Maintaining high quality of food service, restaurant management, food costing, etc are among the major responsibilities of the Food and Beverage Department in the hospitality and tourism industry. The act of providing a menu to a guest at a restaurant is described as the ability to place an advertisement in the hands of the every customer before them part with their money. The menu in the restaurants can be considered as the only marketing content which is guaranteed to be read by every customer.
The restaurant is assured that once a customer is seated at any table, a purchase of food is guaranteed (Altinay, Paraskevas & Jang, 2015). The psychology of the menu design is significant in a restaurant as it is what determines a huge part of the purchased behaviour and decision making of the customers. The purpose of the assignment is to obtain a comprehensive idea about the effect that a menu of a restaurant has on the purchase behaviour of the customers. The objective of the assignment is to discuss the menu related terms. A brief evaluation of the aesthetic characteristics of a menu is also done in the assignment (Brotherton, 2015).
Caffe Acqua is a modern cafe restaurant and a pizzeria that is located in Elizabeth City. Its offers a wide variety of fresh options of food dishes that provides its customers with a lively food experience. It has a wide range of food to cater to the cravings of customers of all age groups. Its menu consists of extensive options covering pizzas, steaks, pasta, salads, burgers, seafood, and much more. The cafe also offers a great variety of beers and wines both of local and imported varieties (Buhalis & Crotts, 2013).
The café has freshest and tastiest varieties of cakes and coffees to its customers. The cafe provides special lunch which is open to its customers from 11 am to 4 pm every day. The cafe also provides food and catering services for occasions like Christmas function, birthdays, business lunches, christenings, and other major functions (Bardi, 2003).
Evaluation of Menu
The menu serves many functions for the consumer as well as the restaurateur. Caffe Acqua has carefully designed its menu to direct the attention of its customers towards specific items and facilitate the selection of those items by the customers. The menu of the cafe can be depicted as the representation of a type of selling situation (FitzPatrick, et al., 2013). The menus are designed with the intention of promoting the perception of value among its customers which can be referred as the exact mechanism that instigates that perception is not based on any factual studies.
Every restaurant has its menu that is designed carefully so as to persuade the customers into making specific decisions, mostly the decisions that will instigate the customers to spend more money (Bardi, 2003). Menu psychology includes the engineering of the menu that is backed by science and extensive researches that covers the aspects like theory of colour, usage of buzzing words, controlled costing and positioning, etc. the menu of Caffe Acqua includes Bread & Starters, Burgers, Focaccias, Risotto, Seafood, Salads, Pasta, Chicken, Meat, and Sauces (Law, Buhalis & Cobanoglu, 2014).
The menu of Caffe Acqua also includes varieties of Pizzas and specialized menu for the kids. The menu has wide varieties of beverages of beers, spirits, sparkling wines, premixes, juices and soft drinks, coffee, cokes, gelato, white and red wines. The presentation of the menu can be displayed on the electronic plasma screens, fluorescent illuminated blackboards or handwritten on chalkboards. Caffe Acqua has made the use of technology by posting the menu on the website along with having colourful booklet as a menu for its customers. The cafe provides Table d' hotel, which means that it provides a complete meal at a fixed price for its customers without any limit on the quantity of food taken (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013).
On the other hand, it also offers La Carte menu that refers to the free and specific choice of food made by the customers from the menu booklet and is priced individually. However, most of the menu is static by nature that means that most of the dishes on the menu are served to the customers at any time of the year. The cyclic menu is also offered to the customers that mean that specific food items are offered to the customers in rotation at an interval of specific duration.
The psychology of the customers is kept in mind while designing a menu. The perception of the customers is kept in mind while creating a menu design. Use of loud and attractive colors along with attractive and easily perceived font style and size is selected to highlight special dishes that fetch attention easily (Bardi, 2003).
The name of the dishes is presented in such a way that they have optimum spacing between them so that the customers can go through easily. The items are grouped and given heading under a category and the description regarding the item is given just below each item (Munar & Jacobsen, 2014). The presentation of the menu is designed keeping the regency effect due to which people tend to remember the end of the list and the primacy aspect due to which the customers can recall very few item from the beginning of the list than the middle of the menu (Schuckert, Liu & Law, 2015).
Many factors affect the planning of the menu by Caffe Acqua. It has to give importance to the food habits and preferences of the customers, the nutritional value of the food, the aesthetic factors associated with the food that include the flavour, texture, colour, texture, shape and consistency of the food, sustainability associated with food preparation, the regulations of the government associated to the menu display, the decisions of the management regarding the food, socio-cultural factors associated with the customers regarding food, etc (Page, 2014).
The cafe keeps the pyramid of plate into consideration according to which every meal must include the fruits, grains, vegetable and protein in balanced amounts. The cafe has to be careful in the presentation of menu such that there are no misrepresentation of the menu regarding the quality, quantity, price, brand names, product identification, and points of origin, merchandising terms, means of preservation, dietary or nutritional claims and food preparation (Riley, 2014).
Summary of findings:
According to the analysis of the menu of Caffee Acqua, it could be observed that the cafe has given importance to the psychology of the customers regarding the perception of the menu. The usage of fonts, colours, headings, description of the food, images, etc has been used effectively so as to influence the purchase behaviour of the customers that would enhance the sales of the Cafe.
The menu of Caffee Acqua is effective in affecting the purchase behaviour of the customers. However, there is a room for enhancing the menu which can be done by planning the dinner meats for the entire cycle during menu planning online.
The luncheon entrees or the main dishes should be selected without including the regular items on the dinner menu on the online menu.
The starch item should be matched with the entrée.
Salads, accompaniments, and appetizers must be set accordingly on the online menu.
Breakfast should be planned after the meals for lunch and dinners and the meals for the entire day should be reviewed as a unit keeping the governmental regulations and managerial considerations in mind.
The analysis of the menu psychology of the Caffee Acqua was carried out which provided comprehensive idea regarding the purchase behaviour of the customers in the cafe. Evaluation of the menu was carried out in details and the findings were discussed in brief. The recommendations for designing and improving the online menu of the cafe was also illustrated that would affect the purchase behaviour of the customers and generation of better sales through the online menu.
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