Menu planning and related product development plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of business processes and success of an organization (Hemmington and King, 2010). It is essential to have an understanding about principles of professional menu planning, meal management and the development of new menu products and services. In the current research report, various factors influencing menu planning decisions and menu product development planning processes. Along with this, various design principles in a food service environment have been applied and specific recommendations for developing new product concept have been developed.
Recipe is a standardized and tested procedure for preparing foods, which includes various ingredients of the food item and their proportion, order of mixing, temperature and time for cooking, etc to develop uniform and tasty products (RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, 2014). At the time of developing recipes, some a variety of guiding principles are required to be considered such as the recipe should full flavored as well as it must be taste fabulous so that it could be liked by the customers and can become extremely a popular and broadly requested recipe. There should be an attractive name of the dish and it must be stated that how much time it will take to prepare the dish (Fuller, 2009). Further, in the development of recipe, it should be involved that what ingredients along with their proportions and quantity are need to prepare the product. Along with this, various equipments, environment and temperature, along with all the steps in the preparing procedure should be involved in the recipe (Amjadi and Hussain, 2005). Along with this, the product going to be developed should be colorful and attractive so that great number of customers can be attracted and the product can be liked by people.
Menu planning decisions are affected by a variety of factors such as availability of food and ingredients, food habits of customers, availability of money, availability of time, etc (Menu planning, 2014). A menu is usually based on what can be bought in the market, so that it is essential to consider availability of seasonal ingredients in the menu planning. As menus are prepared for the customers, it is essential to identify that what kind of products are liked and demanded by clients on the market. Thus, there is a great impact of food habits of customers in the menu planning decisions (Morrison, 2006). Further, dishes to be prepared for the customers are dependent on the available budget and time for preparing the food, so that there is a great influence of availability of money and time on the menu planning decisions. Along with this, the location and type of establishment also have an impact on the decisions for menu planning.
Services methods used for serving food the customers in the establishment are affected by a variety of factors. The number of service employees available in the establishment and number of customers to be served have a great influence on the methods of service (McGarrity, 2009). For example, if there are huge number of customers but only limited employees are available in the market for serving them, then it will be difficult to manage table service method so that in this case buffet service method will be suitable. On the other hand, if there is sufficient cooks and waiter in the establishment, then it will be preferable to use table service method (Haverkamp, 2007). Further, there type of food to be served alos affects the service methods. For example, in breakfast the buffet service is suitable, whereas for lunch and dinner, table service is effective.
In the planning of menu product development, first of all an idea for a new product is developed by considering the customers and management. Then, a rough archetype is developed and on the basis of this a prototype is created as a commercialized bench sample. Further, it is refined by incorporating feedback from the team. Thereafter, a testable prototype is rolled out by determining customer feedbacks (Kelso, 2013). After that, an operations test for the new menu product is conducted and help of marketing is taken to push the product and pull the clients. Further, the product is refined in the market along with getting support of effective marketing and soliciting consumer feedbacks. In this way, all the menu products for the establishments are successfully developed.
In the current scenario, there are a range of influences of various internal and external factors on the development process of the establishment (Martinez, 2013). Costs of materials and resources including employees have a great influence on the development of a new product, as higher costs will force to reduce expenses on other activities required in the development process. Further, it is essential to consider various changing technological, political, natural environmental factors at the time of developing a product. The needs and demands of customers are changing rapidly and are dependent on various social factors like culture, traditions, etc so they also have an influence on the development process (Thompson, Harrison and Flanagan, 2004). Along with this, it is essential to have sufficient human resources, finance, time and other resources to develop a product in successfully, so these factors also have an impact on the development process.
