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A Culinary Perspective on Menu Development Presented by


A Culinary Perspective on Menu Development Presented by Charlie Baggs President & Executive Chef Charlie Baggs, Inc. c.baggs_at_charliebaggsinc.com www.charliebaggsinc.com – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Culinary Perspective on Menu Development Presented by

A Culinary Perspective on Menu
Development Presented by
  • Charlie Baggs
  • President Executive Chef
  • Charlie Baggs, Inc.
  • c.baggs_at_charliebaggsinc.com
  • www.charliebaggsinc.com
  • Skip Julius CEC, CRC, CCS
  • Product Development Leader
  • Gordon Food Service Skip.Julius_at_gfs.com
  • www.gfs.com

Presentation at a Glance
  • Consumer insights
  • Increased ingredient cost
  • Look at the menu
  • Rising cost strategy
  • How to capture customers interest
  • Tracking trends
  • Menu engineering
  • Concepting and menu descriptions
  • Pleasure principles

Consumer Desires Overlap
  • Most successful products meet these

Healthy and Wellness trend
  • Berries
  • Calcium
  • Plant sterols
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Nuts
  • Omega 3s
  • Soy
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Tea
  • Natural
  • High fiber
  • Whole grain
  • Fresh perception
  • Customized for consumer
  • Fortified
  • Reduced Bad Ingredients HFCS, calories, trans
    fat, sodium,
  • Portion controlled
  • Flax, nutritious

Restaurant Trends
  • Trend Customization
  • pick a pair, choose a combo and make my way.
    Source Datassentials October 2007
  • Ideas
  • Supper / Snack Combos soup and sub or sub and
    dessert separate (unbundled) beverage
  • Trend Decline in core diner dayparts (dinner and
  • NPD Consumer Visits, August 2007
  • Ideas
  • Add more snack-like foods
  • Trend Niche Focused Menus
  • Ideas
  • LTOs that celebrate a style, region, or daypart
  • Bistro Bakery LTO baguette, croissant and Bahn
    Mi sandwiches
  • Breakfast for Dinner LTO sandwiches
  • Italian Bistro LTO bun and flatbread sandwiches
  • Calorie Controlled Flatbreads and Wraps

Restaurant Trends
  • Trend Upgraded offers for kids
  • Ideas
  • Make kid size Signature dishes
  • Fruits fresh whole fruit, or cut fruit or
    cocktail available as side or dessert options or
    vegetable sticks with dressing cup or pack
  • Nutritional information posted for childrens
    menus citing accordance with acceptable standard
    of childhood nutrition, and awareness of
    childhood obesity concerns.
  • Trend Restaurants and environmental
  • Ideas
  • Waste reduction theme posters in store,
    sustainable paper sourced products
  • Segregated waste recycling waste containers
  • Trend Marketing lunch menu specials for workers
  • Ideas
  • Offer buy two get a percent off deals.
  • Offer daily weekday lunch special subs combos
  • Offer frequent diner cards to local work places

Food Trends Overview
Consumers Want Choices
  • Convenience Dine in, dine at home, or dine
  • Cupholder Cuisine Demands food that travels well
  • The Rise of Breakfast
  • Customization of Menu Items
  • Choice of Portion Sizes
  • Miniaturization of Treats/Indulgences
  • Choice of Sides
  • New Beverage Options
  • Bold New Flavors
  • Ethnic - Authenticity a must
  • Premiumization vs. Basic

Green is IN
  • Grass Fed
  • Hormone Free
  • Cage Free
  • Ethical
  • Fair Trade
  • Clean Foods
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Energy Efficient
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Free Range
  • Recyclable
  • Sustainable
  • Traceable
  • Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Locally Grown
  • Natural
  • Organic
  • Humanely Raised
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Whole Foods

Food Trends
  • Trend Familiar with a Twist
  • Ideas
  • Take signature ideas and offer LTO variations
  • Trend Moving to smaller portions
  • Ideas
  • Half portion sandwiches, salads, entrees
  • Differentiate by focusing on quality unique
    sauces, premium proteins and exquisite breads.

