1. Cold and Warm dishes are listed separately.
2. In every group the lighter dishes are listed before the richer ones.
3. If offered, low calorie foods should be specially indicated and the number of calories should be started.
4. Every dish should be described clearly and simply, in an appetizing way, without being too flowery.
5. The dessert selection should be listed on a seperate attractive card. The menu should inform the guests that such a card is available.
6. Appetizers, soups, seafood and main courses are listed in separate groups.
7. Salads should be highlighted.
8. If foods are prepared with organically grown ingredients, this should be highlighted to the discriminating customer.
9. House specialities and seasonal items should correspond to the season and should change accordingly. Use a clip-on menu or insert to attract attention to them.
10. The numbering of menu items can save time and confusion, especially with many of the new computerised cash registers. Numbering, however, discourages communication between guests and the service staff and thus doesn’t help to promote sales. For an easy compromise, place one numbered menu at the registered or where orders are played to the kitchen so that one can punch in the guest’s order by number, the guest, however, orders that actual foods with words, not numbers.
11. Balance flavors in appealing ways. Make sure individual foods, when served together, mke a winning combination. Too many milk flavors may make a meal too bland, and too many strongly flavored foods may make a meal unacceptable to children.
12. Balance higher-fat foods with lower-fat ones. Avoid having too many higher fat foods in the same week.
13. Think about the texture of foods as well as their taste and appearance. For added appeal, serve a green salad or raw vegetable with spaghetti. Serve a crisp fruit or vegetable with a burrito, and crisp steamed carrots and croccoli with meatloaf. Pair toasted garlic bread and cold broccoli salad with cheese lasagna.
14. Include a wide variety of foods from day to day. Avoid planning the same form of food on consecutive days, such as meatballs with spaghetti on Monday and meat lasagna on Tuesday.
15. Avoid having too much of the same type of food in the same meal. A lunch with too many starches or too many sweets lacks contrast as well as balance. So does a meal with too many heavy foods. If you are serving a hearty casserole, plan to serve a vegetable or fresh fruit as side dishes.
16. Vary the types of main courses you serve. For example, serve casseroles one day, soup and sandwiches the next, or perhaps a main dish salad.
17. Use a pleasing combination of different sizes and shapes of food. Within a meal, present foods in several different shapes, such as cubes, mounds, shredded bits, and strips. A meal with cubed meat, diced potates, mixed vegetables, and fruit cocktail needs more contrast in size and shape of foods.
18. Include different forms of foods and perpare them in a variety of ways. For instance, some vegetables are good eatne raw. If you usually serve a particular vegetable cooked, serve it uncooked if it is good that way. Or cook it but use a different recipe or seasoning. In any case, be sure the “different way” of serving is as appealing as the “Usual Way.”
18. Think of the total presentation. As you plan for color, consider the color of the dishes, plates, or trays to be used as well as the colors of the foods.Plan the way you will place the menu items on the plate. Visualize how the food will look when served and decide on the most attractive arrangement.
19. Avoid using too many foods of the same color in the same meal. A meal wth turkey, rice, cauliflower, white bread, pears, and milk lacks color contrast. A better combination would be turkey and cranberry sauce, green peas, whole wheat bread, orange slices, and milk.
20. Don’t forget spices. It’s easy to sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on canned fruit or a little paprika on vegetables and potatoes for added color.
21. Use colorful foods in combination with those that have little or no color. Serve broccoli spears with mashed potatoes, for example. Add pimento or greenpeppers to corn. Serve a bright red apple and green lettuce with a hamburger, baked beans, and milk. Serve green peas and apricots with oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and milk.
22. Remember that vegetables and fruits are great for adding natural color to side dishes as well as entrees. A slice of tomato really brightens up a potato salad. A fresh slice grape or strawberry livens up a dish of diced pears or peaches.