One of the first things a customer looks at before deciding to eat at a restaurant is the menu. If the menu looks bland, the customer is likely to think the same about the food and decide to eat elsewhere. So we've collected the five designs you must include in your menu to tempt any customer into your restaurant.
Before creating your own menu, you should do some market research to see how some successful restaurants design their menus and make note of the common features. You will see a majority of menus are clearly presented, strategically written to catch the reader's attention and they represent the brand.
See your menu as a form of advertising for your restaurant
Most restaurants have their menu near the front door for potential customers to read before they enter. This is why you must spend time and effort creating an excellent menu that represents your business and engages with the reader.
Consider these five key ingredients when designing your menu to make your customers hungry for more:
1) Use easy to read text
The text you use in your menu should be the same text style used in any of your brand messages so you have continuity in all forms of your marketing. It's also important the text is easy to read and is eye-catching to people walking along the street. Bold and bright text makes certain dishes stand out and tells the reader which dishes are your most popular.
2) Don't overstuff with photos
Naturally you would think it's a good idea to fill a menu with photos of different meals to tempt your readers. But, photos are too distracting! If a person is reading your menu from outside your restaurant the pictures they see can determine if they want to eat there. They might be in the mood for pasta but if they get distracted by the picture of the burger and fries, they might not notice the mention of pasta dishes in the top right corner and decide to move on.
Pictures are useful for adding colour and showing off your popular dishes so if you really want to have pictures, use them sparringly and make them small. Your text needs to stand out more than the pictures!
3) Customers read menus like books
It was originally believed a majority of customers would read a menu by starting at the "sweet spot" which is above the centre of the right hand page. A new study by San Francisco State University discovered customers actually read menus just like books, starting from the left and reading down before looking to the right page.
Understanding how people will look at and read a menu will help you place your best and enticing dishes in the right spot to help people decide to eat in your restaurant.
4) Use boxes in your design
Do you have a lot of dishes? Try using boxes in your design to keep your menu looking tidy and easy for readers to follow. By using boxes to separate each group of main courses, you can help readers scan the menu quickly and find what tempts their taste buds.
5) Your menu must represent your restaurants culture
The colour themes, the font style and even the language used in the menu needs to reflect the brand of the restaurant. The best menus have personality and are a voice of the restaurant. Plain menus that just say what the food is, in boring basic text is not eye catching and is dull to read. Make your menu interesting and keep with the tone of your brand.
When running a successful restaurant there are so many key factors to consider. The food needs to be excellent, your staff needs to be friendly and efficient, the restaurant needs to be welcoming and even if you have accomplished those three major features, you can find your menu has been neglected.
Your menu is an important tool to entice people into your restaurant and as all your customers will be reading your menu, you need to take some time to create an interesting and worthy menu. Shoes For Crews has been creating slip-resistant shoes for employees in the food service industry for years so we know a lot about the industry and what a good menu design looks like.
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What do you think makes a great restaurant menu design? Post in the comments below.