At first, before starting the origin of the menu or history of the menu let’s discuss What is the menu? So, the menu is a list of dishes that are available for sale in a food service outlet or that can be served at a meal.
Origin of the Menu
In French, Menu means “in minute detail and in English“, it is also termed as a “bill of fare“. It is believed that the term “menu” was first used in 1541 when “Duke Henry of Brunswick” was seen referring to a sheet of paper during a feast. This was the first time when the menu word is used for a hotel in history.
The size of the card gradually became smaller, which made it possible to have more copies placed on the tables. Even today in formal banquets, every invitee gets a copy of the menu.
Every Food industry, whether operating for commercial or welfare purposes, large or small, uses a menu. There are many types of menus, it depends upon all managerial and operational activities of the food and beverage operations.
FUNCTION OF the MENU
The functions of the menu are discussed below:-
1. BASIS FOR OPERATIONS
The menu forms the basis for all activities that are carried out in the restaurant and in the food and beverage departments as a whole.
2. COMMUNICATION DEVICE
The menu communicates to the guests the dishes available for sale, along with pieces and short descriptions of each item. It also informs whether the dishes are spicy or nonspicy, vegetarian or nonvegetarian, the tax percentage, waiting time, and so on.
3. EFFECTIVE SALES TOOL
The menu is primarily a sales tool. In F&B outlets and Casual dining restaurants, they are presented attractively in bright colors on display boards with pictures that motivate people to buy.
Menu card describes dishes in an appetizing way, making it easy for customers to select dishes, help locate dishes they are looking for by printing pictures, promote chef’s special dishes, happy hours, and so on.
4. IMAGE BUILDER
The font style, design, color, quality of the card, variety of dishes on offer, presentation style, and so on, speak about the profile of the restaurant.
One can assess the quality of the staff in production and service areas, the kind of equipment used, the infrastructure of the restaurant, customer profile, and so on, by going through the menu.