Develop cost-effective menus

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop menus and plan, prepare and control menu-based catering costs within established enterprise systems. It does not deal with the specialised skills for the development of menus to meet market or special dietary needs which are found in the units SITHCCC035A Develop menus to meet special dietary and cultural needs and SITHCCC040A Design menus to meet market needs.Menus may be classical, modern or ethnic.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to all hospitality and catering enterprises where food is prepared and served such as restaurants, hotels and other catering operations. It applies to those involved in planning menus and monitoring costs who work with considerable autonomy or in a supervisory role such as cooks, chefs and catering supervisors.



Elements and Performance Criteria




Plan and develop different types of menus.


Identify enterprise and customer requirements for menus.


Prepare menus ensuring that menu items take into account balance in the variety of cooking methods, colours, tastes and textures; nutritional values; seasonal availability; and results of sales analysis and customer feedback.


Cost menus to ensure maximum profitability and compliance with enterprise costing constraints.


Prepare innovative menus as required by the enterprise, type of cuisine or particular situation.


Write menus using terminology appropriate to the market and style of menu, with item descriptions that promote menu items.


Control catering costs to ensure maximum profitability.


Select and use appropriate catering control systems according to enterprise requirements.


Plan production schedules, giving consideration to menu constraints, available equipment, expertise of labour and available time.


Control labour costs, giving consideration to rosters, scheduling, award conditions and rates.


Optimise quality and minimise waste through the application of portion control and effective yield testing.


Apply stock control measures by following correct receiving and storing procedures.


Apply procedures to maintain security in food production and storage areas to minimise risk of theft, damage or loss.

Required Skills

This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

various ways of sequencing food items in a menu, including classical and contemporary

organisational skills and teamwork

logical and time-efficient work flow

problem-solving skills to make adjustments to a menu to reduce costs

literacy skills to read and verify customer profiles and preferences

numeracy skills to cost menu items and calculate quantities of commodities and other requirements for a menu.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

different types and styles of menus

historical development of menus, modern trends in menus

principles of nutrition, including:

Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults

Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia

planning nutritionally-balanced menus

culinary terms related to menus and food items commonly used in the industry

determinants of profitability in menu-based catering operations

inventory and stock control systems

purchasing, receiving, storing, holding and issuing procedures

costing, yield testing and portion control

food wastage and control

labour costs for commercial kitchens in general and for the organisation in particular.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency

Evidence of the following is essential:

ability to develop a variety of innovative menus within budgetary guidelines

development of nutritionally and seasonally balanced menus

ability to cost menus to meet enterprise profit requirements.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

demonstration of skills in planning and costing multiple menus for different customers and operational needs

use of current industry data and prices.

Methods of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

review of samples of menus, production schedules, security plans and checklists prepared by the candidate

oral or written questions to assess knowledge of menu items, menu types and characteristics, portion control and cost control

review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

SITHCCC029A Prepare foods according to dietary and cultural needs

SITHCCC033B Apply catering control principles

SITHCCC035A Develop menus to meet special dietary and cultural needs

SITHCCC040A Design menus to meet market needs.

Assessing employability skills

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Types of menus may include:

table d'hôte

à la carte





Costing constraints may include:

enterprise policy on menu pricing and gross margins


labour requirements.

Catering control systems can be manual or computerised, and may include use of the following:

production planning sheets

sales analysis forms

daily kitchen reports

wastage sheets.




Competency Field

Commercial Cookery and Catering

Employability Skills

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.