Part of menu analysis involves comparing menu item profits with how popular each item is to give you clarity as to which dishes should be kept and promoted or tossed to make room for something more profitable.
Once you have your recipes in [me] and have done at least some PMIX mapping, you can access this graphic way to visualize this information to make it easier to understand where your items stand in comparison to one another. The chart is separated into four quadrants: Plow Horse, Dog, Star, and Puzzle. (Industry names, not our creation!)
Under Recipes > Menu Analysis, you can click to view as "Chart" to see this visual in action.
A Summary of the Four Quadrants
For a more in depth analysis with suggested approaches for each type, click here.
Each quadrant has their own special benefits and challenges, but there is a lot of overlap in terms of how you can try to improve profitability across the graph.
Plow Horse: Low Profit, High Popularity
Dishes that fall under the Plow Horse category have both higher food costs and high popularity, meaning they’re less profitable for you, but your customers love them.
In order to raise your profit margins, you really have one goal when it comes to Plow Horses: lower food costs but not in a way that lowers the dish’s popularity. Clearly the dish is a hit, so think about ways that you might be able to lower food costs outside of changing the dish’s ingredients.
Dog: Low Profit, Low Popularity
Dogs. Not the greatest name, but Dog menu items have low profitability and low popularity making them the worst things to have on your menu from a financial point of view.
There are basically three options: rebrand the item as a limited-time special so you don’t have to buy as many ingredients to make it, rethink the recipe (like turning it into a corn chowder), or 86 it from your menu entirely. We know that making these choices can be tough, but hard numbers to back up your decision should make them a little easier.
Puzzle: High Profit, Low Popularity
Puzzles have high margins, but not many people order them. These are in a similar position as Stars in that they are already great menu items for profitability, so opportunities for improvement really come down to how you promote them.
Star: High Profit, High Popularity
Stars are exactly what they sound like, high profitability, high popularity menu items. So why even discuss them? What Stars present is an easy opportunity to make the good even greater. Start promoting the item in any way you can. In essence, do everything you can to make your Stars shine even brighter because the effort to result ratio is in your favor.