Restaurant Doctor Hospitality Resources


50 Proven Ways to Build More Profitable MenusTrade paperback, 148 pages, 5½"x8½"
Copyright 1998
Published by Hospitality Masters Press

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50 Proven Ways to Build More Profitable Menus is the sort of book you have been hoping someone would put out. If you could get 50 of the best ideas from the best minds in the business in an easy-to-read book for only $15, wouldn't you want it in your professional library? In this book, the Hospitality Masters Series explore menus and menu design.

These are some great ideas from Barry Cohen, Howard Cutson, Peter Good, Raymond Goodman, Jim Laube, Bill Main, Phyllis Ann Marshall, Bill Marvin, Banger Smith and Ron Yudd. Each notion is capsulized in one to three pages so you can quickly pick up an idea and get back to work. This is truly a working book for working people!

Here's what the industry is saying about the Hospitality Masters Series of books:

"This book fits the way we operate. It is fast-paced and packed with hard-hitting tidbits. In a few minutes, I can pick up a great idea and get back to work!"
-- Greg Hunsucker, Co-Owner, V's Italiano Ristorante, Kansas City, MO

"What a great idea! I can't tell you how many management books I have started and never finished. This one has exactly the sort of information I can really use - concise and to the point. I want copies for all my managers and assistants."
-- Mark Sneed, Director of Operations, Phillips Seafood Restaurants, Washington, DC

"You can't miss with advice from the best of the best! I like that the book doesn't preach. It credits me with enough intelligence to be able to adapt these ideas to fit my particular situations. Why didn't somebody do this sooner?"
-- Mark Valente, Owner, Marc's Restaurant, Wheatridge, CO

"This book contains hundreds of practical ideas in an easy-to-read format that can help any operator increase sales, reduce costs and improve profit margins. It is a useful book for any food professional from multi-unit director to small kitchen manager."
-- William Dillon, VP for Market Development, ARAMARK Campus Services, Philadelphia, PA

"An invaluable collection of insights and experience from professionals who understand our business . . . filled with some simple "how to" solutions."
-- Marjorie Mintz, VP Human Resources, The Levy Restaurants, Chicago, IL

"A super-concentrated collection of immensely valuable sales and profit-building ideas. This book will be a tremendous resource to anyone in the hospitality industry."
-- David Newton, Director of Operations, Applebee's, Pittsburgh, PA

"This book is the perfect resource for busy food & beverage executives. Every page is loaded with common sense that I can put in my managers' hands for quick training of important issues. It's like a total Restaurant University in a book!"
-- Greg Gallavan, F&B Director, Winter Park Resort, Winter Park, CO

"As the owner of a restaurant, I am always searching for ways to improve my sales and profit. [This book] is a practical and effective tool for my management staff and myself to use for continual growth and success."
-- Chris Shake, Owner, The Fish Hopper, Monterey, CA

"This book is filled with clear, concise advice that can definitely increase the bottom line. I've read industry books that are twice the length with half the insights of this one."
-- Richard Ysmael, Corporate Director, Motorola Hospitality Group, Schaumburg, IL


Barry Cohen
Award-winning chef, national speaker and CEO of Old San Francisco Steak House

Howard Cutson, FMP
Principal of Cutson Associates and a sought-after speaker on customer satisfaction and beverage operations

Peter Good, FMP
Nationally-recognized motivational speaker and trainer to the hospitality industry.

Raymond Goodman, PhD
The leading authority on dining room management and service management consulting

Jim Laube, CPA
President of the Center for Foodservice Education and consultant in profitability and financial management.

Bill Main
Nationally-known author, consultant and speaker and 1996-97 President of the California Restaurant Association

Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
Principal of FoodPower, specialist in concept development, growth strategies, and merchandising with food and menus

Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor
The most-booked speaker in the hospitality industry, author, consultant and advisor to operators around the world

Banger Smith
One of the recognized leaders in menu analysis and merchandising design

Ron Yudd
Director of Food Service for the United States Senate Restaurants and an experienced speaker, trainer and motivator

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About the Hospitality Masters Series

01. Menu first - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
02. The menu as a marketing plan - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP
03. Your menu: cost or asset? - Banger Smith

04. What's your PQ? - Banger Smith
05. Create menu diversity - Barry Cohen
06. Quick service clarity - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI

07. Take your menu's temperature - Barry Cohen
08. Think gross margin - Jim Laube, CPA
09. Recipe costing - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP

10. Menu analysis - Banger Smith
11. Increasing prices without losing guest counts - Banger Smith
12. Keep the menu alive - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI

13. W.O.W. menus - Barry Cohen
14. Create menu magic - Barry Cohen
15. Upscale menu personality - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI

16. Midscale menu personality - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
17. Quick service menu personality - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
18. Think combination menus - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor

19. Mini menus offer leverage - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
20. Develop signature appetizers - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP
21. Bar food - Howard Cutson, FMP

22. The specialty drink menu* - Howard Cutson, FMP
23. Alcohol-free alternatives* - Howard Cutson, FMP
24. Start a late night menu* - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor

