What is a Prix Fixe Menu?
Prix fixe menus are any type of restaurant menus with a fixed price, multiple courses, and a limited number of options. Some prix fixe menus might offer a few options for each course or the entire meal could be up to the chef’s discretion. Prix fixe menus are usually offered on weekends, during restaurant weeks, or for special occasions in addition to or instead of the restaurant’s regular menu.
Prix Fixe Meaning
The term prix fixe means “fixed priced” in French. Prix fixe menus were given this term because they are offered at one standard price for all courses, regardless of the number of courses or which options the guests choose.
Prix Fixe Pronunciation
In French, prix fixe is pronounced like pree feeks though, in the U.S., most English-speaking people pronounce it as pree fiks.
When Are Prix Fixe Menus Offered?
Prix fixe menus are often associated with fine dining or upscale restaurants, but any type of full service restaurant can offer a prix fixe menu of some kind.
- Daily prix fixe menus. Some restaurants may offer a prix fixe option daily, rotating the offerings periodically. This is a great way to offer your daily specials (with bonus upselling) or for more expensive restaurants to bring in some extra budget-conscious guests.
- Special occasion prix fixe menus. Bustling restaurant holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and citywide restaurant weeks are famous for prix fixe menus.
- Tasting menus. You will see these more often at high-end restaurants. This type of prix fixe menu can be anywhere from three to a dozen or more courses of small plates. The guest may have an option for each course, or it could be entirely dictated by the chef.
The Benefits of Offering Prix Fixe Menus in Your Restaurant
- Eliminate decision paralysis. Prix fixe menus help guests create a whole meal experience with little-to-no decision making required, allowing them to focus on enjoying their experience.
- Staff relief on busy holidays. Offering a prix fixe menu only during a busy holiday helps to take some pressure off the kitchen staff.
- Increase sales. When costed-out correctly, a prix fixe menu should be a win-win for both you and your guests. They will get more for their money versus ordering off the menu, but their ticket averages will be higher than if they had only ordered one entree.
How to Create a Prix Fixe Menu
- Decide on the menu structure. How many courses will you offer? Is each prix fixe menu per person? Or do you want a menu for couples (great for Valentine’s Day!) where they share an appetizer, dessert, and a bottle of wine but choose their own entrees?
- Include popular, low-food cost items. Find the balance between wowing guests and keeping profit margins high by offering your most popular low-cost items, like pastas or vegetarian items. Include in-season ingredients that guests love, and tend to cost less as well.
- Make sure the menu items make sense together. Whether you are offering one, two, or ten courses, make sure that no matter what options your guests choose, they will have a full course dinner that is cohesive from start to finish.
Best Prix Fixe Menus by City
Looking for a prix fixe menu near you? Here are some of the most popular restaurants that offer prix fixe and tasting menus (either full-time or for special occasions) by city.