Anyone wanna give me feedback on a menu I'm working on?

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Bigheaded

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Mar 14, 2021
228
241
Philippines
In my city renegade food pop ups have been appearing like crazy. I've been working on an idea for a Pizza one for over a year now, still am. But I got the idea for a Smashburger food truck, minus the truck. My city's one of the few you can actually get a permit to make and sell food without a truck. And I have an ex-boss who would let me set up shop in his parking lot a few nights a week for a %. Anywho, I'm starting with making the menu, I showed it to a few people in my neighborhood, and got "ohh, that looks nice." 4 people, no critiques. Either they're being overly nice, or they really don't see anything wrong, either way they're not people who will be helpful here. Off the bat, it looks way too cluttered to me. I'm finding it almost impossible to fit everything I want on 1 8x10 page and have it look clean. My goal's to have it on a single sheet so I can print and hand them out, and get some laminated to have out when I'm open for business. The front will have the menu and the back will have my burger story or something. That actually made me think maybe have the logo in the middle BIG on 1 side and the menu side be a full page menu. Anywho if anyone has any criticisms - I'm all ears. Nothing's close to final for me, I still might change everything, even the name lol. The prices are just numbers I put to make the menu look complete.

I have a lot of time before I'll actually be doing anything here. I have to get a griddle, a propane deep fryer, some sort of truck or van to haul everything in. And everything else I'm overlooking at the moment. My plan's Mon-Wed from 8-midnight, At the same spot, there's a Taco stand with crazy good tacos and quesadillas that's been there about a month. Thursday - Sunday 7-1AM, and every time I go there's a line. One night they had 15 orders ahead of mine. We went at Midnight and there were 6 people getting food, that's a good sign. I haven't talked business with them yet, but it sure seems like they're making a killing.
 

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Banged out some changes, looks better *I think* less cluttered, but still isn't what I like. I'm far from a graphic designer so I'm just winging it. Maybe if I get any good ideas here I can make a list and pay someone on fiverr to incoperate them all.
 

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As a graphics guy menu etc is fine, good job. Stop OCDing on it and focus on the other aspects of the business. IE the "griddle, a propane deep fryer, some sort of truck or van to haul everything in". Nowadays people are so fixated on logos, menus, sites, truck wrapping, and other "branding" but can barely perform in the field.
 
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The flavor from a smash burger comes from using two thin patties because you get the double caramelization. They are all about flavor. And the two-pattie technique is a proven one. And if you are open from 8 to midnight can we assume you might be getting some business from neighborhood bars?

↑↑↑ That said..... I think each burger on your menu should have two patties and you can say that right up at the top of the menu. Right now the menu kind of mirrors a Wendy's with the single, double, etc. Maybe somewhere on the menu you can have "Triple Smash - Add $2" or something along those lines.

Food trucks are notorious for having the menu on a poster board, or chalk board in BIG letters so people can decide before getting to the window. They often give each item a snazzy name. This makes for faster ordering, and easier on the cook. Most have some unique sauces (or at least sauces with unique names) because the self-serve sauce station has kind of gone away with all the COVID restrictions, and a lot of people might order several items to go and won't want to unwrap each burger to add sauce or condiments. Off the top of my head for example here are suggestions for four combinations of smash burgers that could work:

The Basic - Smash burger with cheese, pickle slices, onion & Redbeard Sauce.

The Works - Smash burger with cheese, pickle slices, onion, lettuce, tomato & Redbeard Sauce.

Smash BLT - Smash burger with bacon strips, lettuce, tomato & Redbeard Sauce.

The Pepper Smash - Smashburger with green chile queso, jalapeno slices & Redbeard's Chipotle Sauce.

Depending on how much inventory you want to have on hand, you could have a Patty Smash (like a patty melt but on rye). Or a Mushroom Smash with sautéed mushrooms and onions and Redbeard Blue Cheese Sauce.
 
