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Writing Restaurant Menu Lingo that Sells

Part of the Starting & Running a Restaurant For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Writing a great menu is a true art form. Get it right, and you’ll have a restaurant full of diners on your hands. Get it wrong, and you could struggle to get people coming through your door. Here are some tips on putting together a menu that will really sell what you have to offer:

  • Many great menu-item names start with the preparation method. Words like braised, seared, pan-fried, oven-roasted, wood-fired and poached lend a level of prestige to a dish that increases a diner’s perception of its value.

  • Incorporate reasons the dish is special, different or unique into the name. Is your beef aged to perfection? Are your eggs farm fresh? Is your bread baked in-house each morning? Is your produce locally grown or organic?

  • Great ingredients make for great descriptions. Are there any oustanding or hard-to-find items? Does a dish contain seasonal items that you should highlight?

  • Highlight where the ingredients come from. Scottish beef and Roscommon oysters mean something to people.

  • Be more specific. Of course you’re serving pasta, but what kind of pasta? Tell the guests whether it’s fettuccine, linguine, capellini or fusilli. And that sauce you’re serving tonight is probably great, but be more descriptive – ragout, coulis, demi-glace or reduction, for example. Getting down to specifics has the dual advantage of providing more information and enhancing the diner’s perception of the dish.

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Starting & Running a Restaurant For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

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