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Restaurant Menu Design Tips

Restaurant Menu Design Tips

An effective restaurant menu mixes a well-planned layout, well-written descriptions, and correct pricing. Good menus avoid busy layouts, confusing descriptions as well as unnecessary graphics. Menu items should reflect your restaurant’s theme. Updating your restaurant menu is also important to keep on top of food costs and food trends. You know your restaurant’s style, your culinary philosophy, your best-selling specialties. The menu is a presentation of your essence and what you have to offer to your customers. Your professionalism must show, the message must be clear, and in this case, appearances are everything. It must be so compelling that they can’t wait to order and taste your meals.  Stated below are a few restaurant Menu Design Tips.

Menu Basics

The Restaurant Menu Design offers a balance of classic dishes and fresh food trends while balancing the right food cost to maintain and increase profits. Before you begin writing anything down, you need to decide what items to offer at your restaurant. A restaurant menu design is a reflection of its concept and intended audience. There is a science to balancing appearance and messaging with managerial accounting. Do you need to put yourself through this exercise? The answer is a resounding YES.

Menu Pricing

Once you’ve decided on what foods you will offer, do the math for the correct food cost and assess how large your portions will be. Another way to ensure a profit is to create a balance of expensive and inexpensive items and limit the use of market price items, which always fluctuate. Open their minds and wallets. Make restaurant patrons want to spend money with you and remove their resistance to spending. Your prices are derived from costs and profit goals, but there are methods for presenting prices that make a big difference. Should you show Naira signs or not? Should prices be in a smaller font?

Menu Layout

A restaurant menu layout is a reflection of the restaurant itself. Restaurant menu designs, whether formal, casual, playful, should match your restaurant concept, location, and theme. Your menu font and color scheme should also reflect your restaurant theme. Where to begin? The map you establish as you drive customers through your menu can lead you to a profitable destination. But how should categories be grouped? How much space can you afford for your signature dishes? When you put as much energy into your menu’s appearance as you do into food presentation, it pays off.

Apply that same thinking to your font selection.  Beware of choosing a font that is hard to read or too small.

Menu Descriptions

A menu description should be vivid and enticing enough to make a guest’s mouth water. Always explain what are the major ingredients are in a particular dish, and use ethnic names to add a bit of authentic flair to the menu description, as long as they fit. Overall, a good rule of thumb when writing the descriptions is to keep them short and simple.

minimalist restaurant menu design

Consider Local Foods

Using local produce allows you to add variety to your restaurant menu, changing it with the seasons is also a good marketing tool. Today, using local foods on your restaurant menu goes beyond just fruits and vegetables. It can refer to sustainable beef and seafood, artisan foods, homemade desserts, or hyper-local restaurant gardens. Not only does buying local produce help your local economy, but the food usually tastes and looks better than those grown in larger corporation farms.

Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen in Mind

Generally, the size of your restaurant will dictate how large your menu is. The bigger the kitchen, the more menu items you can offer. If you try to offer a large and complex menu out of a tiny commercial kitchen (which can be done, though it isn’t easy) you may run into serious problems during lunch and dinner rushes. Your restaurant kitchen should be between 15-25% of the total space in your restaurant. Any smaller and you run the risk of limiting how much what you can serve during a shift. Any larger and you are wasting prime real estate that could be used for customer seating.

restaurant menu design

Making a Good Impression

First impressions count. What do want your customers to sense about your restaurant, right away? Sophistication? Innovation? Fun? Does your menu play to individual dishes or throw its weight toward the overall eating experience? Give them your unique message, quickly and clearly.

How Your Menu Builds Your Brand

Just who do you think you are? Can you sum up your brand in 7 or 8 words? Do you truly know your target customers and what’s important to them? The choices you make on paper color, typestyles, and entrée titles should be consistent with your brand, aimed directly at your core customer.

How To Write Your Menu

Clear and inviting descriptions

Write descriptions that will move customers from reading with their eyes to reading with their taste buds. But remember, you’ll be speaking to different kinds of people. Mouthwatering descriptions are essential, but picky eaters are searching for ingredients and connoisseurs are seeking adventure.

How To Choose Menu Fonts

“I can’t read this!” This is the last thing you want to hear. Put clarity upfront as you decide on type style, size, and color. And remember, the population is trending older, so tiny print in light gray is a no-no.


How To Make A Specials Menu

“What do you recommend?” Consumers are frequently seeking advice and guidance on the freshest, most impressive dishes – offer up your best selections with a special menu. Showcasing favorite dishes or seasonal offerings is an invaluable upsell technique.


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