No longer in franchise, designing new menu, needs more eyes

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by the_seraphim, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. the_seraphim


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    Professional Chef
    first things first, this is a long post, sorry bout that.

    ok so the hotel/restaurant i work at was just sold and the new owner doesnt want in on the old franchise (campanile hotel /louvre hotels) but he hasnt given me instructions as to his plans, and as im running out of stock ive decided to redesign the menu to try and improve sales.

    the old menu was £8 per meal or there abouts but the food just didnt warrant that

    i was being forced to hit 70% Gross profit with a buffet breakfast and as such the prices are high and the food isnt being eaten as there is competition right nearby with similar food for 2/3 of the price.

    this is a 2 star hotel that is in a similar market to premier inn and travelodge.

    i think they were aiming for a french bistro style menu which i hear works well at the other hotels in the franchise but they are considerably busier and in more prime locations.

    so here is the menu that im thinking of running, i just need some more people to look it over and give some support or advice, this is the first time ive been in this position, im the only person in the kitchen and im essentially doing everything a KM would be doing plus ALL the cooking (except breakfast, i dont see me getting up at 6am anytime soon)

    so im aiming at that pub classic style food


    Onion ring stack with mayo and BBQ dips

    Potato Wedges with mayo and BBQ dips

    Breaded Mushrooms with a garlic mayo dip

    Garlic bread, with or without cheese

    Share platter: onion rings, wedges, mushrools, garlic bread, a few dips can be for 2 or 4


    Horseshoe Gamon steak served with 2 eggs or pineapple rings served with chips

    Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger (my own creation) served with chips (may be part of a beer and a burger deal)

    Homestyle Lamb and Mint burger Served with chips

    Southern Fried Chicken Burger Served with chips

    8oz rump steak served with chips, sautee mmushrooms, onion rings, and grilled tomato


    Bangers and Mash served in a Giant Yokrshire pudding with onion gravy and peas

    Spinach and wild Mushroom lasagne served with garlic bread and green salad (or chips)

    Steak and Real ale Pie served with Chips and peas

    Minted Lamb Shank served with mashed potato, baby carrots and either green beans or sugarsnap peas havent decided

    Hunters chicken (chicken breast stuffed with cheddar wrapped in bacon and cooked in smokey BBQ sauce) served with mash ans peas


    Moules marinier (spelled wrong, marinara basically)

    whole tail scampi and chips and salad

    fish and chips served with mushy peas, lemon and tartar sauce

    salmon and sweet potato fishcakes served with salad and chips

    i was thinking of some kind of salmon fillet


    Pizza - several varieties

    Sandwiches - Chicken bacon club, sausage with caramelised red onion, chicken caesar, BLT

    Sizzling fajitas (served sizzling to the table, great for crowded nights cause its attention grabbing)

    Curry club

    chicken tikka masala, chicken Korma, Chicken jalfrezi, Sweet potato chick pea and spinach, beef kerala, beef madras, thai red vegetable.

    served with rice and naan and (when we get a licence again) a beer

    so... what do you think? the price point im aiming for 50% Gross as we make more than 10 times the value of the food on rooms so its more to attract and keep the customers than make money on its own.

    im thinking on the "change from a tenner" with meal and a beer sort of price point.

    i know its long and if you got this far, thanks...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2011
  2. petemccracken


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    Professional Chef
    Working on menu comments, I have a problem building in a subsidy from room sales for the restaurant P & L, but that is probably because I'm old and don't like to rely on others to make up for my miscalculations /img/vbsmilies/smilies/talker.gif.

    Unless I misread, the new owner has already given you a price point for a 70% gross profit, correct? If so, why are you targeting 50%? You're setting yourself up for failure.
  3. the_seraphim


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    Professional Chef
    the old owner and the franchise had a 70% target, the new guy doesnt want to be in the franchise anymore and as im down to maybe 20 covers a week its getting difficult to justify anyones wages.

     also the restaurant is tied to the hotel in that there are room rates which include breakfast and there has been talk of including meals with some room rates, or a discount on the room rate if you have 2 mains or something so its inextricably lumped in together

    plus there are many items on my food stock that go directly to the rooms, like tea and coffee/sugar/milk portions/biscuits

    so its pointless seperating them at this point

    also we are surrounded by competition from pure restaurants at every price point, theres an all you can eat carvery for £3.25 a bistro at around £10 per main a 24hr drive through and restaurant mcdonalds within walking distance, a gastro pub at £7 per main

    so i need to give them a reason to eat and drink here rather than elsewhere
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  4. thetincook


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    Line Cook
    I think it was the old owner with the nutty gross profit.

    Breaded mushrooms.. try stuffed mushrooms? You can do these in the oven to save your fryer capacity. Seafood stuffed mushrooms are pretty popular. Gives you another outlet for your salmon trim. Used to a do a garlic stuffed mushroom. Filling was milk/cream % bread panade and mashed garlic cloves (simmered the garlic in the dairy for the panade till it was nice and tender) S&P, nutmeg, parsley. Top with crumbs (and parm if you like)

    RE Garlic bread. I've had good luck with doing a sort of crostini thing. You send out a basket of warm crostinis/toast soldiers/rusks/flatbreads/crackers and a monkey dish of some sort of dip. I've done caponata, flavored ricotta, seasoned bean or vege purees, salads, mouses, rilletes once. It's a good spot to do seasonal stuff.

    Horseshoe Gammon Steak = Hamsteak? Do you guys do red eye gravy over there?

    You can add more burger variations with minimal extra mise en place.

    Potato Wedges same as chips?

    I don't like having mussels or clams if they are a one off/low sale item. Makes me suspicous as a customer, and as BOH I hate their short life.

    Lost me on the curry club.
  5. the_seraphim


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    Professional Chef
    the mussels im thinking of come frozenand in a sauce but i agree... ok scrap the mussels,

    horseshoe gammon is probably hamsteak yeah its basically cured pork thick sliced, like thick bacon but less salty

    potato wedges are potatoes sliced into wedge shaped then cooked like extra thick skin on chips (chips the english defenition so pomme frites and the thicker cousins)

    ill have a think about the crostinis, basically a lot of the guys here are workers who are after either a burger and a beer, or a cheap (not cheap as in nasty cheap but not expensive) steak and a beer

    the occaisonal family group too. but not often. mostly truck drivers or construction guys