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Couple items that stood out. You give Choice of Bun with burgers, but no list of available buns.
Watch your wording...Typically, Fresh Ground Beef means ground today. FRESHLY Ground Beef means Ground to Order. Big difference!
Waffle Fries takes special equipment, preparation and storage. They are A LOT of work! Regular Hand Cut Fries are fast to produce with an inexpensive cutter and require no special handling. If you source great potatoes and make great tasting Fries, nobody will care what Shape they are! Want to have Unique Fries? Go Old School and fry in Beef Tallow...Nostalgia Fries.
Will you have additional bodies to drop fries and mix sodas? The burgers will come faster than these items.
The rest looks pretty good...JJ
 
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Couple items that stood out. You give Choice of Bun with burgers, but no list of available buns.
Watch your wording...Typically, Fresh Ground Beef means ground today. FRESHLY Ground Beef means Ground to Order. Big difference!
Waffle Fries takes special equipment, preparation and storage. They are A LOT of work! Regular Hand Cut Fries are fast to produce with an inexpensive cutter and require no special handling. If you source great potatoes and make great tasting Fries, nobody will care what Shape they are! Want to have Unique Fries? Go Old School and fry in Beef Tallow...Nostalgia Fries.
Will you have additional bodies to drop fries and mix sodas? The burgers will come faster than these items.
The rest looks pretty good...JJ


Good points, thank you! I will probably drop the choice of buns on the menu and just make it say Brioche or something, I'm not seeing room to add another list. And probably having just 1 bun would be a lot easier. And I didn't know the difference between fresh and freshly, or maybe just didn't think about it, so I updated that. I will be grinding meat but once daily, not per order lol. I understand Waffle Fries are a lot of work, if I end up going regular fries I still plan to boil them 1st, then flash fry them, then freeze them at home. Then take them frozen and ready to drop in the fryer for 3-4 minutes that night. You're 100% right though people will like any good fry. When I make fries now I do them how I said, and it's a lot of work.

Doubt I'll have another body, at least at 1st. I don't have any friends who would "help" out until things get rolling. And honestly, I'm not sure if any of my friends could be trusted to even drop fries or make a drink lol. IF I get popular and get busy I can find someone to help. And if no customers come I'll just end up closing up shop. The Beef Tallow thing is a great idea, it's EXPENSIVE though, but I need to read up on it and see how long it can be reused for. I'm looking at a 2.5 or 4.5 gallon deep fryer. Don't need anything nearly that big but there's not a lot in the way of propane ones that aren't for doing Turkeys. And both I'm looking at have a big section under the heating element that only gets to 120f'ish so crumbs and stuff don't burn. I'm not trying to reuse oil 100 times. But I would like to get a good amount of fry time out of it. I just Googled Tallow, it's like 4x the price of Peanut Oil, which is more than Canola. I hadn't thought of using anything except Peanut Oil, looks like I should gp read up on oil.

Thank you sir, you've given me a bunch of things to think about.
 
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Better. Italian Sodas section, balance looks off. Maybe put two flavors per line?

The flavors are mostly just there as placeholders, your 2 per line makes it look 100 times better, I know the average customer wouldn't notice or care, but as zwiller nailed it below, I'm kind of OCD and once you mentioned it, it was all I could see. Changed it and it looks a lot cleaner.

As a graphics guy menu etc is fine, good job. Stop OCDing on it and focus on the other aspects of the business. IE the "griddle, a propane deep fryer, some sort of truck or van to haul everything in". Nowadays people are so fixated on logos, menus, sites, truck wrapping, and other "branding" but can barely perform in the field.

100%, I'm going to probably do what I need to do to the menu and in a day or 2 consider it done and focus on everything else. As you put it the important stuff.

The flavor from a smash burger comes from using two thin patties because you get the double caramelization. They are all about flavor. And the two-pattie technique is a proven one. And if you are open from 8 to midnight can we assume you might be getting some business from neighborhood bars?

↑↑↑ That said..... I think each burger on your menu should have two patties and you can say that right up at the top of the menu. Right now the menu kind of mirrors a Wendy's with the single, double, etc. Maybe somewhere on the menu you can have "Triple Smash - Add $2" or something along those lines.

Food trucks are notorious for having the menu on a poster board, or chalk board in BIG letters so people can decide before getting to the window. They often give each item a snazzy name. This makes for faster ordering, and easier on the cook. Most have some unique sauces (or at least sauces with unique names) because the self-serve sauce station has kind of gone away with all the COVID restrictions, and a lot of people might order several items to go and won't want to unwrap each burger to add sauce or condiments. Off the top of my head for example here are suggestions for four combinations of smash burgers that could work:

The Basic - Smash burger with cheese, pickle slices, onion & Redbeard Sauce.

