A "balanced" menu

Joined Dec 4, 2009
I'm just starting to put together some thoughts on this subject and, at this point, it's quite broad.  I'm not sure where it will go or where it needs to go.

What do you think of as the most important elements and factors of achieving balance in a restaurant menu? 

Design/art of the piece of paper called a "menu" aside, what are the factors of the food itself -- nutritional factors, textural, artistic, cuisinological, conceptual, pricing, regional, and maybe even "spiritual"?  What else? Do you set priorities?

I'm doing my best here not to put words in anyone's mouth, hence this request may seem a bit unfocused or gunshot.

Joined Feb 10, 2012
what an interesting question.

I can't wait to see some of the replies on this one.

I am not sure what you are really asking about here, I think you may have to qualify a bit.

My concept defines my menu... or at least gives me a starting point to expand upon.

next... product and pricing and of course your clientele should dictate your expansion

my concept is predicated on fresh ingredients, so seasonal items are a mainstay.

again this will be a starting point that can be expanded upon...

now just a caveat, my concept allows for a constantly changing menu, with only a very small portion of standard items.

My standard items are all made from easily obtainable products, and produce that is pretty much available fresh year round. I

believe it is also very important to stretch your ingredients for multiple dishes. Sure, it's easy to spend money on specialty items,

but at the end of the day, this is a business, and keeping costs down is essential.

I will use for example, avacados for about six different dishes, not just a guacamole addition to a salad or taco.

I am in the process of opening a place in Sarasota area within the next few years....

I already have 6 main menus planned...

the way I started my menu plans was to look at the seasons, and the ingredients available.

then i wrote out the apps / entrees / soups / salads / sides / desserts that i wanted to make for each season....

as you may imagine they were long lists....

i then wrote down the ingredients i use for each item (even the herbs / salt / pepper )

it can be a daunting process, I used an excell program to help me, but by the time i was done.

i was able to cut my menus to a manageable size and cut my products as well...

this way, specialty dishes will be just that... specials. It will cut my carry costs, and keep me fresh and profitable

or at least that's the plan

now I am just a novice, but I am answering you to make sure I am doing it right...

I hope any veterans will please school me if i am wrong

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