Food Trends
  • Trend Fruit Savory (sweet savory)
  • Ideas
  • Savory proteins accented by sharp, sweet fruit
    flavors - traditional or exotic (mango was 1st)
  • Fruit salsas or sweet glazes can be small in
    quantity applied but still provide significant
    identifiable flavor and texture
  • Trend Shrimp has greatest seafood share on
    restaurant menus.
  • Ideas
  • Add shrimp to your sandwiches, soups, salads

Consumer Trends Overview
Top Trends To Watch
  • Healthy Foods
  • Reduced Portions/Tapas
  • Small plates menus
  • Bite-sized desserts
  • Bold Flavors (Mexican Asian)
  • Local Foods Organic Products

Consumer Trends
  • Trend Communal dishes
  • Ideas
  • Combo platters, sharable
  • Trend Healthy, All-Natural, Better for You Items
  • Ideas
  • Incorporate nutrient-rich ingredients. perceived
    as inherently good due to high levels of
  • Fruits include blueberries, mango, cranberries,
    apples, kiwi, strawberry and oranges.
  • Bread ingredients could be oats, walnuts, flax
    seed, wheat grass, soy, chives, barley,
    buckwheat, other whole seeds.
  • Condiment components include olive oil, sesame,
    cinnamon, ginger, oregano, turmeric.

  • Offer sauce accompaniment
  • Offer portion size alternatives
  • Hot or cold serving option
  • Kid or adult packaging choice
  • Packaged for the office or immediate consumption

Increased Ingredient Cost
  • Example
  • The Clorox Story
  • Early in the 20th century hypochlorite became
    very scarce and cost increased due to supply and

Your Menu is the Lifeblood of your
Business. Dont Take it for Granted!
  • Capture customers' interest
  • Encourage repeat visits
  • Review the menu now
  • Profitability
  • Operational constraints
  • Labor capabilities
  • Current trends
  • Seasonal menu options
  • It can help to work with an outside/objective

How do you create a menu that captures customers'
Know who your customer is!
  • Demographics
  • Regional Issues
  • Psychographics
  • What does your customer want
  • Who is your competition
  • What is the competition doing

Understanding the Menu
Menu Strategies And Practices
  • The Menu is the 1 Merchandising Tool
  • Rounding Theory
  • Eye Gaze Patterns
  • Shading, Boxing, Angled Specials, Top Bottom of
    a List
  • Price to the Consumer, Not to Formula
  • Branding drives Image and Value

Rounding Theory
  • Under 5.00, guests only recognize price
    increments of 25
  • Above 5.00, guests only recognize price
    increments of 50 and 95.
  • Over 10.00, the incremental price point is
  • Common pricing strategy - a 2.54 food cost and
    a 33 cost percentage target should be priced at

Rounding Theory cont.
  • Manager lowers pricing to 7.75 from 7.95
  • In a year, most restaurants will serve in excess
    of 100,000 customers.
  • An extra 20 on just half of those customers (in
    pure profit) would put an extra 10,000 to the
    bottom line.
  • Restaurant only makes 50,000, so this is a 20
  • Fact Based Selling!

Eye Gaze Patterns
  • Customers dont read menus.
  • Customers scan menus
  • The eyes follow a predictable path
  • Strategically place high-profit items
  • Customer spends less than 45 seconds scanning the

Eye Gaze Patterns Mapped
Shading, Boxing, Angled Specials, Top Bottom
Of Lists
  • You can expect a minimum 20 increase
  • At the top or bottom of a list.
  • When you shade or box.
  • Patrons only scan menus.
  • Eye gaze motion will be drawn to variations in
    text, layout or format
  • Combine shading, boxing and special with other
    forms of merchandising

Price to the Consumer, Not to Formula
  • Formula pricing is lazy.
  • A formula price leaves Money on the table.
  • Customers have limited knowledge of raw costs.
  • Set price points based on the value perception of
    the guest and what the market will bear.
  • Use coffee as your example
  • Fact Based Selling!

Margin Dollars Increase by 30-50 !
Where to get Trends
  • NRA
  • The Food Institute
  • CIA
  • Food Navigator
  • Technomic
  • Google
  • Datamonitor
  • Mintel
  • Datassentials
  • NPD
  • Publications (Trade Consumer)

Butwhat are the real trends?
  • How to filter out the noise

Flavor Trends
Flavor Trends
Macro Trends
Macro Trends
Menu Engineering
  • Your approach to menu analysis must have a plan
  • What is your culinary Brand identity?
  • Create and maintain a brand
  • Organization of menu / menu layout
  • Use a Daily Menu / daily specials
  • Maintain quality and consistency
  • Menu positioning

Engineering Menu Profit
  • Real Time Pricing
  • Set menu item performance levels
  • -Dont become emotionally attached
  • -If items dont perform or contribute 86 em
  • SKU Utilization- Get Creative
  • Specials your best friend (BFF)
  • -Steer customers to higher margin items

