7 Insider Tips To Design The Perfect Menu For Your Restaurant
There’s a huge number of restaurants that consider raising menu prices in order to counterbalance the overall increasing costs. While this seems to be an understandable approach, it’s probably not the best one for a restaurant business. It isn’t only a short-term solution but also involves the risk of losing customers. Fortunately, there is a better way to boost profit – improving the design of your restaurant menu.
It doesn’t need any special mention that every design comes with at least some elements which make it either dull or attractive. When it comes to the restaurant business, excellent menu design has always been a crucial ingredient in making it continually profitable.
If you’re wondering why we are emphasizing on menu design so much, it’s because a restaurant menu is much more than a vehicle to let your customers know the dishes you’ve on offer. It has the potential to enhance their entire dining experience, strategically drive their buying decisions, maximize the perceived value of your restaurant, and add up to your bottom-line.
You may already know that there is a group of people called menu engineers who study the verbal and visual psychology behind why customers order certain items and use that information to design menus in order to boost restaurant profits.
So, if you’re looking to make your restaurant menu more effective and give it a makeover, here are seven simple yet highly effective tips that would help you get started.
- Create a solid first impression
A Gallup poll reveals that the average diner spends only 109 seconds on a menu, which means you really need to ensure the dishes you truly want to be sold catch their eyes. Your restaurant may offer lots of menu options, but here less is really more. Ideally, you should keep the menu to just one or two pages. Anything larger may stand the risk of keeping the diners from finding the items they want, making their enjoyment suffer. According to menu engineering, when it comes to scanning menus that are arranged vertically, diners tend to focus more on the first and last items, so, it would be wise to place your biggest sellers in those spots.
2. Represent the dishes visually
Undeniably, the most important objective of menu design is making it appealing to the customers. Whether they see it online, at the table or in the window, you have to capture their attention so that they start to imagine those delicious items on their plates. Often, diners want to learn where their food originates like whether it’s locally produced or it belongs to the traditional group etc. In order to cater to all types of diners, you should use icons to differentiate origin, style or sources of the dishes to help the diners understand what they want to eat.
3. Prefer illustrations over images
Of course there are exceptions, but in general, you should use illustrations instead of images in your menu to entice customers to order. If you wonder why we aren’t suggesting the use of images, especially when they do pretty well in other businesses, here’re the reasons. While pictures are great in giving a real feel for the item you’re offering, it comes with a cost also. First, you need to ensure the images come out great and accurately represent the item for which it’s taken. And second, if you want to modify the way an item is presented and the image on the menu shows a different way, you stand the risk of having an unhappy diner. On the contrary, having illustrations is a great way to create a perfect ambiance while the customers are choosing their food.
4. Focus on the fonts
In a restaurant’s menu, the text is the ultimate weapon. So, focus on incorporating appealing fonts in it and highlighting the important words to make some real differences. Usually, italicized words come with a different charm than the bold ones, so, they can be used to bring some variations. A Georgia State University study reveals that it’s ideal to keep the menu limited to just three font types to help the diners have a quick look at all the items mentioned in a page.
5. Sensible organization is crucial
Proper and strategic organizations of the items play a huge role in the design of a menu card. It has to be organized in different sections and follow a particular order. Also, overcrowding the menu is a strict ‘No’. It causes diners to miss dishes, get lost, or experience confusion. They may order something haphazardly and end up with an item they don’t like. So, keep your menu organized and as simple as possible to eliminate confusion and allow the items to shine through.
6. Leverage the power of color
Probably you already know that people respond to different colors in different emotional ways. That’s why color theory is being heavily used in almost everything from advertising to painting a place. When it comes to restaurant menus, red and blue are usually considered to help trigger appetite. Also, try to add the color strategically to direct your diners’ attention to specific areas of the menu. For instance, if you mostly offer seafood-centric dishes, choosing the blue accent color is simply perfect.
7. Don’t use currency signs
Surely, diners want to know how much an item is going to cost them, but you should also stay away from giving them the sticker shock. There are two ways key to deal with this price aspect: using round figures and removing prices from items entirely. It not only keeps the menu looking less cluttered and cleaner, but also allows the diners to focus on the prices less.
It’s imperative that you invest an adequate amount of time and money in designing the menu card of your restaurant. It has the ability to reverberate when designed really well. Creating an excellent restaurant menu design doesn’t need to be an uphill task. With the help of the above tips you can surely create a menu which represents your restaurant well and greatly helps the diners find the items they want to order.