About this module
Now on to one of the key components of your business – what are you planning to serve to customers? If you’re struggling to pin a menu down, this module will walk you through helpful advice and questions to keep in mind when you’re putting it all together. This is an exciting step in your business journey that should be enjoyable and also rewarding to flesh out!
Planning or expanding your menu or product range is probably one of the more exciting planning tasks for a home baker. However, there can sometimes be too many things to consider and take into account.
So, in this module, I want to simplify this process with you and share key principles in menu planning. There are three steps in Menu Planning. Brainstorm, Check and Design.
In Brainstorm, we first take the perspective as the menu planner, and then as the customer.
The Menu Planner always starts with the goals of the company or brand.
For home bakers, begin with your strengths by listing the items you are most confident and passionate about.
Then, list them by menu types. A static menu is one that does not change. These menus usually have items built around the brand or signature products. A single use menu is a temporary menu consisting of items to mark a certain celebration or special occasion. A seasonal menu is one that changes at the end of every cycle, for example changing months or season.
Think about the variety of your list. Can you group them into Categories? You can group them by Variety and Contrast in terms of Taste and Texture, as well as Presentation or Eye Appeal, meaning colour, shape & size.
Two, Strive for Balance with the Cuisine, Technique, Flavour and Nutrition. For example if you have a product that is high in fat and sugar, contrast it with a product that has low fat and sugar.
Then, look from the perspective of the customer as their preference defers greatly depending on who and where they are and their culture. Understanding their preferences, habits, and priorities such as nutrition and family will help guide your menu.
Since culture and customer preferences is such an important topic to menu planning, we will speak about it further in the next video.
The next step after brainstorming the list of items is to Check the Limitation of your Production capability.
As entrepreneurs we must be careful not to over promise something that may not be possible. There are four questions to consider, which are Manpower, Machinery, Materials and Pricing.
In order to deliver the list of items in the menu efficiently and to the satisfaction of our customers, do we have the skills and manpower capacity to deliver? Is our Kitchen Set Up with the tools and equipment needed?
Do we have too many ingredients under one menu? How many ingredients do we need to fulfil the menu?
Sometimes, using a few key core ingredients as the spine of your menu makes the creation of it much simpler and easier to manage in a logistical sense.
Lastly, are we able to turn a profit? This refers to your budget and pricing. One should look at the customer’s buying habits and the costs to deliver on the menu.
More on costing in the pricing module.
Finally, once we have managed to ensure that we have a menu we like and a menu that works, we can go ahead and design the menu. Here are a few tips in doing so.
1. Apply design elements to establish the look and feel you want your brand and menu to portray.
2. Emphasize on the story, values and feeling that you want the customers to experience.
3. Do not clutter the menu – keep the menu simple and highlight the signature product. Splitting the menu into categories can help too.
And finally, feel free to invent Names, as you go, especially for products that are yet to be in the market. This is a chance also to incorporate your brand name into your product name such as Sundays Swiss Cake or Sunshine Bread.
These are the steps, tips and key principles as far as menu planning goes for home bakers.
The menu planner has to draw inspiration from the business goals, consider the capability of making their desired menu and create a menu design that can show off its selections effectively.
An attractive menu is the very spine on which the business can grow and succeed.