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A Culinary Perspective on Menu Development

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  • 1. A Culinary Perspective on Menu Development Presented by
    • Charlie Baggs
    • President & Executive Chef
    • Charlie Baggs, Inc.
    • [email_address]
    • www.charliebaggsinc.com
    • Skip Julius CEC, CRC, CCS
    • Product Development Leader
    • Gordon Food Service [email_address]
    • www.gfs.com
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Consumer Desires Overlap
    • Most successful products meet these characteristics
  • 4. Healthy and Wellness trend
    • Berries
    • Calcium
    • Plant sterols
    • Gluten intolerance
    • Nuts
    • Omega 3’s
    • 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
  • 5. 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 lunch)
    • NPD Consumer Visits, August 2007
    • Ideas:
    • Add more snack-like foods
    • Trend: Niche Focused Menus
    • Ideas:
    • LTO’s 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
  • 6. 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 children’s menus citing accordance with acceptable standard of childhood nutrition, and awareness of childhood obesity concerns.
    • Trend: Restaurants and environmental responsibility
    • 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
  • 7. Food Trends Overview
  • 8. Consumers Want Choices
      • Convenience: Dine in, dine at home, or dine on-the-go
        • 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
  • 9. “ 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
  • 10. 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.
  • 11. Food Trends
    • Trend: Fruit & Savory (sweet & savory)
    • Ideas:
    • Savory proteins accented by sharp, sweet fruit flavors - traditional or exotic (mango was 1 st )
    • 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
  • 12. Consumer Trends Overview
  • 13. Top Trends To Watch
    • Healthy Foods
    • Reduced Portions/Tapas
    • Small plates menus
    • Bite-sized desserts
    • Bold Flavors (Mexican & Asian)
    • Local Foods & Organic Products
  • 14. 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 anti-oxidants
    • 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.
  • 15. Customization
    • Offer sauce accompaniment
    • Offer portion size alternatives
    • Hot or cold serving option
    • Kid or adult packaging choice
    • Packaged for ‘the office’ or immediate consumption
  • 16. Increased Ingredient Cost
    • Example:
    • “ The Clorox Story”
    • Early in the 20 th century hypochlorite became very scarce and cost increased due to supply and demand.
  • 17. Your Menu is the Lifeblood of your Business. Don’t 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 source
  • 18. How do you create a menu that captures customers' interest?
      • Demographics
      • Regional Issues
      • Psychographics
      • What does your customer want
      • Who is your competition
      • What is the competition doing
    Know who your customer is!
  • 19. Understanding the Menu
  • 20. 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
  • 21. 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 $1.00.
    • Common pricing strategy - a $2.54 food cost and a 33% cost percentage target should be priced at $7.62.
  • 22. 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% increase.
    • Fact Based Selling!
  • 23. Eye Gaze Patterns
    • Customers don’t read menus.
    • Customers scan menus
    • The eyes follow a predictable path
    • Strategically place high-profit items
    • Customer spends less than 45 seconds scanning the menu .
  • 24. Eye Gaze Patterns Mapped 3 4 7 2 1 5 6
  • 25. 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
  • 26. 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!
  • 27. Margin Dollars Increase by 30-50% ! $1.50 $1.05
  • 28. Where to get Trends
    • NRA
    • The Food Institute
    • CIA
    • Food Navigator
    • Technomic
    • Google
    • Datamonitor
    • Mintel
    • Datassentials
    • NPD
    • Publications (Trade & Consumer)
  • 29. But…what are the real trends?
    • How to filter out the “noise”
  • 30. Flavor Trends
  • 31. Flavor Trends 1 Oregano/ Heirloom Beans Capers Fresh Herbs Chocolate - Artisan Mango Blood Orange Acia 2 Vanilla/ Cardamom Coconut Exotic Mushrooms Tea Achiote Madagascar Vanilla Yuzu 3 Chile/ Cocoa Heirloom Salts Spicy Sofrito Spicy - Habañero Pomegranate 4 Coriander/ Coconut Tamarind Pomegranate P-butter Ras-al-hanout Chocolate - Artisan, White Blood orange 5 Lemon Grass /Lychee Specialty Sugars Starfruit Vanilla Tandoori Lemon - Meyer Mocha 6 Red Curry/Masa Sea Salts Kiwi Combo flavors Tea Smoked Chipotle - non trad uses Tea 7 Orange Peel/Wood Mint Sour Orange Coffee flavors Charmoula Basil - non traditional uses Spicy 8 Allspice/ Exotic Meat Yogurt   Sweet/ Hot Cumac Pomegranate Bourbon 9 Poppy Seed/Rose Chai   Smokey Kaffir lime Yuzu Tamarind 10 Sage/Rye Whiskey Lemon Grass     Tamarind Acia Combo Flavors
  • 32. Macro Trends
  • 33. Macro Trends
  • 34. 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
  • 35. Engineering Menu Profit
    • Real Time Pricing
    • Set menu item performance levels
      • -Don’t become emotionally attached
      • -If items don’t perform or contribute: 86 ‘em
    • SKU Utilization- Get Creative
    • Specials – your best friend (BFF)
      • -Steer customers to higher margin items
  • 36. 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
  • 37. Concepting A “hamburger” doesn’t always sell itself
    • Less descriptive
    • A ground beef patty with melted cheese on a grilled bun with bacon, lettuce and tomato
    • More descriptive
    • 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
  • 38. 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
  • 39. Concepting Action Words
    • Flavors (zesty, tangy, salty, etc…)
    • Cooking Methods (roasted, fried, caramelization, etc…)
    • Textures (soft, crispy, chewy, etc…)
    • Shape & Size (chopped, julienne, minced, etc…)
    • Cooking Action (drizzled, shaved, stuffed, etc…)
  • 40. Making Food Irresistible
  • 41. 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 Pleasure!!!!!
  • 42. Why it Works Understanding Why Food Tastes So Good…or Doesn’t PLEASURE
  • 43. 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
  • 44. 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: it’s how we survived this long!
  • 45. 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
  • 46. 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
  • 47. Pleasure Rule #2 Foods High in Umami/Glutamates
    • Many preferred food are naturally high in Glutamates:
    • Soy Sauce
    • Parmesan Cheese
    • Tomato
    • Potato
    • Sardines
    • Fish Sauces
  • 48. 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
  • 49. Pleasure Rule #4 Balance the BASICS™
      • Balance
      • Acid
      • Sweet
      • Intended flavor and texture
      • Color
      • Salt
  • 50. 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
  • 51. Pleasure Rule #6 Sugar and Fat Pleasure
    • Pleasure magnified when mixed with fat: Emulsion Pleasure Theory
    • Brain Loves Emulsions with sugar/salt
  • 52. To Summarize Your menu is the most important thing you have. Never take it for granted!
  • 53. 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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