An outstanding menu can enhance a dining experience, educate customers and excite them about potential food and drink choices. A menu is so much more than a list of available meals, impacting people’s impressions of an entire business and enticing customers to increase their spend.
When done right, a good menu can make all the difference, enabling repeat customers through its presentation.
These seven menu design tips can help any hospitality business design a successful menu, working to increase profit margins and represent the brand:
Create a clear layout
Divide your menu into logical sections, making it easy for customers to navigate between starters, main meals, side dishes and drinks. Creating a fool-proof menu makes the process of deciding what to eat and drink an enjoyable experience.
Understand prime positioning on menus
There have been countless articles written about the different places readers’ attention is naturally drawn to on a menu. Traditionally, it was believed that readers’ eyes are drawn to the upper right corner of any menu, prompting many in hospitality to place their highest profit items in this position. There has, however, been new research which claims that customers read from left to right, beginning at the top of a menu, similar to the way they would read a book.
Simply put, placing high profit items at the top of a menu will give them the greatest chance of capturing readers’ attention.
Use photos sparingly
There can be nothing more off-putting than overuse of imagery or, even worse, poor quality imagery. Pictures should be used to present your meals in the best possible light. It’s worth investing in professional photography, tempting customers with carefully-selected imagery. In most cases, it’s best to leave the food visuals to the customer’s imagination, creating excitement and curiosity when ordering.
Don’t focus on currency symbols
Studies have shown that menus which boldly use the ‘£’ symbol increase customers’ awareness of the amount being spent, placing greater emphasis on the price. It’s been proven that customers’ spend is greater when currency signs are not used on a menu.
The choice of font will form part of any restaurant or bar’s branding. It can also be used to make the layout clear and legible. Using different fonts or bold typefaces can work to distinguish specific areas of the menu, or clearly depict vegan options, for example.
Uses of lines and boxes
Lines and boxes can be used in menu design to separate sections from each other, or even place emphasis on specific food and drink with the highest profit margins.
Use the right colours
Your menu’s colour scheme should reflect your brand, taking the effects each colour has on the reader into account. For example, a five star restaurant may opt for a simple, yet effective colour scheme, while a restaurant serving Caribbean food may go for a brighter colour scheme to reflect their business.