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Menu engineering is a methodology to classify menu items by their contribution margin and popularity. The process discounts the importance of food cost percentage, recognizing that operators deposit cash, not percentages. The authors raise the issue that strict application of the principles of menu engineering may result in an erroneous evaluation of a menu item, and also may be of little use without considering the variable portion of labor. They describe an enhancement to the process by considering labor.
LeBruto, Stephen M.; Quain, William J.; and Ashley, Robert A.
"Menu Engineering: A Model Including Labor,"
Hospitality Review: Vol. 13
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/hospitalityreview/vol13/iss1/5