Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Bookkeeper, Menu Design

Monday Martha & I met with a bookkeeper. Folks I should have done this a long time ago! Its really tough for me to describe it because I could type here forever. I have a finance background, so I think I was a little bull-headed on letting someone else do what I felt I could. You finally get to a point and realize that you can't wear every hat............you have to wear a lot of em', but a few you let somebody else put on. We got all of our payroll squared away, set everyone up on direct deposit, set up our quarterly payroll taxes to monthly so it wont strap our cash flow 4 times a year.........I really could go on and on but I wont. If you ever do something like this, get a bookkeeper right out of the gates. Trust me.
I have been doing a lot of research on "menu engineering". In layman's terms it basically uses item placement, shapes and colors to tell your subconscious to buy what I want you to buy (usually those with lower food cost or those with a very high dollar return). When you have an itemized price list like we have set up now, the customer focuses on the price first, the menu item and/or what they want second. Next time you are at one of the major casual chains, Applebees, Chili's, etc....take a minute and just look at their menu. You have to almost look for the price, and most of the time its listed without a dollar sign right after the item description. Katie is re-designing the menu and I am adjusting my food costs. We should have a new menu in the next few weeks. Its not really about charging more, its about steering your mind towards certain things. Now their are some items that I am going to raise the prices on because commodity prices have soared (if you are not "in the business", read yesterdays article in the New York Times business section....very good!). Peace out.

1 comment:

ULIKA BBQ said...

I am ready for the Big Momma sampler platter.

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum life.....you have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!