The study of the profitability and popularity of different menu items in restaurants, as well as how these variables influence where things are placed on a menu, is known as restaurant menu engineering.

The objective of restaurant menu engineering is to maximize revenue generated from each customer by making strategic use of various design elements and their arrangement in order to influence eating selections.

Although the term “menu engineering” is most frequently used in reference to the traditional paper menus used in restaurants, the concepts behind it are equally applicable to menus that are posted online, drink menus, specials that are written on table tents, and items that are written on menu boards.

Even the most popular food delivery apps are using menu engineering and psychology to make better profits and sell more.

What is Menu Engineering?

Menu engineering for restaurant and online platform menus is the practice of using menu psychology and design features to persuade customers to choose meals that are likely to generate a high profit and enjoy a high level of popularity in a short period of time. As per data, profits at restaurants may rise by more than 10 to 15 percent when they use menus that have been through the restaurant menu engineering process.

Menu Engineering

If you offer products with varying degrees of popularity and profitability, menu engineering could able to assist you in enhancing your earnings. You will get a deeper understanding of the things you offer, as well as the opportunities to boost profits associated with each specific item via the process of menu engineering.

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Menu Engineering Matrix


Your Stars make you a lot of money and are very popular. They’re easy to make and don’t cost much, and your guests will love them. Keep these menu items the same and promote them in any way you can instead of changing them. Put these items on your specials list and promote them tirelessly.


Puzzles are the most profitable items on your menu, but they are hard to sell. Figure out why they aren’t selling. Sometimes, a small price cut is all it takes to bring in more customers and make more money overall. These things should be at the top of your menu.

Plow Horses

These items with low-profit margins are popular with a lot of people and sell a lot. People like these things, and if you study their ingredients and lower the cost per serving, you can make more money. You might want to reduce the size of the servings and make the dish look better.


The Dogs are those items on your menu that are expensive to make and not very popular with your guests. They take up space on your menu that could be used for items that could make you more money. It would be better for you to eliminate them from your menu. But don’t hesitate to change them and give them a new chance.

Also, read – How to Open a Restaurant in India – The Complete Guide

what is menu engineering

The Importance of Doing Menu Engineering

It would be best if you prioritized investing in menu engineering so that you can boost the overall profitability of your company. It enables you to subtly persuade clients to buy the products you want them to, which can be quite effective. The management of your costs and profits needs to include menu engineering to a very significant extent.

You will be able to determine which goods are beneficial for your company with the use of a menu engineering matrix. This is a graph where you should position each item according to what you have determined in terms of how popular it is and how profitable it is.

Customers are eager to support sustainable practices, and this extends to the choices they make about where they eat. To get more and more customers, you may utilize menu engineering to reduce waste, which will allow you to save money while also minimizing the quantity of food that is wasted.

It is crucial for your company to cut down on the amount of trash that it generates, both from a financial and an environmental point of view.

Also, read – How restaurant consulting can help grow your food business

The Bottom Line

The engineering of menus enables a comprehensive analysis of both the items and the menu. This presents you with a chance to expand the amount of money that you make from your food company.

It is really necessary for you to give some thought to which of your meals are the most well-liked by your clients. You will then be able to make an accurate evaluation of how they may react if you were to change an item on the menu or eliminate it totally—because of this, receiving feedback and input from customers is also very important.

But in order to successfully apply menu engineering, you must first pay attention to both your consumers and your staff and then make efficient use of the data you have collected.