Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3





Menu is a list of food items offered for a meal along with prices whether set for
individual items or for the whole meal.

 It is a list, in a specific order of dishes to be served for a given meal.

 For a commercial establishment it will also include the prices (either set for
individual items or for the whole meal), taxes and other charges as applicable.

History & origin of menu

 The word menu was probably originated in the year 1541 when the Duke Henry
of Brunswick, was holding a function where he was constantly referring to a piece
of paper in form of a list.

 An exquisite lady was enquiring with the Duke about the food items in a nasal
tone saying, “may I know”. This phrase later contracted to the term “Menu”.

 In 1718, we get the first recorded description of the term menu. Prior to that a
book called “ecriteau” in French which means “bill of fare” was available for the
guests in banquet functions. This was a heavy bound book with descriptions and
recipes of dishes offered for the meal at the function.

Presentation of menu

Menus can be presented in different ways depending on the requirements of the outlet.
The following are popular means of presentation of menu:

o Book form
o Card form
o Board form
o Place mats
Now let us discuss the various means of presentation in details:

B. Sc (H & H.A) Page 1 of 3

Menu 2015 - 16

o Book form: This type of presentation of menu is very common in large

establishments where there are more dishes. The dishes are listed along with their
respective prices. Most of the restaurants follow this style of menu presentation.

o Card form: The food items along with their prices are printed on a card for
smaller establishments, food festivals in hotels and some banquets with sit down

o Board form: It is mostly found in fast food centres, food courts and certain non
commercial establishments like cafeterias where a large board is displayed with
the names of the dishes available and their prices if applicable.

o Place mats: Such form of menu presentation is generally found in food service
areas where turnover of the guest is very high and fast efficient service is
required. Place mats are printed papers placed on the guest table with the menus
displayed. Once the guest is done with their meal, the mats are immediately
removed and new ones are placed. This is usually followed in coffee shops, quick
service restaurants etc.


Types of menu

Primarily there are two types of menu, they are explained as under:

 Table d’ hote (table of the host)

It is a fixed menu generally comprising of a starter, main course, dessert and tea / coffee
at the end, served at a stated price which is for the entire meal.

This type of menu generally caters to a large number of people in a short period of time
like in banquets, institutional / industrial / transport catering etc.

 A la carte (in style of a card)

It is the selection from the menu card where each item is priced separately.

B. Sc (H & H.A) Page 2 of 3

Menu 2015 - 16

All the food items are listed along with their individual respective pricing. It is most
popularly used type of menu in restaurants, coffee shops, bar etc.

Certain other types of menu are as under:

 Carte du jour (menu for the day): It is a card comprising of food items listed
with composite pricing and has been planned for the day. Mostly used for
institutional / industrial / transport catering. They are generally cyclic in nature.

 Plat du jour (dish of the day / chef’s special): A special food item prepared by
the chef for a particular day. It is generally quite expensive and not present in the
regular menu card.

The following are some points of difference between the two main types of menus:

Table d’ hote A la carte

1. Compositely priced 1. Individually priced

2. Limited Choices 2. Wider choices

3. Suitable for banquets 3. Suitable for restaurants

4. Caters to a large no. of people 4. Cater to a limited no. of people


Source: adapted from Food and Beverage Service by Dennis Lillicrap & John Cousins,
ELBS, UK, ISBN 0 - 340 - 63067 - 1.
Authorship: Saurabh Haldar.

B. Sc (H & H.A) Page 3 of 3

Menu 2015 - 16