Designing restaurant Menu: good Way to Market your Restaurant

8th January, 2012

The restaurant menu design is a key process in the building up of an efficient marketing plan.

Nowadays the thirst for profit is creating a hugely competitive market which keeps urging restaurant owners to readjust their strategies and look for the time-tested ingredients of success. In that way, a restaurant menu design is not only a pure reflection of the restaurant. It has to convey the concept of the business, to express the style of your cuisine, to endow your brand with a particular atmosphere or in other words…to give a “taste” of the restaurant itself. Thus the purpose of an excellent restaurant menu is not only to make the restaurant stand apart from the others but create enough of an impression on the client to remember it.

Things to know before designing your Restaurant Menus

Restaurant menu design is a crucial and somewhat confusing step for any business with little experience in eateries. The good menu is first and foremost the fruit of much research. It does not spring out of pure creativity. Start by examining your own financial situation and turnovers and having a closer look at your own locations and demographics.

Analyse the similarities and differences between you and your competitors. Sometimes their websites, the price range of their meals and the contents of their marketing plans represent a solid foundation for you to draw upon. Have also a chat with your own staff who is daily in touch with clients. Read also as much written sources as possible on the industry itself in order to be more able to cater to your customers’ needs. Identifying the components of the sector and differentiating your food from the others are essential points to consider.

The menu is the perfect means of communication between you and the customers. See how it can mirror your restaurant’s personality. If you want it to be wild and funny, thick and flashy menus will throw light upon the festive aspect of your place. In that sense, if the area is full of families, you can also include children menus. On the contrary, if you want it to be formal and sophisticated, craft the look of your menu so that it will be evocative of both elegance and simplicity e.g. emphasizing chic entrees.

Designing a Restaurant Menu Layout

Design your restaurant menu in order to reflect the experience of having a meal.

Arrange items in short and clear categories; appetizers, salads and soups first, main entrees, dishes, then desserts and beverages. Place your most popular items such as the chef’s specialty on key areas of the menu such as the top-left panel and stick to one or two columns.

Use powerful high-quality photographs but not many so as not to stifle the background. Generally speaking people like to see illustrations of what they will be ordering.

Colours, logos and page-positioning tools add a visual flavour to your pages. For instance, if you are planning to open a Mexican or Italian restaurant, play on the vibrancy of such colours as red, green, yellow or purple to further draw attention. Use black and white to remain in the mood of an expensive classic restaurant.

Restaurant Menu Descriptions: The purpose of descriptions is to stimulate the appetite of your customers. Describe each dish in a few words and write short sentences to mention the main ingredients (although a formal establishment would require much more information).

Do not hesitate to use ethnic names (with some explanations if needed) in order to add a touch of exoticism and captivate your guests by somewhat giving them the impression that they have just been travelling. Needless to say that encompassing geography/history/culture or just information about the chef might concur to make your restaurant even more unique.

Refreshing your menus

Profitability will only occur when you are able to assess and compare the success of each item against your competitors. This will sin doubt illuminate your strengths and weaknesses.  That is the reason why you have to update your menu at least every six months on account of that knowledge you will be collecting from different sources. Spot the best-sellers and think how you can improve, discuss or simply remove the poor performers.

Additional Tips:

  • Incorporate your menus within your websites
  • Review the menu in relation with prices
  • Have recourse to restaurant menu designers and experts in a la carte restaurant training

The good menu is simple, easy to read, visually appealing and rightly priced.

The good menu bears the stamp of a thriving restaurateur and eventually becomes the signature of the establishment itself.

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