Three Unbreakable Rules of Restaurant Cuisine & Menus

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I caught another episode of Restaurant: Impossible last night. Actually, it wasn’t the entire episode, more of a “scene.” Nevertheless, Chef  Robert Irvine was at a table with the Chef of the restaurant looking at all the meals plated. He tore this guy up for a couple of reasons that I wanted to share here.

1. Good Ingredients, Jumbled Delivery. The plates were loaded with food. It was a mess. Chef Rob called it a “garbage heap.” Less is more. Maximum meaning, minimal means always wins in every situation. You can have the best ingredients in the world, but if it’s jumbled and heaped on, no one will ever notice. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify!

2. Go Great or Don’t Go. I say it all the time. You don’t have to have wings on your menu because a lot of people like wings. Screw that. You need to create the cuisine you’re truly great at creating and leave the superfluous garbage out. Period. This can’t be argued. It’s the first rule of any business. Let bakers bake the bread.

3. Don’t Lie. Even a little lie is a lie. This guy was serving french toast, but it had no eggs in it. None. That’s a lie. People have expectations of their cuisine. They expect certain things in their “French Toast.” Don’t jip them. Don’t lie.

These three lessons translate directly to a restaurant’s brand. Not only do they harm the experience severely, but they also ring true with the brand’s visual representation and it’s personal representation. Keep your design simple. Go with great. Don’t lie. These rules are bond. They hold true everywhere. They are uncontested.

If you don’t pay attention to these rules you will ultimately lose money, time and customers. It’s just plain mathematics.

What plates could you simplify? Are you serving things that you’re not good at making? Are you bending the truth a bit?

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