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Menu Planning and Product Development

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INTRODUCTION

One of the easiest and time time-consuming ways to set success when it comes to meals is by menu planning method. It is a kind of specific planning of meals in advance. It has gained much popularity in recent years as it saves time and decreases impulse planning. It acts as a roadmap for the implementation of meals in a timely and efficient manner and ensures continuous learning all the time. It involves many of the activities (Felekoglu and Moultrie, 2014). The purpose of the report is to get a picture of menu planning and the related developments in the products to involve it in the business strategy and to achieve the skills for implementation. The prime focus is on the influential factors in planning decisions, determination of development of product planning process and application of design principles in a food service environment. Categoric development of new food offering and their response and actions are evaluated.

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TASK A

a) Assessment of the factors that influence menu planning decisions

Menu planning is the process of listing the menu to be served be it at breakfast, lunch or dinner. This can be done for a few days or for several weeks (Fuller, 2016). There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration for this as they influence and affect the procedure and hence the result. These are :

Costs - The food establishment unit has a confined amount of money to be invested for the preparation of the food. It predicts the cost, predicts the time and the profit is estimated. Proper budgeting should be done and accordingly, the menu planning should be done. In case the expense becomes more than the budget then it should be controlled and operated within the budget by compensating something or the other.

Religious, cultural and social influences - Customers can be differentiated on the basis of age, sex, occupation, status, nutritional needs etc. Depending upon the type of customer the prices should be charged accordingly and nutrition content should be added or reduced. For example, if they are kids then dishes should be rich in proteins and carbohydrates.

Seasonal factors - Environmental conditions should also be considered whether it is summer or winter or rainy season and accordingly dishes should be planned in the menu. For example, one would always prefer cold things in summer and hot dishes in winter. Likewise, dishes should be planned. Besides the regular menu, there can be seasonal offerings.

Creativity- Special dishes should be offered on occasions such as Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries etc. Complete listing should be done by the manager.

Space and equipment in the kitchen - Allotment of work for the preparation of food should be done among the employees according to the number of workers needed for different tasks such as cooking, servicing, preparing etc.

Types of Menus- The kind of food establishment such as luxurious, coffee shops, canteens etc. affects the menu planning because it decides the ingredients to be consumed.

b) Discussion of the stages of the planning of menu product development

The planning process of menu product development includes a number of stages right from idea generation to commercialisation (Mabogunje, 2015). The stages included are as follows:

Idea generation:  It is a prolonged and organised process. It involves a systematic search of options for a new product. It includes detailed sources of new concepts and ways to implement them. These ways include short sessions of mind games to enhance creativity for the development of new ideas also known as brainstorming, observing and analysing current products in the market, and surveys (Phillips and Phillips, 2016). The essential element is the open perspective where ideas of different people should be considered and analysed to generate a huge number of ideas. None of the ideas should be criticized.

Product Screening and concept testing - A complete screening of the product is done after the identification of the potent products. In the screening process filtration of poor, non-suitable, non-fascinating ideas is done. A checklist is prepared for the ease of the screening process. General characteristics include current competition in the market, investment level, risk level, market capacity and design etc. Marketing characteristics include traits such as effect on an image, limitation to season, product life span efficiency, matching of market potentialities etc. Production characteristics include matching with product capabilities, ease of manufacturing product, availability of workers and resources needed etc. In order to review the product feedback of consumers is necessary and important. Concept testing is a way to get feedback on the product by proposing the product to the public and analysing the attitudes, perceptions, and intentions of the customers. It proposes the picture or statement which may be an oral statement or a written statement of the product to the consumers and their reactions and attitudes are observed. It is one of the prompt and cheap ways to test the concept of the product. Feedback includes whether the idea is understandable, it needs changes or not etc.

Business analysis- It is a much briefer analysis of the remaining product concept than screening the product. The factors that are included in business analysis are- demand projections, cost projections, competition, investments required, profitability of the product, etc. (Posavac, 2015).

New product pricing - After completion of the testing part the product gets ready to be introduced in the market at full-scale production. This is the last stage of the product life cycle. It consists of a physical implementation of the marketing plan and pricing of the product at full-scale production.

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c) Evaluation of the influences on the development process

There are many factors that affect the process of development of the product :

1. Idea generation

Market and consumer trends -The Latest trends of society influence the design and manufacturing of the product. People always want to buy the products of the latest trends and not the ones which have become obsolete. Thus, the process of development also gets altered with the latest fashion.

Focus groups - The design of a product will be impacted by the requirements of the buyers because to increase the profit it is necessary to increase the sales which can be done by designing it as per the requirements of the consumers. This will aid in attracting more potent customers (Wates, 2014).

Employees - The workforce involved in the development also has a huge impact on the product. Skills and knowledge of the workers affect the process and resultant product.

