A restaurant menu is a vital part of the restaurant’s marketing plan. Even if you are a small time vendor or a fine dining restaurant owner, the first thing that your customers will look for is the menu. A well designed menu enhances your customers’ dining experience and helps stimulate their appetite.
The menu is a direct reflection of your restaurant. Its design should express your restaurant’s personality, focus on your overall operations, establish your budget and keep your brand fresh in your customers’ minds.
The goals to achieve in restaurant menu designing
Your restaurant menu is an important means of representing who you are as a brand personality and what you hope to convey to your customers. The goal is to make sure that it leaves enough of an impression that your customers remember it even after the waiter walks away with your menu. Also make sure that your menu design conveys your brand in a way that gets your customer excited to be there and to recommend your restaurant to friends and family.
Research before design
In order to get proper results, you need to conduct enough research before you begin. In restaurant menu designing, you need to collect data such as your restaurant’s finance and marketing plans, how your competition is portraying their brand. This will help you determine where they are in the market currently and how you can match up to them. Also read up on industry information available via magazines and publications to help you examine the trends and successes currently in the market.
There is no specific right or wrong when it comes to restaurant menu designing. Tactics and designs that worked for one restaurant may fail for another. Regardless of what your restaurant speciality is, you can create a delicious menu with these tips in mind.
Selecting the right font
Just from the choice of your font, a customer should be able to determine the kind of atmosphere your restaurant provides, be it family-oriented, trendy or classy. You might also need to factor in the content and the space available for your items to comfortably fit into the page.
You can also use banners, dividers or frames to break up the text and draw attention to special dishes. Using more than one font can help guide the customers through the items in the menu. Most importantly, make sure your text is easy to read, so that your customers don’t have to squint at the writing under dim lighting.
Featuring pictures of menu items may seem like a good idea, but it is better to avoid using too many images. Menus filled with many images are usually associated with large chain restaurants, which is not the impression you want to leave if you own a fine dining restaurant. Let your customers imagine what the food will look like, or you can also use illustrations. If you still insist on using images, it is better to hire professionals to produce quality images of your delicious meals.
Description is delicious
Would you rather order a “burger with onions, tomato, lettuce and mayo”, or something that says, “farm-fresh chicken with sun dried tomatoes roasted in garlic-lime sauce with a side of potato wedges”? You need to get creative with your food descriptions. Use words that would nudge the customers into trying it out and guide them to get a satisfying meal.
Divide into sections
It’s a menu and not a classic novel to have it trailing on for pages and pages. Group your dishes in such a way that the customers know what is available with just a brief glimpse of the menu. Make sure that the groups appear in a logical sequence, starting with the appetizers.
Choose colors wisely
Colors also help in influencing people to eat more or less. Different colors have different psychological effects on people, such as green implies healthy food choices, red increases appetite while blue suppresses it. Make sure the chosen colors supports your restaurant theme, sets the mood, as well as draws attention to certain items in your menu.
Expect questions and provide answers
Specify items that are vegetarian, gluten-free, etc. so that customers with specific dietary restrictions can find their options faster. If you have specialties, highlight them. This will help the new diners know how your restaurant is different from the rest of the similar restaurants in town.
If you follow these tips, you can be sure to produce an interesting and appetizing menu for your restaurant. Overtime you will be able to understand how your restaurant menu is performing among your customers. Be prepared to make minor changes as and when necessary, especially if yours is a newly opened restaurant.