Owning and running a café can be a rewarding experience, but if you do not have the right menu, it could be some time before you experience success. If you are new to the café and coffee shop industry, you might not be entirely sure how to develop a menu that will appeal to your audience. But with some simple tips and tricks, you can develop a menu to surprise and delight your guests. You will need the right kitchen equipment to create the food from your menu.

Remember to keep the concept of your café in mind when creating a menu, as well as your target audience. Look at the core ingredients that will be going into your dishes and what concept you are aiming for in your food and design. Below we give some helpful information on how to develop a menu for your café. 


What Is Your Concept?


The first step towards developing a menu for your café is to think about the concept of your business. What do you want to be known for as a café? You might want to be known for serving the best croissants in the business, or you might want to be known for the best cakes. From this concept, you can develop a flavour profile and complementary textures. Try to keep the menu to 32 items and under, especially if you are a small café with limited kitchen equipment. 


Consider Core Ingredients


An effective way to keep your café menu small but still tantalising is to think of the core ingredients for the menu. This way,if you have limited kitchen equipment, you can use it effectively and still make delicious food. Try to use as much produce from your surrounding area, to keep costs lower and also to limit the number of ingredients on your menu. For example, you could use organic vegetables from local farms as part of your salad dishes for added freshness and sustainability.


Think About Target Audience


Another important consideration for your menu is to think about who your target audience is. If you are offering a café experience for families, your menu should include dishes that children will enjoy and that can be shared among a family. If your audience is on the Millennial side, you might want to look at creating a menu that taps into the latest food trends. However, you should also focus on your passions, what kitchen equipment you have available, and your ingredients as your target audience may change as your business grows. 


Research Suppliers


You will likely already have all of the correct kitchen equipment you need for a successful café, but finding the right suppliers for your ingredients is vital. The suppliers will have an impact on how much you spend as well as the pricing of your ingredients. Look at who can supply ingredients nearby and who has a positive record and reputation in their field. Also be sure to research what they supply during different seasons, if your menu calls for that. 


Cost It Out


Taking everything into consideration will help you to calculate the cost of the dishes on your café menu. This pricing will also be based on the portion sizes of your dishes. If you are setting up a small café with one or two sit down tables and are rather focusing on takeaway menu items, these can be cheaper as there is no need for crockery and cutlery. For those who want to serve family style meals, because these are larger portions, be sure to price accordingly. 


Café Culture


A café can be a huge success with hard work and strategising, and the most important part of this strategy is your menu. Start by thinking carefully about your concept, your core ingredients, and your target audience. Then you need to research suppliers, ensure your kitchen equipment can handle the menu, and cost out each item realistically. 

If you would like to start your own cafe or want to improve your current one, contact CaterWize today to find out what kitchen equipment we can offer you.