Menu Analysis? Plow Horse, Dog, Puzzle, Star.
A restaurant menu is a powerful tool that can make or break a restaurant’s success. Not only does it provide customers with a list of dishes to choose from, but it also reflects the restaurant’s style, philosophy, and pricing strategy. To get the most out of a restaurant menu, it’s important to analyze it carefully and categorize the menu items into different categories. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to categorize menu items into plow horse, dog, puzzle, and star categories.
1. Plow Horse Menu Items
Plow horse menu items are the dishes that are necessary to have on the menu, but they’re not particularly profitable or popular. These dishes are usually staple items like burgers, sandwiches, or pasta dishes. Plow horse menu items are essential to have on the menu because they provide a wide range of options for customers and act as a filler between star menu items. While these dishes don’t necessarily contribute to a significant portion of the restaurant’s sales, they’re still necessary for the menu’s overall balance.
2. Dog Menu Items
Dog menu items are the exact opposite of star menu items. These are the dishes that are low-profit and unpopular among customers. They usually require a lot of effort to prepare, but have a low profit margin. Dog menu items can also be seasonal, making them even less desirable. It’s important to remove dog menu items from the menu to increase profitability and focus on dishes that are more profitable and popular.
3. Puzzle Menu Items
Puzzle menu items are the dishes that are highly profitable, but not necessarily popular among customers. These dishes usually require a lot of effort to prepare and have a high profit margin, but they’re not as attractive to customers. Puzzle menu items can be tricky because they’re highly profitable, but they don’t sell well. Examples of puzzle menu items include foie gras, caviar, or exotic dishes that may not be familiar to customers.
4. Star Menu Items
Star menu items are the dishes that are highly profitable and popular among customers. These dishes are usually the signature dishes of the restaurant and contribute to a large percentage of the restaurant’s sales. Star menu items are the main reason why customers visit the restaurant and are willing to pay a premium for them. Examples of star menu items include high-end steaks, fresh seafood, and special desserts.
How to Analyze a Restaurant Menu
Now that we’ve discussed the four categories of restaurant menu items, let’s dive into how to analyze a restaurant menu.
1. Review Sales Data
The first step in analyzing a restaurant menu is to review the sales data. This will help you identify the star, dog, plow horse, and puzzle menu items. By analyzing the sales data, you can determine which dishes are popular and which dishes are not selling well. This information will help you adjust the menu to focus on star menu items and remove dog menu items.
2. Assess Profit Margins
The second step in analyzing a restaurant menu is to assess the profit margins of each menu item. This will help you identify the puzzle menu items that are highly profitable but not selling well. By adjusting the pricing strategy or the presentation of these dishes, you can turn puzzle menu items into star menu items.
3. Evaluate Customer Feedback
The third step in analyzing a restaurant menu is to evaluate customer feedback. This can be done through surveys, online reviews, or feedback forms. This information will help you identify which dishes are popular among customers and which dishes need improvement. By listening to customer feedback, you can adjust the menu to.
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