Any restaurateur will tell you that menu creation is an art, not a science. But some cold, hard facts about menu creation can help you make your restaurant's menu more effective.
There are some facts about menu creation that you may not know: You don't necessarily need to hire a professional designer to create a great-looking menu. Your menu layout is just as important as the food items you include. Plus, your menu should be reflective of your restaurant's overall branding.
So, if you're thinking of opening a restaurant or revamping your current menu, read for some tips on creating a powerful menu that will wow your customers.
Menu design might seem like a simple task, but there's actually a lot that goes into it. Here are 13 facts about menu creation that you might not know:
The first thing customers see when they open a menu is the cover. The layout is your chance to make a good impression and set the tone for the rest of the meal. The cover should be clean and inviting, focusing clearly on the restaurant's name and logo.
For example, if all entrees are grouped at the top of the menu, they will appear to be more expensive than if they were scattered throughout the menu.
The next thing customers will see is the menu itself. The menu is where you have to be clear and concise about what you're offering. Each dish should have a brief, descriptive title that tells the customer what they're going to get.
If your menu is too wordy, it can be off-putting. Customers don't want to feel like they're being sold to, they just want to know what they're ordering. So keep it simple.
Once customers have decided what they want, they'll need to know how much it costs. Prices should always be displayed on the menu, preferably next to the dish name.
If your prices are hidden away or buried in small print, customers may get sticker shock when they see the bill. Make it easy for them by putting the prices front and center.
If you have any specials or promotions, make sure they're prominently featured on the menu. Special featuring is a great way to upsell customers and boost your bottom line.
You can feature specials in several ways, such as highlight boxes, images, or even bold font. Just make sure they're impossible to miss.
If your menu is difficult to read, customers will likely get frustrated and give up. To avoid this, ensure the text is big enough, and the contrast is high enough.
Black text on a white background is usually the best option. But you can experiment with other colors as long as they're easy on the eyes.
Your menu should have a little something for everyone. If you're catering to a specific demographic, such as families with young children, make sure you have dishes that appeal to them.
Having a good mix of healthy and indulgent options is also important. This way, customers can feel good about their choices no matter what they're in the mood for.
If possible, your menu should be seasonal. It means featuring ingredients that are at their peak of freshness and changing up the offerings regularly.
Not only does this give customers a reason to come back more often, but it also shows that you're using the freshest ingredients possible.
Your menu should strike a balance between new and familiar dishes. Customers want to see some variety, but they also don't want to be overwhelmed by too many choices.
A good rule of thumb is to have about 80% familiar dishes and 20% new dishes. This way, customers can try something new without feeling like they're taking too big of a risk.
If you're using images on your menu, ensure they're high quality. Low-quality images can make your business look unprofessional and give customers a bad impression.
It's worth investing in a good camera and taking the time to learn how to use it properly. This way, you can take high-quality images to make your menu look its best.
If you need to make changes to your menu, it should be easy. This means having a system that allows you to quickly and easily update the menu as needed.
One option is to use a digital menu template you can edit as needed. This way, you can make changes without printing out new menus whenever something changes.
Your menu should be cost-effective to produce. This means using high-quality but affordable ingredients and keeping your overhead costs low.
By being mindful of your costs, you'll be able to keep your prices competitive without sacrificing quality.
Before adding a new dish to your menu, it's important to test it out first. This will help you gauge customer reaction and make sure the dish is up to your standards.
One way to do this is to offer the dish as a special for a limited time. This way, you can get feedback from customers before deciding whether or not to add it to the menu permanently.
Your menu should reflect your business's branding. It entails using consistent language, images, and design elements.
By having a consistent brand message, you'll create a cohesive look that will make your business more recognizable to customers.
When creating a menu, many restaurateurs make common mistakes that can lead to lost profits. One of the most common errors is failing to consider food costs when pricing items.
Other mistakes include not including a variety of price points on the menu, not considering the portion size, and neglecting to plan for waste. Creating a menu that priced items correctly would be a good starting point. Considering the cost of each dish and then factoring in a reasonable profit margin is essential.
It's also important to remember that people are willing to pay more for an item they perceive as a good value. Offering several price points gives customers options and allows them to choose what they're comfortable spending.
Creating a menu for your business can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. By following these tips, you can create a menu that is both informative and visually appealing. By taking the time to create a well-designed menu, you'll give customers a positive impression of your business and increase the likelihood that they'll come back again.