Pho or other items on the menu  


phosifu5169
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Hi Cuong:

Not sure if this is the right place to ask so please move this post to the right place if more appropriate.

I'm doing some planning and research for my own concept and would like your take on the pros and cons of offering pho with a few items or pho with a bunch of different items in hope to cover as large customer based as possible.

Thank you.

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chuynh
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@phosifu5169

The question you pose, pros and cons of few menu items versus many menu items, presupposes a fallacy and flawed thinking that I see quite often from people new coming into the food industry.

It assumes that your concept is based on the quantity of dishes you offer. It assumes that you determine, for some reason, that you'll need 30 menu items or 100 menu items, then your concept will be created out of that.

While it is true that a concept is tied to the food (and/or the number of dishes) you offer, the size of the menu should never drive the creation of the concept/brand, unless you have a very clear idea what you're going for.

Instead, you should be clear on your concept and brand, your value proposition, what market segment you're trying to serve, THEN you design your menu (among other things) to meet your goals.

If you goal is to attract as large a customer base as possible, then having tons of menu items is not the way to go. You should start with understanding the market itself, and create a menu to meet their demand/preferences.

Let me know if you have further question.

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hienvucooks
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@phosifu5169

I think you should be clear on why you want to offer certain food item on your menu. The first question should be what concept and value proposition you want to offer to the community/market around you. Once you have this determined, you can use such information to help develop a good menu for your location. For me the pros and cons should be about how each of the menu items (not how big the menu is) can increase my revenue and/or my margins.

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ls-nguyen45
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I think the pros and cons of menu size must also take into account the owner's knowledge with accounting, with the ability to maintain food quality and control costs (food and labor). Menu size impact all these areas. Discussing menu size alone without consideration of at least these areas can lead you down the wrong path.

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SpecEdPho
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There are very good pho restaurants serving only pho on their menu, and they can call themselves a pho restaurant. One of the first things you'll need to decide is whether you really want to open a PHO restaurant or a general Viet restaurant offering many other dishes besides pho. IMHO if pho is less than 50% of your menu offerings and/or less than 50% of your total revenue then yo're probably not running a pho restaurant.

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SydneyPerson38
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@specedpho

Interesting point. I'd never thought of it this way but this makes sense. On the other hand I think people call their restaurants a pho restaurant just to get on the bandwagon of pho popularity, while they may sell more of the other dishes on the menu. I guess pho has become so prevalent that it's losing its meaning, at least in North America?

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chuynh
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Joined: 11 years ago

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@sydneyperson38 @specedpho

I think your observations are all on point. Though from my experience it's more likely that the owners are unconscious of much of this going on, mainly because many never had a concept or a plan to begin with. This is one of the reasons I hope to help pho restaurant owners start out on the right path with proper planning, estimating and projections.

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