The Works - Smash burger with cheese, pickle slices, onion, lettuce, tomato & Redbeard Sauce.

Smash BLT - Smash burger with bacon strips, lettuce, tomato & Redbeard Sauce.

The Pepper Smash - Smashburger with green chile queso, jalapeno slices & Redbeard's Chipotle Sauce.

Depending on how much inventory you want to have on hand, you could have a Patty Smash (like a patty melt but on rye). Or a Mushroom Smash with sautéed mushrooms and onions and Redbeard Blue Cheese Sauce.


HUMMMMMM Redbeard Sauce, assuming I actually go with the name Redbeards Burgers that's kind of catchy. Your burger suggestions are good too, my idea was the single would have a bigger 4oz and the rest 2.5oz patties. A double wouldn't be much bigger than my planned single. I always do at least a double when I make them for me. Definitely going to go change up the menu now.

And yes there's a bar not too far, and a couple of sports bar, but when I go to the Taco stand it's not bar/club people I'm seeing. But that would definitely be some of the people.


Thank you everyone for your replies, if I make it big I won't forget any of you!
 
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Made a bunch of changes to the menu, now all I need to do is come up with silly catchy nick names for the burgers and figure out what I'm actually going to charge. It already looks worlds better thanks to the suggestions here though. 1 more reversion and I should be good to go start on important stuff like the truck and equipment lol. Also going to order a bun branding iron with my logo on it so I can have legit branded Brioche buns, because, why not? After I decide on a name and a logo that is. Redbeard's what some people call me because I have a big red beard, but it's not very creative, tho the beard logo I have now might look pretty sick burned into the top of a bun. But the branding irons are not cheap, like $300+ so I have to be absolutely certain it's what I want to use before I order it. I know a logo's not even that important, but personally I'm always wowed when I go to a nice burger joint and they have branded buns.

Or as zwiller said, I should stop worrying about OCD things and focus on what's necessary.
 

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my idea was the single would have a bigger 4oz and the rest 2.5oz patties. A double wouldn't be much bigger than my planned single

That would be a extra work to produce, and Totally mess with your timing! A 4 oz Burgers, even Smashed, takes longer than a 2.5oz Burger. Now mix that up on the same ticket! You not only risk confusion mixing up the patties, you also risk a loss of quality as thinner patties get dry waiting on thick patties to get done. You are By Yourself and a High Production Newbie....KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!!...JJ
 
Several burger places in my town brand their buns, that's a good idea. I even have a Wyoming cowboy brand I use when showing off. :emoji_laughing:
acfvmwm.jpg

I asked about bars because late night food trucks often have specials during their last hour while they clean up, and sliders are money makers. I made these from slices of smoked fatties on Kings Hawaiian rolls to serve at a pool tournament at a bar..., but you could have something similar for a closing time special.
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Several burger places in my town brand their buns, that's a good idea. I even have a Wyoming cowboy brand I use when showing off. :emoji_laughing:
View attachment 508118

I asked about bars because late night food trucks often have specials during their last hour while they clean up, and sliders are money makers. I made these from slices of smoked fatties on Kings Hawaiian rolls to serve at a pool tournament at a bar..., but you could have something similar for a closing time special.
View attachment 508119

GOOD idea, there's a place around here called Dog Hause that makes sliders on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, and for their regular-sized burgers, they use the same rolls just leave them attached 2x2. I was pondering doing the same it just slipped my mind until you mentioned it. I know Haiiwian makes regular sized burger buns, but there's something about 4 rolls attached that's kind of cool to me, if nothing else it's different.

Bars don't close until 2, but for sure some people will leave much earlier. And I know from personal experience that sliders are greatness when you've been drinking and are hungry but don't want anything too big. And I don't need a menu, the taco stand there now has no menu, people smell the deliciousness and ask what they have.

The branders are neat, but the ones I'm finding with a good-sized custom logo are around $400. That's a lot of bread (no pun...) If I buy one and my venture fails, I guess I could just custom brand my burgers at home lol. Your branded chops look cool for sure.

