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Your Menu Design Can Make Or Break Your Business

September 20, 2020

Ali Soudi - Head of Digital Marketing

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing
Hospitality

Article Overview

10min read

At one point or the other, a restaurant manager has had to deal with creating the menu and its design. Some outsource it to a design firm; some hire a freelancer while some simply type one up on Word. 

After all, everyone knows the basics of designing a menu- simply include the prices, add the restaurant’s logo, and the items’ names. 

That’s it. Right?

Not really. 

A restaurant’s menu is easily the most prominent internal advertising method – every customer who enters the restaurant or orders online will see the menu. The menu is, after all, the reason why they even enter in the first place!

What is less understood is that the restaurant menu is where the ambiance, your vision of the restaurant, and the brand image merge. 

And this is why restaurant consultants always stress the importance of not compromising when it comes to designing your menu.

Format

The format is the first thing any customer notices in the menu. 

Is your restaurant a counter service restaurant or a sit-down business restaurant? 

When your customer reads your menu over the counter, the design should accommodate that. If the customer reads the menu seated at the table, you can be creative and come up with a tri-folding menu or a beautifully designed page. Whatever menu layout you choose, don’t forget that it has to blend in with your restaurant’s overall theme or atmosphere.

For a menu located behind the counter, make sure the typography is large enough so that it can be read quickly. If it is something the customer can touch,  pay attention to the material and how it feels in the hand. The quality of the paper says a lot about your attention to detail and formality.

Images

Images have a huge role in convincing your patrons. Not only do they improve the customer experience by giving an idea of the dish, but they also make navigating the menu easy, especially if you have a large variety of dishes. Additionally, since an image is processed in about 13 milliseconds, a customer can make up his or her mind quicker with an image rather than the dish’s name followed by a little description.

On the other hand, hospitality consultants suggest that if you are serving many varieties of one dish, it may be a better idea to leave out the images. This will afford extra blank space that can be used to improve readability.

Readability

Readability is the next aspect that requires consideration. The readability of a menu is defined by three key factors; the number of items, image and font size, and the white space. 

If images and words are crammed into a small space, the overall effect can overwhelm your customer-  which you really don’t want. This can distract your customers and affect their overall dining experience. Short descriptions can help improve the readability so does spreading out menu items and defining them better.

As stated, the design of your menu has the power to make or break a restaurant but by considering the above aspects, restaurateurs can come up with a good design that consistently converts customers.

Without a doubt, getting the menu wrong is going to adversely affect your restaurant revenue. Some of the more common mistakes include overpricing dishes and bad placement on the menu. To maximize your ROI, it is essential that you pay close attention to the menu; in particular, ensure you price the menu right and place it in the correct spot on the design. No matter how great your combo or dishes are, it will not sell if your customer does not notice it.

Ali Soudi

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing

Ali Soudi is a Google Certified Digital Marketer with 10+ years of industry experience. He is a prolific writer on business-related topics, regularly contributing articles to leading digital marketing and business websites.

Ali Soudi

Ali Soudi

Head of Digital Marketing
Hospitality
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