2. Product screening and idea conceptualisation

Cost - It is one of the major factors influencing the process of development. It involves a lot of investment as it requires the use of technology which is expensive, then is the cost of labour, the cost of resources and materials used, etc. It is very important to make a considerable amount of profit from the product in order to at least balance the investment done on the product Therefore the price of the product is to be charged after a complete analysis of the cost of production (Hair, 2015).

Production Issues- It is the study of the body and movements of humans. It involves the collection of information such as size, height, weight etc. For example, the product to be manufactured is a chair then the height of the chair, the back bend of the chair etc., are designed according to different human characteristics. It means the process should be done keeping in mind the person and movements so that he or she fits into it completely.

Developing and marketing - The public image of the company is also an influential factor in the development process. The products need to mention the company name and many companies flaunt their public image. This affects the colour scheme, material, final look and design of the product.

Feasibility - Stylish look of the product tends to attract more consumers. More focus is placed on shape and size of the product. This determines the internal layout of mechanisms, circuits etc. External style in turn influences the internal technology and development process. It can also modify the manufacturing technique of the production.

3. Business Analysis

Technical implementation- There are different techniques used for the production. These may be single-item production, batch production, just-in-time production or continuous production. The final look may be influenced by the technique used for the manufacturing.

Market testing - The targeted audience of some products is of different cultures and nations. It may be possible that a product is warmly accepted by people of a particular country or culture and rejected by other communities or nations. For example in China black colour is a sign of bad luck or sin so manufacturers need to keep in mind the colour for Chinese consumers but this may not be so for other countries. The colour, Design and other attributes differ from culture to culture and influence the development process (Preskill and Russ-Eft, 2015).

Launch - It is wise to use materials which are eco-friendly for the manufacturing of products as many people are concerned about the environment and don't purchase products which are harmful to the environment. This helps in promotions and advertisements.

4. New Product Pricing

Revenue and profit -The final design of the product is affected by the materials available. The materials can be natural, man-made or smart materials. Also, the introduction of new technology will impact the process of development. The revenue and profit depend on labour and materials used.

Impact of new product - There are a number of functions to be performed by the product which will influence the design and hence the process of the product.

Value analysis - The value analysis helps in forecasting the life and acceptance of the new product. The product pricing is very much affected by value analysis in the market.

TASK C

a) Creating and assessing a new food concept including justification of your choice, customer requirements research and recommendations to launch the new concept
In the contemporary world where everyone is engaged in the rat race for earning and livelihood health has become a major aspect of concern. Eating habits and sedentary lifestyles have led to the degradation of fitness and an increase in health issues. It has become very important to lay focus on wellness but people do not have time for this. Exercise and physical activities are tiring and time-consuming (Saldaña, 2015). One of the best and time-consuming ways to remain healthy is by eating healthy and nutritious food.

Priorities and eating habits - A survey shows that many people go to restaurants to have their meals on a regular basis. They seek for the food with nutritious contents. Meals generally do not contain nutritious content as the food is spicy and moreover, most of the offerings are junk food. The result is that customers are left with no choice. An increase in the nutritive content of meals tends to attract more customers. Moreover, only an individual knows what nutrition he requires for good health as it is different for different people. Many customers ask the chefs to specially add some specific nutrients to their meals. Research shows that the income and living standard of people have risen. More and more people are coming forward for charity and donations (Carhart and et. al., 2016). There are people who want to do charity but do not take that much effort to go to some place and do the charity they prefer an easy way to do so. Buy assignment online

Also, special offers on occasions and hidden gifts on the meals influence more customers. The introduction of a new meal concept which comprises solutions of all the problems in a single place may aid in increasing the profit. The new concept consists of wide options of nutritional fruits, vegetables, spices etc., with the amount of nutrition specified in front of it. Customers are allowed to choose among the options and the following data is collected by the staff members. From the collected data chefs are supposed to prepare the meal for that particular customer. For example, following is the menu card :

Ingredient Protein % Carbohydrate% Fat% 
X 67 34 8

 

There can be more columns and rows accordingly. Also, customers can choose the type of food like drinks, dinners, starters etc. For this one needs to have a team of expert chefs. Chefs are required to prepare the meal according to the data. Not that the chefs are required to prepare meal using only the requested ingredients. The should be to include the requested contents in the whole meal along with the addition or subtraction of any other ingredient to make the food as tasty as possible. There will be another menu card on which nutritious dishes are offered and the contents are mentioned, customers would need to directly choose the dish. For example:

1. Pan-seared salmon with Kale and Apple Salad
2.(salmon, lemon, olive oil, kale, apple, pecorino, almonds)

Apart from the meal, there will be a charity option as well. If the bill exceeds the specified amount then one dish will be donated to a poor family. The owner is supposed to collect the number of dishes and deliver it at 8 p.m. The dishes are to be donated after 8 p.m. Should be counted in next day in this way every day every food can be donated to poor families. For example:

more than £300 - 1 Dish
more than £500 - 2 Dishes

Budget - Another feature of the concept is the special discounts on occasions such as Christmas, New Year etc. Also, in the whole day an hour will be selected where the lucky winner will be chosen and some discount is offered. Along with the meal for certain combo packs, there will be secret gifts given to the customers. Promised delivery of order is done and if failed to do so then the customer will get some discount on the bill. Online service is also offered for the customers (Shaw and Hamilton, 2016).

