Broadbeach, and Broadbeach Water) Language spoken at home in postal area of 4218| Selected region | % of total persons in postal area of 4218| English| 21,810| 76. 3%| Japanese | 310| 1.

1%| Italian| 293| 1. 0%| Mandarin| 260| 0. 9%| Cantonese| 192| 0. 7%| Greek| 191| 0. 7%| Australian census 2006, Australian Bureau of Statistics,