Iím not sure where or how the word Ďengineeringí came into play; I prefer to call it menu optimizing. Because thatís what you want to do -- optimize your menu to increase sales.
The best and easiest way to draw attention to your higher profit and signature items is to highlight them! Do this with a border, a contrasting background color, a subtle background color, larger type, different font -- anything that make that item stand out on your menu. My suggestion is to pick 1 or 2 items per category, depending on the number of items. Too many and you defeat the purpose. Making your menu too busy creates confusion.
Speaking as a customer, I like choosing the highlighted items. Yes, Iím a menu designer, but when Iím with a group of people I might not spend that much time reading your menu! The easier you can make the ordering process, the better. And if it means more money in your pocket -- thatís better yet.