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Unit 25:
Unit code: QCF level: Credit value:

Menu Planning and Product Development
Y/601/1762 5 15


This unit will enable learners to understand menu planning and related product development as strategic business processes, and acquire skills in effective implementation of new products and services.

•Unit abstract

This unit introduces learners to the principles and objectives of professional menu planning and meal management within the framework of a new product development approach. The unit will utilise a range of hospitality scenarios to explore the development process from a broad consumer perspective, which will include cultural, physiological, psychological, socio-economic and other dimensions. Also the unit will provide an appreciation and application of market research to the process. This will include competitor analysis as well as design and promotional strategies all of which contribute to the success of the overall process. Learners will apply newly acquired management skills to the development of new menu products and services. They will also conduct research and evaluate current trends, and innovatory products and services. In doing so, the unit provides opportunities for investigation, development and analysis of menus and related products and services, as well as enabling learners to demonstrate a creative and innovative approach to this important management process.

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Unit content

1. Understand factors that influence menu planning decisions Menu development and policy overview: principles of menu planning; types of menu; menu balance; creativity; consumer expectations; religious, cultural, ethnic and social influences; fads and trends; fashions; themes Menu compilation: factors eg taste, colour, texture, portion size, temperature, appearance, commodity planning, seasonal factors Recipe development: creativity; cookery styles; nutritional composition; consistency of product; methods eg fresh commodities, prepared foods, combination of fresh and prepared foods, cook-chill/freeze, batch cookery; call order; timing Food service systems: variations to standard service methods eg silver, table, buffet, tray, counter; food presentation; addressing consumer needs and expectations; timing

2. Understand menu product development planning processes Idea generation: SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats); market and consumer trends; focus groups; employees; user patterns and habits; brainstorming of new menu, service or restaurant concept Idea screening and concept testing: elimination of unsound concepts prior to devoting resources; developing and marketing; feasibility; cost; production issues Business analysis: estimated selling price; sales volume; profitability; breakeven point; market testing; technical implementation; launch; advertising and other promotions New product pricing: impact of new product; value analysis (internal & external); differing value segments; products costs (fixed & variable); forecast of unit volumes; revenue and profit

3. Be able to apply design principles within a food service environment Menu presentation: language; terminology; design styles; colour; pictures; size; ‘white space’; theme reflection Ambience: creativity; theme relationships; the meal experience; service staff uniforms or dress code; selection of furniture; decoration; lighting; music; background sound; use of glass, mirrors, wood, contemporary materials

4. Be able to develop specific and actionable recommendations for a new food service concept Project management: the critical nature of making the right decision and the relationship with business strategy; the management of quality and risk; delivering on time and within budget; the need for back-up planning and the measurement of performance

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Learning outcomes:

Understand factors that influence menu planning decisions Understand menu product development planning processes Be able to apply design principles within a food service environment Be able to develop specific and actionable recommendations for a new food service concept.

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

Assessment criteria for pass:
The learner can
: LO1 Understand factors that influence menu planning decisions
    1.1 discuss the principles of recipe development
    1.2 assess factors that influence menu planning decisions
    1.3 discuss factors that influence service methods

LO2 Understand menu product development planning processes
     2.1 discuss the stages of menu product development planning
     2.2 evaluate influences on the development process

LO3 Be able to apply design principles within a food service environment

    3.1 justify a menu design to reflect the menu compilation and recipe development
    3.2 justify the development of the food service environment to support the menu, recipe and service style

LO4 Be able to develop specific and actionable recommendations for a new food service concept:      
        4.1 research customer requirements for a new food concept
  4.2 justify choice of new food concept
  4.3 justify recommendations on launch/implementation of new food concept
  4.4 review own performance in relation to developing and implementing new food concept, suggesting improvements


This unit can be linked with the following units within the qualificatio

      Unit 5: Food and Beverage Operations Management
 Unit 8: Marketing in Hospitality
 Unit 10: Work-based Experience
Unit 27: Contemporary Gastronomy
 Unit 28: World Food
 Unit 29: Creative Patisserie
Unit 30: New Product Development in Food
Unit 31: Food Safety Management
Unit 32: Nutrition and Diet.

This unit also links to the following Management NVQ units:
 A2: Manage your own resources and professional development
 B1: Develop and implement operational plans for your area of responsibility
B2: Map the environment in which your organisation operates
B8: Ensure compliance with legal, regulatory, ethical and social requirements
B11: Promote diversity in your area of responsibility
 B12: Promote diversity in your organisation
C1: Encourage innovation in your team
 C2: Encourage innovation in your area of responsibility
 C3: Encourage innovation in your organisation
E1: Manage a budget
E2: Manage finance for your area of responsibility
E5: Ensure your own action reduce risks to health and safety
 E6: Ensure health and safety requirements are met in your area of responsibility
E7: Ensure an effective organisational approach to health and safety
 F1: Manage projects
 F2: Manage a programme of complementary projects
      F4: Develop and review a framework for marketing
F8: Work with others to improve customer service

      F9: Build your organisation’s understanding of its market and customers
F10: Develop a customer focused organisation
F12: Improve organisational performance.

Essential requirements
Tutors must have technical qualifications and experience of working in food preparation and service operations. Experience of industrial developmental techniques through some form of work experience and/or research will be advantageous to learners. Access to industrial-standard food preparation and service environments are essential. Tutors must integrate practical ‘laboratory’ work to support recipe development.

Employer engagement and vocational contexts
It is recommended that a wide range of perspectives is adopted for the delivery of this unit. For example, large-scale hospitality operations such as restaurant chains, school meals and other such providers, can be effectively utilised to address the learning requirements. Access to commercial environments is desirable in order to support the experiential aspects of delivery. They also provide a range of investigative and research opportunities, such as contact with consumers when investigating consumer awareness and expectations. A range of appropriate case-study materials and development materials from commercial organisations will be useful. Learners will benefit from access to a professional desk-top publishing resource and ICT systems. Viewing episodes of the TV series, Raymond Blanc’s The Restaurant or similar, where concept development is an explicit theme will be valuable.