Your restaurant menu is the one bit of advertising that customers are certain to see, so it pays to expend thorough effort into its design. The menu is a key representative of your brand that showcases what your restaurant is about, and it also showcases your signature dishes. Here are six tips to help ensure that your menu provides the maximum benefit to your restaurant.
1. Cuisine options
The preferred method of designing your menu cuisine options is to use a matrix system. Put all the menu items into a grid. The X and Y axis of the grid corresponds to the popularity and profitability of the items. The ones that rate highest in both of these categories will be easy to spot on the matrix, and these should be given the greatest emphasis on the menu. The ones that score poorly could be eliminated altogether.
They say that people eat with their eyes first, and they look at the menu before they even see their food. Your menu design needs to fit your brand message. Match the colors with the design scheme of the restaurant. After you choose the items for your menu, it’s often wise to have a professional design the layout.
3. Signature dishes
There are usually signature dishes that your menu will emphasize, and there are several ways to do this effectively. Use different styles of typography or outline your special dishes in a box. For a more subtle approach, place an asterisk by the items. When it comes to menu design, less is usually more. A shorter menu that utilizes white space looks more upscale than a multi-page menu filled with unnecessary graphics and images.
A good description of a dish accurately indicates what the dish is in a succinct manner. Customers don’t want to read a novel about the menu choices, but they need to understand what they’re ordering. Customers want to know the key ingredients, and the description should evoke the experience of eating the dish.
The first rule of photos on menus is they aren’t always necessary. If you feel you need them, it’s best to let a professional food photographer create them. Amateur photos usually don’t make the food look appetizing. It’s often wise to let the customers imagine how the food would look based on the text description.
The design considerations of pricing include where to place the price, how much to charge, and how to make the price fit the perceived value of the food. One trick is to leave off the dollar symbol in order to lessen the feeling of spending money.
It’s crucial to create a menu that is accurate and enticing. Think of the menu as your restaurant’s business card. If the menu helps your customers choose the items that they’ll enjoy, it will serve as a key tool for repeat business.