The process of menu development plays a very important role in the process of delivering effective and efficient food services to customers or clients (Eckstein, 2003). It is imperative from view point that guests will see the menu and then only decide on what kind of food item they want to order. Thus it may not be wrong to say that menu and its contents have a very crucial role to play in the sale process of a hospitality organization. Similarly, recipe development also is critically involved into sale of food items of the company (Zopiatis and Orphanides, 2009). There are many kinds of menu designs that can be considered by management of such organizations, but there is one common thing which has to be kept in mind by them, it is that no matter what design they select, it should be in line with firm goals and also attract customers. Since a long time, menu related to food items have had a very central role in not only magnetizing the customers to the firm, but also in ensuring effective sales of the organization (Ditmer and Keefe, 2008). Some of the designs of menu include the likes of paper based menu; menu board; outdoors; digital displays; online menu, etc.
Paper based menu designs are the most common form of menu that can be considered by management of such organizations and also is the most widely used one. It is mostly used in small scale hospitality firms such as cafes and the likes. They are printed on single sheet of paper and are viewed multiple times by customers (Hall, 2002). Design or type of menu is dependent upon kind of operations performed by the organization and type of customers that it deals with. Herein type of recipes used by the firm also has an important role to play in selection of a menu design (Balintfy, 2004). Concept of menu development and design becomes all the more important from view point that hospitality firms usually offer such food products to customers that contains a lot of elements and also give guests the options if they would like to have any additional item in it, like toppings. This means that the menu design will have to be such that it presents all such options to the customers and also attract them.
Food service environment basically can be defined as the system through which process right from food production till its delivery to customers is monitored, maintained and regulated. Considering present day situation in the hospitality industry, such environments play a very important role not only delivering hygienic food options to clients, but also in attracting them, thus giving the firm an edge over competitors (Morrison, 2007). It can be supported through fact that the better food service environment the better will be performance of the firm in market and also sustainability of the organization. This aspect of business operations of a hospitality organization is imperative as if attention is not paid to it, then there are chances that the firm will lose its position in the market and also will not be able to effectively deal with its customers or clients. Herein it can be said that food service environment is crucial, as it extensively supports the menu as well as the process of recipe development (Cousins, Foskett and Gillespie, 2002). This means that if the hospitality firm wants to deliver effective services its customers, then the management will have to make sure that their food service environment is such that it does both, attracting customers and deliver of proper services to the customers.
If authorities do not pay any attention to this process, then there are chances that they will not be able to effectively operate in the market and also fulfill organizational goals and objectives (Allen and Albala, 2007). It has a substantial impact on different facets of firm working such as menu, recipe, service style, etc. It may not be wrong to say that if authorities are to attract and retain customers for a long term, then they need to put in place a very effective food service environment. If the authorities are not able to do so, then performance of the firm will be affected very badly and also customers neither will be attracted nor will be retained with the organization (Riley, 2005). Considering the fact that hospitality industry is a very competitive marketplace, if such firms do not develop a proper and effective food service environment, then they will not be able to survive in the industry for a very long period of time. This is mainly because of reason that authorities will not be able to reach and maintain a position through the help of which they can develop a proper menu, recipes and service delivery methods (Tamime, 2009).
Today the food concepts have changed by a great margin that what they previously were, with contribution from a great many factors. For hospitality firms such as restaurants and hotels it is crucial that they keep on developing and modifying their concepts and approaches of food development, mainly because of reason that it has a direct impact on their very existence and overall performance (Nolan and et.al, 2010). The customers nowadays have become more demanding and want to taste new kinds of food items at the cheapest prices possible. Main reason behind it is that they desire to have different experiences and also to lead a lavish lifestyle. Prime concept for their coming to a restaurant and hotel is that they will get to eat new and unique kinds of food that will give them a different kind of experience (Jones and Lockwood, 2005). There is another reason behind it as well which states that as people get less and less time to do things they like and enjoy the time as they want to, eating food products that are new and unique is one method through which they can taste different cultures and concepts. One of the food concepts that are getting very popular in the market is to provide different kinds of food items under the same roof (Kipps and Middleton, 2010). People now are going more to those kinds of restaurants that provide them a wide variety of options related to eating out. For instance, there are many such organizations that prepare and sell food in American, Italian and Asian styles so as to attract the customers
Clients are demanding for such products mainly because of reason that dishes made in these styles are very popular and a hit among the customers (Gallacci, 2005). They want to eat those food items that are made in such styles. It is because of this very reason that such organizations are developing systems through the help of which they can prepare food items in these kinds of styles. The main reason behind selection of this system is that it enables hospitality firms to much effectively reach out to the customers and also provide them with such eating options through the help of which their needs and wants related to eating and food items can be satisfied (Canziani, 2007). Considering the present day competitive era of hospitality industry, it may not be wrong to say that if market players do not resort to such options then there are very less chances that they will be able to survive in the market.