25. Dignify desserts - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor
26. The user-friendly wine list - Howard Cutson, FMP
27. Wine list weirdness - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor

28. Sales mix: a potent profit tool* - Ron Yudd
29. Categorize your menu - Banger Smith

30. Menu engineering - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP
31. Signature icons - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP
32. Page positioning - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP

33. Menu item placement - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP
34. Value perception pricing - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP
35. Rounding strategy - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP

36. Find a signature item and grow for it* - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
37. Menu delights - Phyllis Ann Marshall, FCSI
38. Don't forget the side dishes - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP

39. Fatal flaws in menu design - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor
40. Profitable pointers - Banger Smith
41. Heart-healthy is happening - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor

42. Think small - Howard Cutson, FMP
43. Paint them a picture - Raymond Goodman, PhD
44. Branding - Bill Main, FMP, FCSI, CSP

45. Picture this! - Peter Good, FMP
46. Stupid menu tricks - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor
47. "Tonight we are featuring ..." - Jim Laube, CPA

48. Burn the menus! - Peter Good, FMP
49. Tell your quality story - Jim Laube, CPA
50. More stupid menu tricks - Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor

* originally published in 50 Proven Ways to Build Restaurant Sales Profit and recycled because it is so relevant to the subject of this book

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You may have heard the old exchange:

Q: What is the secret of success?
A: Success comes from good judgement.

Q: Well, where does good judgement come from?
A: Good judgement comes from experience.

Q: OK, but where does experience come from?
A: Experience comes from bad judgement!

The joke would be funnier if it weren't so accurate!

Have you noticed that the School of Hard Knocks has high enrollment? When wrestling with a problem, have you ever wished you could pick the brain of an industry expert who has "been there and done that" instead of just volunteering for yet another "valuable learning experience?"

Well, that is precisely the purpose of the Hospitality Masters Series of books.

We tapped the leading consultants and speakers in the foodservice and lodging industries for their most successful ideas on a series of topics essential to success in hospitality.

Hospitality Masters Press was formed to collect these gems, distilled from years of industry experience with their own (and others') triumphs and tragedies, and present them in bite-sized pieces that even the most harried manager can quickly digest and apply.

The consultants, speakers and authors whose ideas are collected here are the best of the best in our business. At any meaningful gathering of industry leaders in North America, one or more of these experts are probably sharing insights in a standing-room only seminar or workshop.

When the leading operators in the U.S. and Canada look for professional counsel, these are the names on the "short list." Our contributing authors produce the tapes that encourage and inspire thousands and write the books that become standard industry references.

50 Proven Ways to Build More Profitable Menus is the latest in a most valuable and exciting series. We welcome any comments you may have on this book as well as your suggestions for future titles.

We believe the books in the Hospitality Masters Series will become must-have additions to the professional library of every foodservice and lodging executive.

We think you will agree.

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Your menu is your blueprint for profit. It determines your image, defines your concept and is the shopping list your guests use to spend their money. Often it is your best (or worst) sales-maker.

What is a Menu?
For purposes of this book, we define a menu as any means used to communicate to a guest what a food service operation has to offer. This obviously includes traditional printed menus but can also encompass menu boards, specialty menus, verbal menus, cafeteria menus and catering presentations.

How Can a Menu be Profitable?
The menu does not produce the profit but, properly designed and presented, it can help increase the sales that do! When a menu is poorly designed, guests get confused and order the first thing that comes to their minds. They get about what they expected and may leave satisfied, but they will have spent a minimal amount for a dining experience that will quickly be forgotten. What's wrong with this picture?

However, when a menu is exciting and different, it can catch the guests' attention. They get wrapped up with what you are offering, have a better time and are more likely to try items they never had before. They get more than they expected, leave delighted and spend more money for a dining experience that was more memorable and more likely to cause them to return. That is how your menu can (and should) be profitable!

About this Book
This is not a "how-to" manual. In fact, you may find seemingly contradictory ideas in here. The industry experts we have gathered in this book cannot tell you how you should run your business - the goal is only to share ideas that have worked for others. You must decide which ones, if any, are appropriate for you.

Each thought in this book has been condensed to its bare essence so some may raise more questions than they answer. If this happens, the contributing authors can provide more clarification . . . but only if you ask! Contact information is included in Appendix A.

How to Use this Book
This book is a collection of bulletproof ideas from battle-tested veterans - use it that way. Keep it close and refer to it often. Ideas you are not ready for today might be perfect answers a few months from now.

Get copies of this book for all key members of your management team and have pass-around copies for your staff. The cost is minimal and the potential gain is huge. (Helping others to make you more money is a very smart thing to do!)

A Closing Thought
Good ideas won't make you rich - only the application of good ideas will make life better. This book should make you think. Ultimately, the real power in these ideas may not be in the ideas themselves, but rather in the insights that each may trigger for you. We hope you will adapt these notions to fit your needs and take them to a new level! Good luck!

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