In order to implement the new concept firstly a team of expert and skilled chefs needs to be hired. Complete research of the market should be done, and previous failures and successes should be analysed Then marketing strategies should be made which may include social media activities and advertisements. It is beneficial to reveal the name and a gist about the concept so that by the time it is launched people will become curious about it and there will be a discussion among the customers. Some unusual activities like funny videos about obesity, posters about nutritious food, websites etc should be done prior to the launch (Altinay, Paraskevas and Jang, 2015). Health awareness videos, posters, and campaigns can be done. Proper planning and goal setting will make the launch successful.

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a) Writing a review of your own performance with suggestions for improvements regarding the creation and assessment of the new food concept

In order to launch the new concept I conducted a survey and collected the data about the issues and demands of the customers. Detailed information about the interests and desires of customers was gathered. According to the collected data and information, I generated a new idea where the health of the customer will be the primary focus and an opportunity to help the poor and hungry people of the city will be given. To analyse the new food concept I am taking feedback from the customers. Feedbacks are taken by making the customers fill the feedback form also by taking online suggestions and customer care services. As far now customers are really appreciating the concept. There are many customers especially females who are concerned about the health of their husbands and children. They are acknowledging the idea and the aim behind the concept (Martins, Rindova and Greenbaum, 2015). The service is quick and online service is also manageable. The most attractive feature of my concept as found by the customers is the idea of donation. Customers appreciate the initiative. However, there are many challenges I am facing with the new concept as at times it becomes difficult to manage the orders. Sometimes chefs find it difficult to prepare the meal with the requested ingredients. Also, some staff members get engaged with the packaging and placing of the dishes in the van which are to be taken to the poor people. The delivered dishes are fresh and contain rich nutrients and are delivered at night time which is peak time so the load on the other staff members increases. Moreover, few of the chefs get engaged in the preparation of food which is to be donated thereby increasing the load on the other chefs. Despite many challenges appreciation of the concept by the customers is encouraging the staff to work harder in order to satisfy the customer demands (Case and Given, 2016).

I have realised that the idea needs some improvements regarding the management of online and restaurant orders. More staff members needs to be recruited to manage the orders. Another solution is to recruit part-time workers for the packaging and delivery of donated food as there are many people who are in need of a job but can not devote their whole day. Mostly these are teenagers or students. This will save the money as no complete salary will be given to them. The salary will be according to the number of hours they work. Separate chefs need to be appointed for the preparation of donated food. Even part-time chefs can also be recruited. A classification of staff members needs to be done like some members should be appointed separately for taking the orders, for packaging, for delivery, for suggesting and helping the customers. A tough selection process for the chef is to be done so that we get the most skilled and fast chefs. A separate team for the management of online orders must be created so that they can deliver the order as soon as possible. A special column of suggestions can be created on the website so that more changes can be made to the idea for the betterment. Regular discussion with the staff members and the chefs needs to be conducted so that all the issues faced can be resolved (Zikmund and et. al., 2013). By doing so there would be no problem of internal differences and conflicts among the employees and efficient teamwork can be achieved. By taking more feedback and reviews from the customers as well as from the internal staff members this new concept can be made successful and can reach the desired goals.

CONCLUSION

With the help of this report, we have discussed all the factors that have an impact on menu planning decisions and evaluating the different stages of product development in menu planning. We have also determined the factors that affect the development process. Through the guidelines of the report, a new idea of meals has been created and assessed. The choice of the concept has been justified and the recommendations required have been discussed. The performance of the concept has been successfully reviewed and improvements needed regarding the creation and assessment of the new concept have been suggested. Thus, we have successfully studied menu planning and product development.

REFERENCES

  • Altinay, L., Paraskevas, A. and Jang, S. S., 2015. Planning research in hospitality and tourism. Routledge.
  • Carhart, and et. al., 2016. Applying a new concept for strategic performance indicators. Journal of Infrastructure Asset Management.
  • Case, D. O. and Given, L. M., 2016. Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behaviour. Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Felekoglu, B. and Moultrie, J., 2014. Top management involvement in new product development: A review and synthesis. Journal of Product Innovation Management. 31(1). pp.159-175.
  • Ford, J. K., 2014. Improving training effectiveness in work organizations. Psychology Press.
  • Fuller, G. W., 2016. New food product development: from concept to marketplace. CRC Press.
  • Grant, R. M., 2016. Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Hair, J. F., 2015. Essentials of business research methods. ME Sharpe.
  • Lelieveld, H. L., Holah, J. and Gabric, D., 2016. Handbook of hygiene control in the food industry. Woodhead Publishing.
  • Mabogunje, A. L., 2015. The development process: A spatial perspective (Vol. 14). Routledge.
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