Consumer Food Prices

  • Unadjusted Mar. 08
  • All Items 4.9
  • All Food 4.9
  • Beef Veal 4.7
  • Pork 1.8
  • Poultry 8.3
  • Fish Seafood 4.1
  • Eggs 34.7
  • Dairy Products 12.8
  • Sugar Sweets 2.8
  • Fats Oils 6.9
  • Source www.usda.com

Concepting A hamburger doesnt always sell
  • Less descriptive
  • More descriptive
  • A ground beef patty with melted cheese on a
    grilled bun with bacon, lettuce and tomato
  • A fire grilled angus ground beef patty topped
    with Wisconsin cheddar cheese, Apple wood crispy
    bacon, fresh lettuce and ripe tomato slices on a
    toasted Sour dough bun

Menu Descriptions
  • Include ingredients spring onions, portabella
    mushrooms, etc.
  • Add terms to make ingredients alive 
    caramelized, sautéed, basted, glazed, crispy,
    chunky, rich
  • Describe colors/temperatures/sensations 
    chilled, cool, refreshing, soothing, blush, rosy,
    vibrant green

Concepting Action Words
  • Flavors (zesty, tangy, salty, etc)
  • Cooking Methods (roasted, fried, caramelization,
  • Textures (soft, crispy, chewy, etc)
  • Shape Size (chopped, julienne, minced, etc)
  • Cooking Action (drizzled, shaved, stuffed, etc)

Making Food Irresistible
Great Food Gives Great Pleasure
  • Food and beverage is one of three essential human
    needs for basic survival
  • Yet, aside from love, nothing else evokes as much
    pleasure and passion as food!
  • We Choose the Food That Gives Us The Most

Why it Works
  • Understanding Why Food Tastes So Goodor Doesnt

Genetics Why We Respond to Food Pleasure
Humans begin 5,000,000 BC Hunter-Gathers
Agriculture begins 8,000 BC
0 AD
Industrial Age 1900 AD
Genetics Why We Respond to Food Pleasure
  • 4.998 of human history is as hunter gathers
  • Natural selection results in our genes being
    predisposed as hunter gathers
  • The brain and body have 5 million years of
    developing mechanisms that respond to pleasure
    stimulus its how we survived this long!

Food Pleasure Equation
  • When you have a food choice the brain calculates
    how much pleasure will be generated during the
    eating and digestion of any food. EXPECTATIONS!
  • Goal of the brain, gut and fat cell is to
    maximize the pleasure extracted from the
    environment in both food sensation and
    macronutrient content

Pleasure Rule 1 Taste Hedonics
  • Salt, Sugar, MSG, 5 Nucleotides in solution
    yield most pleasure
  • Glutamates Umami (MSG is but one)
  • Umami signals presence of protein
  • Salt Glutamates powerful hedonics
  • Emulsions
  • Salt-fat butter, salad dressings, mayo
  • Sugar-fat chocolate, ice cream, cream

Pleasure Rule 2 Foods High in Umami/Glutamates
  • Many preferred food are naturally high in
  • Soy Sauce
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Tomato
  • Potato
  • Sardines
  • Fish Sauces

Pleasure Rule 3 Taste Hedonics
  • Salivation Response
  • We prefer foods that are moist or evoke saliva
  • Saliva is critical for solute contact with taste
    buds (no taste, no pleasure)
  • Saliva fosters food lubrication, enhances the
    eating experience
  • Why is there salt on crackers?
  • Add salt and fat (think potato chips) perfect
    salivation food

Pleasure Rule 4 Balance the BASICS
  • Balance
  • Acid
  • Sweet
  • Intended flavor and texture
  • Color
  • Salt

Pleasure Rule 5 Texture
  • About Texture
  • The brain has more difficulty reading a flavor
    when a food has more texture
  • The brain reads temp first, then texture and
    finally flavor
  • Foods like ice cream, foie gras and risotto are
    sensed as richer and more sensual

Pleasure Rule 6 Sugar and Fat Pleasure
  • Pleasure magnified when mixed with fat Emulsion
    Pleasure Theory
  • Brain Loves Emulsions with sugar/salt

To Summarize
  • Your menu is the most important thing you have.
    Never take it for granted!

Culinary Quotes
  • "It is the sauce that distinguishes a good chef.
    The saucier is a soloist in the orchestra of a
    great kitchen." - Fernand Point
  • "Come quickly I am tasting the stars!" - Dom
    Pérignon, upon discovering Champagne
  • "Burgundy makes you think of silly things
    Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne
    makes you do them." - Brillat-Savarin
  • "Poultry is for the cook what canvass is for the
    painter." - Brillat-Savarin
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