3 Reasons You Don’t Want Your Advertising Agency To Design-Engineer Your Menu.

1 – They don’t believe menu-engineering works (or in many cases, that menu engineering is even a thing). If they did, they would be design-engineering your menu already, and I guarantee you they’re not. Don’t believe me? Email me your menu and I’ll give you a FREE analysis. Read my report and see if I’m not right about how your menu is working (or in your case, not working).


2 – Your menu will end up in the kids department. All agencies have senior and junior designers and writers, and the senior people all work on the first round, the important stuff like taglines, and headlines and the advertising. The menu, on the other hand, will get shuffled off to some junior person. And what’s funny is, the menu is actually your most important marketing tool. In fact, it should be just the opposite. The senior people should work on the menu because the menu is responsible for serving every guess in your restaurants.


3 – It will cost you too much. Agencies see your menu as a way to make money. They’ll estimate the piece for you, and then they’ll do everything in their power to make sure the project comes in under budget. So your menu will go through the good work for good money machine, and they will give it as little thought as they can just to get it out the door.


What should you do? Call HotOperator and have them estimate your project, and allow them to go through their process. If nothing else, you’ll have an outline that you can beat your agency over the head and shoulders with to make sure they make your menu correctly. But keep in mind, when they start telling you that this menu engineering stuff doesn’t really work, look them straight in the eye and tell they their wrong. The menu experts at HotOperator have been building restaurant menus from the ground up for more than 25 years. And when you put a HotOperator menu on your tables, you will make a lot more money.


Call HotOperator at 1-800-316-3198 or connect up through their website here.

The Difference Between A Cookie Cutter And A Restaurant Menu

I swear, I really don’t think many restaurant operators know the difference. If they did, they wouldn’t have the same menu as everybody else. A well-designed restaurant menu is more than just a double dip in the glitz bucket. Your menu needs to be an extension of your brand, and the only way to make that happen is to have it professionally design engineered specifically for your restaurant brand.

Our process starts with a Restaurant Menu Matrix, then we build your menu with perfect product positioning, restaurant menu highlighting, restaurant menu anchoring and strategic product pricing that balances your need to be profitable with price points hat won’t send your customers into a tizzy.

We couple our scientific menu engineering with some of the best design and writing in the business. Design and writing developed just for you. So instead of picking your menu out of a catalog, you’re getting actually designers and writers working on your business. So rather than a cookie cutter, you’re getting a hand carved, made from scratch menu.

When you’re ready to get out of your cookie cutter menu, call HotOperator at 800-316-3198 or contact the menu design-engineering experts through their website here.

4 Reasons Foodservice Distributors Make Poor Menu Design Partners

1 – They want your food business (as much of it as they can get). To your distributor, your restaurant menu is just another way to get the food business. And if they can leverage a little of their administrative staff to get it, they will. But this doesn’t make them experts in menu design engineering, so when a foodservice distributor makes a restaurant menu for you, their primary reason for doing so is to lock up the food business.


2 – It’s a conflict of interest. Your foodservice distributor has a list of food items they want to sell, through your restaurant. These are items that make them a lot more money than others, and those items are the very items that they will promote on your restaurant menu. It’s not that they don’t know how to engineer a menu, it’s that they are at cross-purposes with you and your restaurant business. So not only do you have to manage the process of your own menu design engineering, you also have to keep a watchful eye on which items your foodservice distributor wants to promote.


3 – They have an unfair advantage. Your restaurant distributor knows more about your food and supply purchases than you do. They monitor what you buy, pay attention to the prices you pay and which items you watch most closely. And there are reasons they make you agree to buy a certain percentage of your food purchases from them in exchange for a menu. They know they’ll make it back in increased prices and guaranteed volume.


4 – They don’t live or die by your menu. Unlike a professional Menu Engineering and Design company, your foodservice distributor isn’t that tied to the success of your menu. So their interest in giving you objective advice is less important than getting your menu out the door.


