Do you display your restaurant’s menu on your store front? Wafting aromas and an inviting entrance may convince visitors to enter your restaurant, but a sure way to pull them in is with a menu display that’s pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. Nibble on these menu features & design guidelines to create a tempting menu that reflects your restaurant’s concept and personality.
What do your competitor’s menus look like? Look deeper than the food choices offered. Effective menu creation integrates the perfect balance of paper stock, font, and color. What design options do they choose? How do these options reflect their:
- Meal choices?
- Dining atmosphere?
- The crowd they cater to?
What does your menu design say about you? The features you choose will let passers-by know with a quick glance.
Yes, price can be a deciding factor for many, but people are willing to pay a little extra for a specific atmosphere and dining experience. A young couple will seek a different setting than a family of four on vacation. Ensure your menu pricing is competitive and justified. The experience is just as valued as the meals and will come across in the design features you choose.
The Law of Attraction
An attractive menu says a lot about your eating establishment. When you picture a laminated menu vs. a menu printed on textured card stock, what visions does this create? Which is the family of four likely to visit? What about a couple celebrating their 20th anniversary? Which style suits your restaurant image?
Color & Charisma
Just as each country and region has its unique flavors and food specialties, color in equally influential. From flags to festivals to costumes, incorporate these color palettes into your menu and restaurant personality to enrich the dining experience.
Take another look at competitor menus: the fonts are rarely the same. Script, playful, italicized, bold and quirky fonts all send a different message to potential diners. What message do you want to send? Your meal choices, atmosphere, personality and clientele will influence the font. When choosing a typeface, choose a font that is easy to read.
Placement & Headlines
Though many of us would rather start with dessert, listing menu items sequentially is the standard, less confusing format. Separate each section with attention-grabbing headlines. Font size, italicizing and boldface, as well as boxes and borders help to distinguish courses. Highlight popular & healthier dishes with stars or other insignia to draw the reader’s eye. As with all print material, keep your menu simple. Too much information, graphics or visuals can be distracting.
Dining out is more than just satisfying the appetite. Diners seek an experience as well. Often times, your menu will be a customer’s first introduction to your restaurant. Apply these design features to your menu to send the strongest message and image. Then let your talented chefs and cooks make them customers for life.