Only problem if I brand the buns it would be silly to not have custom burger wrapping paper. Custom bags, and custom clear plastic cups for the drink. Oh and custom napkins.

HUMMM, maybe I'll start with nothing custom and just see how people like the food first. I know most of the custom printed items have a pretty sizable minimum order number. I don't want to be stuck with 5,000 cups because my food cart crashes and burns lol.
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OP, Chef jj questioned your decision to produce hand cut waffle fries.

I question your decision to produce any kind of hand cut fries. Out of a few 'raunts near me who have proudly sold hand cut fries only one has produced fries I term edible. Most are dark, limp, and mushy. Even the one that produces good fries has great, good, and so-so batches. I don't know if it's the cook, the batch, or the potatoes but some batches are noticeably better or worse than others.

Take a look at this thread to see if hand cut fries are worth your time and trouble.
 
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OP, Chef jj questioned your decision to produce hand cut waffle fries.

I question your decision to produce any kind of hand cut fries. Out of a few 'raunts near me who have proudly sold hand cut fries only one has produced fries I term edible. Most are dark, limp, and mushy. Even the one that produces good fries has great, good, and so-so batches. I don't know if it's the cook, the batch, or the potatoes but some batches are noticeably better or worse than others.

Take a look at this thread to see if hand cut fries are worth your time and trouble.

Are you suggesting Ore-ida fries from a bag? ugh lol. It's not hard to make good fries, but it is a process. This is the method I used, which I picked up from J Kenji Lopez Alt

cut them with my Mandoline
paraboil in salted water with vinegar for 10 minutes
allow to cool
flash fry for 1 minute
allow to cool.
bag and put in freezer
Whenever I decide to make some I pull them out of the freezer and put them directly into 375f Peanut Oil for around 4 minutes.

The extra steps do obviously add more time, but it results in being able to make them much quicker when you're actually going to try them to eat. Well the same as if you just cut them and drop them in a fryer, but MUCH tastier. Which would be perfect for a situation like a food truck. I can attest that his method produces some of the best fries I've ever had. He's a pretty extreme sciency food geek, he made like fries probably a hundred different ways until he came up with this. They are 100% worth the extra work, and if you follow the directions you'll get awesome fries every time.

Since I'll be grinding my own meat, and possibly baking my own buns. I'd feel dirty if I used mass produced frozen fries from Krogers. I started the link you posted because I'm pondering over going the Waffle Fry route because I think they're awesome and pretty uncommon.
 
Bigheaded, do you Really want to do your method on a 'raunt volume basis?

LOL I won't be doing anything close to the volume of a restaurant. I could Mandoline up 20lbs of fries and have them in my freezer in about 90 minutes, with 80 of those minutes just waiting for them to cool. *IF* I actually do this burger stand idea, there's no other way I'd make them. I know the average joes would be fine with Ore-Ida, or basic cut and straight into the deep fryer ones. I make pizzas a few times a month, I go all out making the dough, and the bulk of the people who eat them think Little Ceasers is delicious. So the work I put into making them is stupid overkill, but I make every pizza like I'm making it for myself. My idea here's to make burgers and fries the same way I'd make them for myself. This wouldn't be feasible if I was expecting to sell 200 burgers combos a night, well not without help. Realistically though I'll probably do 10-15'ish sales an hour. The street's not particularly busy, most of the cars are people who live in the houses up and down the other side of the street.

One thing I noticed about the taco stand there, every time I've went the tip jar's packed. They make their own tortillas and every little extra thing else they do shows. Nobody would tip at a Jack In The Box or Wendys, but if you're small and make good food people seem to become more generous.

I know I'm not trying to open an actual restaurant here, but if I had one I'd have to spend at least a few hours before opening prepping stuff for the day. 3 days a week here I'll spend a few hours each day grinding meat and prepping fries.
 
Menu - I would eliminate the '+' sign and just stay with $4 or $6 in the Combo section. The + makes it look messy. JMTC

Have you costed out your menu and done an analysis to determine what amount of sales are necessary to actually generate profit? This needs to include a waste/spoilage expectation.
 
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