Make your menu a reflection of your brand.

Tiffany Kaminski | On October 24, 2014

Restaurant Menu Design from Concept to Presentation

Think of your favorite place to dine. What type of food is served there? Do you have a favorite dish? Are you always given excellent customer service? Is it worth your money? Many questions like these go through a customer's mind before they decide to eat at your restaurant. Your menu presentation isn't far away from their minds either. Your cooks might whip up stellar food options, but if your menu's organization and design fail to impress, you'll be left wondering why customers just aren't satisfied.

To convince current and new customers that your restaurant is the go-to place for a night out, you need to have consistent menu management from the moment your concept is born to the final menu presented to customers when they sit down at a table. Without evaluating your restaurant's menu strategy, you could be causing a decline in visitors and missing out on revenue. Your menu is a reflection of your passion, your style, and the food you're proud to share with others. This should serve as your inspiration to take the time to evaluate whether your current menu, or the new menu you’re designing, reflects your passion for great food.

When creating a menu design, you want to show off your best dishes, but you don't want them to overshadow other options that might turn out to be #1 sellers. You'll want to strategically place the best-made and the #1 sellers near the top of each category (appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinks, etc.) on your menu. A reader will naturally gravitate toward the top items first, then to the bottom of the list, and finally glance at the remaining portion in the middle. Add in high-quality photographs of these top dishes, accompanied by the dish name, so readers can identify it and find it in the list below.

Once customers reach the list of dish options, the presentation of price and ingredients comes into play and is one of the final decision points. Consider dropping the “$” and the word "dollars" from your pricing. According to F&B Kibbutz and a study done by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research, sales increased by 8% per person with the removal of the symbol and word! The result is that your customers think about how good their meal will taste – not how much money they'll have to spend.

With that thought comes the topic of overall menu design. Think about your restaurant and how you want it to be portrayed. What design elements would bring out the best of your restaurant's style and atmosphere? Are you a fine dining or casual restaurant? Do you have a theme for your brand? Colors, graphics, fonts, and layout all make your menu a reflection of your brand. Choose visuals that add to the restaurant experience, not ones that distract the reader. In the long run, you might need to update your menu design and text to account for increased food prices, ingredient availability, or an update in your logo or theme.

You might find that some of your servers have noticed aspects of the menu that could be improved based on their conversations with customers. Take note and listen! They are a great resource for information about your customers’ menu habits. They reference it day in and day out, know what customers order most during their shift, and can tell you what dish characteristics are often confusing for customers. Get them involved and ask for feedback about your menu so they can improve productivity, and in return, you can continue to manage a profitable business.

PrintPlace.com is committed to helping your business stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive edge when using our high-quality menu printing. Call us to talk about your menu project.

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