Menu is the statement of food and beverage items available or provided by food establishments primarily based on consumer demand and designed to achieve organizational objectives. It represents the focal point around which components of food service systems are based. The menu is designed carefully what the outlet wants to cater for, keeping in mind the type of clientele. The main advantage of a well-planned menu is that it leads to consumer satisfaction. It also helps to motivate the employees for a responsible and successful service.
A successful menu depends upon composition-the right combination of foods, prepared perfectly, to the entire satisfaction of the customer. So claimed Antoin Careme, the French
chef who is considered the founder of classical cuisine. Menu is a document that controls and directs an outlet’s operations and is considered the prime selling instrument of the restaurant.
In a restaurant, a menu is the list of dishes to be served or available for a diner to select from. The items that are available for the diner to choose from are broken down into various categories,
depending on the time of day or the event. The compilation of a menu is the most important part of a
caterer’s work. It is regarded as an art, acquired only through experience and study. The menu is a link between the guest and the establishment, hence it should be carefully planned by the
establishment’s professionals, namely the executive chef, the food and beverage manager and the food and beverage controller. The word menu dates back to 1718, but the custom of
making such a list is much older. In earlier times, the escriteau (bill of fare) or menu of ceremonial meals was displayed on the wall loadable with the kitchen staff to follow the order in which the dishes were to be served. It is said that in olden times, menus were like a large dictionary with sections covering a variety of dishes. As time progressed the lengthy single copy menu became smaller but increased in number allowing a number of copies placed in table increased. Depending on the establishment and the occasion, the menu may be plain or artistic in its presentation.