When you’re ready to take back control of your purchases, give HotOperator a call. You’ll get a professional menu and objective advice on how best to menu market your business. Call 1-800-316-3198, or visit the HotOperator website here.

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Restaurant Menu Highlighting

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1 – Restaurant Menu Product Highlights can work to slow the sale of a product if you’re not careful. HotOperator research shows that there are actually very few menu highlights that actually increase the sales velocity of a product on a restaurant menu. Not knowing how highlights work best can cost you in the long run.


2 – Restaurant Product Positioning will enhance your highlights, but only if you know what to look for. Restaurant eye movement charts are impacted by highlights, and so are menu sales and profits. Getting this part wrong can make dogs out of stars.



3 – Knowing which Restaurant Products to Highlight on a Restaurant Menu is very important. It’s not just about popularity, but instead, you want to focus on items that can become stars over time.


4 – Highlighting an Inconsistent Restaurant Menu Product will kill it quicker. Once a Restaurant Menu is properly highlighted, people will try those highlighted items more often. If the product is inconsistent or poorly made, it will drop off in sales very quickly.


5 – Restaurant Menu Highlights are not stronger than your serving staff. If you highlight a product you want to sell more of and your wait staff doesn’t like the item, it will never sell well.


Call HotOperator and hire them to review your menu. Call 1 800-316-3198 now, or contact them through their website, which can be found here.

5 Reasons Why None Of Your Wait Staff Make Good Menu Designers


Webber's Before Menu

Webber's Before Menu


Webber's After Menu

Webber's After Men


1 – Saving Money Just To Loose More. You think you’re saving money by having someone on your wait staff work on your menu, but you’re actually costing yourself thousands of dollars in lost revenue because they are not menu engineers with experience in helping you create a great menu that will enhance your brand and grow your business (if they were, they would be doing that for a living instead of slinging hash).


2 – A Few Years of Schooling in Computers Does Not Make You a Designer. In fact, it takes years of work experience working with restaurant menu design engineering to master the process. But you already know this, because you don’t just take a buss person and put them on your cooking line. And it’s the same with your restaurant menu, which is just as important (and statistically more important than) your food.


3 – Better Writing, Better Experience. Writing A Restaurant Menu is as much a skill as designing a Restaurant Menu. Food product descriptions need to entice, convince and inspire. Not an easy task, and not to be hacked together by just anyone.


4 – First Impressions. Your restaurant menu is the first line of communication for your restaurant brand. You can never the chance for a great first impression back. This first impression can have a huge impact on how your guests perceive your food; it’s taste and their likeliness to return. Taking a chance on a part time person with that much power is dangerous to your business.


5 – Finding Hidden Money. A menu is a very specialized catalog that can be the pivot point in your restaurant marketing. It’s easy to think that anyone can make a product list, and that’s true. It doesn’t take much experience to put a bunch of products into a list. But if you are smart, you’ll want a menu that is designed to build your restaurant and enhance your brand.


When you’re ready to elevate your brand, give HotOperator a call. The menu design and engineering experts at HotOperator can build you a better, more product menu that will help you make more profits day in and day out. Call 1-800-316-3198 or contact them through the HotOperator website here.

HotOperator Restaurant Menu Engineering Process Video

This is the HotOperator Menu Design and Engineering Process. The HotOperator menu development specialists break it down into 4 parts - Positioning, Highlights, Anchoring and Numbers. Get a sneak peek into the whole process with this video from the trusted name in restaurant marketing, HotOperator.

HotOperator Cafe Menu Cover Assembly Instructions

HotOperator shows you how to stuff a great menu. Many of our customers have asked for any methods we might share on how to get paper to slip into the cafe menu covers. Here is a step-by-step video on how we do it every day at HotOperator. Don't forget, when you buy your printing and covers through HotOperator, the Menu Collating is free!

The Best Way To Stuff A Menu Is To Have Someone Do It For You (Hint).