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Building the Menu for Your Burger Business

February 7, 2020

Foreword : Best Burgers in Kuta and Seminyak, Bali

Just a quick foreword. If you happen to visit the beautiful island of Bali or if you are already here, please do pop down to one of our outlets and try our famous gourmet burgers. We are located in Seminyak and Kuta Square. Thank you !

Building Your Burger Menu

Once your market research has revealed your target market for your burger business, the next step is to decide how big your menu will be and what items (apart from burgers) you will serve.

Think of this as assembling the essential ingredients to make a perfect dish—only this time, it will be a collection of burgers and other dishes!

These are the most important factors to consider in choosing the various items that will make up your menu:

Availability and affordability of the ingredients. Although you could buy many of the ingredients you need, some things are just not available in Bali. For example, we had trouble finding a good chipotle sauce for our spicy chicken burger. So if you need ingredients which are imported, there is a possibility it might not be available. You need to prepare for this possibility when you build your menu.

Required preparation time. No matter what your burger or restaurant concept is,  you don’t want to create a menu in which the dish takes a long time to prepare. You want to minimize your preparation time as much as possible for all your menu items to avoid back clogs and customer complaints.

Availability of adequately skilled personnel. If your dish is complicated, you need to invest and hire an experienced chef. The availabilty of such personnel is limited in Bali and you may have to hire someone from overseas.

Equipment requirements. Also be conscious of equipment requirements when you build your menu. For example, in some dishes you may need a griddle instead of a normal flat surface griller and you have to make a decision whether it is worth investing in the extra equipment in order to have this menu item.

Kitchen layout and design. Does your kicthen layout permit the preparation of this dish, or does it hinder the preparation of other dishes? You need to take this into consideration.

Profitability of the menu item.  Will this item leave you enough profit margin, or is it too expensive to make? Always keep your food costs down to 30%.

If you want your menu to rely on fresh, organic, and often locally grown and raised produce, meats, and poultry, there are several things to keep in mind. Organic foods are often more expensive, but many patrons appreciate these ingredients and come prepared to pay higher prices for them.

However, fresh produce does not have to be expensive, especially if your menu changes from season to season. The prices for meat and poultry are seasonal and in Bali for example, they are almost always more expensive in April to August periods (late spring to summer in the northern hemisphere). Luckily, this is when fruits and vegetables are cheapest and taste best.

Another factor to take into consideration is how long it will take to cook, plate, and serve each of your menu items. This is particularly important if you will be catering to meal periods with time constraints, such as breakfast and lunch, or fast food like burgers any time of the day.

In order to execute your menu successfully, you will need a well-trained kitchen staff, especially a chef who understands your concept and its labor and service requirements. We’ll go more into how to build a staff in a seperate article.

You should make sure that you have any special equipment you need to make the kind of food you want to serve. And you should allow for enough kitchen space to prepare the food on your menu.

Finally, you must be sure that you can sell the items on your menu profitably. We’ll go into menu pricing in a seperate article too, but the principle is simple: you must know that your target market can afford prices that will cover the cost of ingredients, preparation, and overhead and still leave you room for a profit.

Author’s note :

Hello I am Eddy and co-owner of Dod’s Burger outlets in Kuta and Seminyak, Bali. I have been in the burger business for almost three years and I teach people who wish to start a burger business from all over the world. I also give advice to those who want to start a business in Bali. Please reach out if you would like me to help you at hello@dodsburger.com. 

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