An Unsung Hero of your Café: The Menu Card

Imagine when you walk into a café looking at the beauty around and the ambiance the café offers, what introduces you to the café before the staff member does? The menu cards! A compact yet very resourceful piece of information. While most of us just add what the café has to offer to the menu card, we tend to miss the consumer absorbs and retains the information that is served to them on their café table.   

Yes, one most important thing for a coffee shop apart from its beautiful location, world-class equipment, and catchy brand name is the menu card. A menu card is not just a piece of information of food offered with its price, but a lot goes into planning and execution behind a menu that decides the effect it would have on your guests. Here are some things to consider when creating a coffee shop menu:   

RESONATION-   

When deciding the menu should resonate with your cafe/restaurant/outlet. The concept of your restaurant should be visible on your menu. This will make your customers connect with your cafe.   

BEVERAGES-   

Detailed planning is required before deciding the beverages to put up on the menu. Once you have your ideas and the categories of what you want, organize and write them down in detail. You can even break down how you make it and serve it after proper testing sessions. Here are some basics to include on an average coffee shop menu:   

Espresso: straight, in water (americano/tonic), or with milk (macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, latte, mocha).  

Non-coffee: hot chocolate, steamers, tea, Italian soda, juice, tea latte, cascara, matcha   

Seasonal or specialties: where you can get creative from flavoured dessert drinks to cocktail coffees   

FOOD PAIRING-   

Food is another most important segment that should be kept in mind while finalizing your menu. The food menu should be in sync with the beverage so that your customers can relish both equally.  

For eg- Dark roasted coffee can be paired with chocolate cake, while white chocolate mousse cake is delicious with Arabica coffees. The grilled sandwich can be paired with espresso and so on.   

DEMAND-    

Thorough research is required to know what’s selling in your area and how much people are willing to pay for it. It’s important to know the trends in your niche and how to fulfill the demands of your target market. You can also know the trends to come, or create them, so you can meet a demand that’s not even there yet. Everything you serve should be in line with your vision and consistently attract your market.    

DEPTH–    

You need to determine the depth of your product line on the menu, based on your target market, brand, and selection. Though there are a few basic categories, you can always find ways to make countless combinations of these drinks. You obviously can’t list them all, so you have to find that balance between making your menu easy to read but letting others know you can make a higher variety. The menu that you choose has to stay consistent with your brand and vision. An added benefit will be a beautiful description of the dish and the ingredients that are used to craft it. If they are season specials, that will be a jewel on your crown!  

DESIGN-   

An intriguing design with a striking image in a menu plays a very important role. It’s the finish that makes all the difference. An appealing menu can make your customer order more, so make sure you pay attention to the design of the menu. Try to include descriptions under each item so that it is easy for the customers to make a decision. Also, keep breakfast, lunch, and evening specials.   

PREPARATION TIME-   

Utmost attention is needed in the preparation time, so make sure to ease up the process. Avoid putting those items in the menu which you cannot serve due to unavailability of ingredients or for any other reason.   

PRICE-   

Keep track of what competitors are pricing and determine where you want to position yourself. Also make sure each item’s costs are covered, having calculated every penny per ounce for each item.   

UPDATE-   

Keep a regular track of the fast-moving and the slow-moving items on your menu and change them accordingly to stay updated according to your customer’s trends.   

This interpretation is very imperative as it helps you understand what your customer needs. This will help you clear your thoughts and arrive at a vision- the effect you want to have on your customers. A theme and vision well thought through can help you decide the menu details that are in sync with this. Every business choice should appeal to your target market, so your menu is no different. Let the menu introduce the values for your café, right before you do! 

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