The Menu Engineering report sorts the targeted menu items into four groups based on profitability and popularity. One key variable in the analysis is unit Contribution Margin – or the Sells For less the Serving Cost of the dish. To calculate Popularity, reciProfity uses Sales data for the calculations. Below is a discussion of the rankings:
Winners: Winners are very profitable for you and are very popular with your customers. Winners are your featured items in your establishment, and should have prominent placement on your menus. Monitor your staff to make sure that they consistently use the correct ingredients, and methods to make these dishes.
Plowhorses: Plowhorses are very popular with your customers, but are not very profitable for you. Plowhorses are menu items with higher food cost percentages than your Winners. To move a Plowhorse dish into the Winner category, keep a careful eye on pricing. Plowhorses may also be dishes affected by seasonal pricing such as a produce based salad or fruit dessert. During a high price time, you may consider bumping up the menu price to keep your profits. Use the Recipe Pricing grid to do a "What if":
Puzzles: Puzzles are very profitable, but not very popular with your customers. To move Puzzles into the Winner category, they need marketing intervention. Highlight them on your menus, and instruct servers to feature them as a special. You may need to interview your customers who try the dish about their opinions on it, and modify as needed to match their preferences.
Losers: Losers are not very profitable and are not popular. Every menu item on the Loser list needs careful evaluation. Some Losers simply need more marketing – telling the customer you have it, to move to the Plowhorse category. Other Losers may need their cost structure re-evaluated to increase their profitability and move them into the Puzzle category. Use the Recipe Pricing grid to do a "What if" to play with the costs for this analysis. Ask yourself if this dish meets your target markets expectations, and consider dropping it from the menu.