Menu Engineering, Managing Dogs

By | June 25, 2009

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Following on from the “What is Menu Engineering” Post:

In the previous post we took a look at the Menu Engineering process.  Menu Engineering provides an objective method of classifying menu items.

In this post we look at tactics for managing menu items classified as “Dogs”.  Dogs are low profit and not popular when compared with other menu items.

The first and most obvious question is “why is this item on the menu?”.  In many cases the smart approach is to swap this item out for a more popular and/or profitable Item.  However, there may be cases when an item classified as a “Dog” is worth keeping.

In some cases a menu item may assist to position your establishment in the minds of your customers.  For example an Eastern European restaurant may offer a Steak Tartare consisting of finely chopped raw fillet steak, served with raw egg and traditional accompaniments.  This dish is expensive to produce and appeals to a relatively narrow segment of the market, but plays a part in defining the menu as Eastern European.  In this scenario there may be a case to increase the price of the menu item to move it into the “Puzzle” classification.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the “Dog” classification is an indicator that the menu item can be removed from the menu.

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