Along with this, customer requirements also have changed considerably in recent times. As said earlier as well, they want to have different kinds of experience in terms of the food that they eat. There are a lot of reasons behind such concepts and philosophies of people (Canziani, 2007). One of them being that their lives has become very hectic, due to which they do not get opportunity to travel a lot or gain new experiences, and thus want to eat at such places that can provide them with the same opportunities. This means that if such organizations are able to develop and provide to them such menu, then the firm will be able to retain them for a longer period of time (Carew and Florkowski, 2010). Customers of the modern age also tend to live a very lavish and luxurious lifestyle, which makes it all the more important for them to eat such food items that are both unique and different in nature. To satisfy such needs of the customers, it has become imperative for firms that they develop their product line and operations in the same manner (Johns and Lee-Ross, 2006). To launch such systems and scheme in the market, a lot of efforts will have to be made by management of the company. For instance, extensive research of the industry will have to be carried out, as this will give the authorities with ample of information regarding needs and wants of the customers and then also decide a course of action that they can take so as to launch the system. Other than this, various stakeholders such as that of customers, employees, government, etc will have to be identified and then contacted. This is an essential part mainly because of reason that communicating with them would enable the management to much effectively reach out to them and then make the necessary modifications, if any into products and services of the organization (Hill, 2010).
Here, I have effectively analyzed various concepts related with the menu planning and product development. For understanding the menu planning and related product development as a strategic process, I have taken help of extensive secondary research along with guidance from mentor. A variety of skills including research skills, general knowledge, creative thinking, communication and writing skills, etc have been used by me for effectively implementing new products and services in the organization. I have taken help of books, journals and online articles on the topics related to menu planning and product development. In doing research, I have faced a variety of problems, such as I was not having internet connection and sufficient books, so that I have taken help of a cybercafé and library to access various secondary information. Further, many times I have not got adequate information for doing the research and at that time, I have taken guidance from my mentor to successfully complete all the tasks. With the help of this study, I have greatly enhanced my understanding level and knowledge on the planning for development of new products and menu. I have realized that there are a variety of factors, which affect the functioning and processes in a business organization. I have greatly developed my presentation and communication skills with the help of doing this research. Overall the whole journey in the research was very experiencing and helpful for me in my personal development. I have made my best efforts in not only doing research but also in presenting my own views along with findings of secondary research and guidance form mentor in the this research report. Findings of my research are reliable and accurate as they are based authentic sources and maximum efforts are made to avoid any kind of biasness and to not involve any unreliable content in the research. Due to this reason, the research and my efforts, will not be helpful for me in completing the assignment, but also be very helpful for other students and researchers to further studies related with creation and assessment of menu planning and new food concepts. Further, due to limited availability of time and monetary resources, the research is done in limited scope, so that it is suggested the further researches should include a broad level product development concept, which should be created and assessed on the basis of extensive secondary. Along with this, the help of primary can also be taken for creation and assessment of a new food concept in more effective ways.
With the help of above research report, it can be said that deciding a recipe, menu planning and service method is greatly affected by a variety of internal and external factors. In the product development process, a range of stages along with monitoring and taking feedbacks is required. There are a variety of designs of menu such as paper based menu; menu board; outdoors; digital displays; online menu, etc., but paper based menu design is most suitable (Cousins and Foskett, 2009). Further, the new concept of product was to offer different varieties of a product in an establishment, as it helps in effectively satisfying different needs of customers a single place.