Professional menu design – Why is it so important?

There are many things that could bring customers to your establishment.
A strong reputation will get their attention. Adverting or promotion may encourage them to visit. We all know a unique designed exterior may grab their attention. Or the aroma from the kitchen might grab them from down the block. But even with all of these touch points, once customers have decided to come to you, the key critical component of any restaurant bar of cafes business plan is a well-designed, well executed menu that solidifies the operation’s overall theme while promoting the profitable items and the food and beverages you want to sell!.
A well designed and presented menu is the purest form of your marketing plan and we feel your blueprint for profitability and success.
Your menu is the best place to begin and is the one piece of advertising every diner has to read!

Be unique with your menu size
We can make any size or shape menu, size can be used to grab attention and alter your customers’ impression of the menu. A smaller menu that’s under an A4 may catch peoples attention however standard paper sizes are always easier to print being A4, A5. Consider your table sizes – a large menu at a small table can be uncomfortable to hold – especially with candles!

Pictures or Illustrations
Colours, reversed boxes, unique typefaces, icons, interesting illustrations or photos are all ways to help diners find their way through your menu. Photos tend to draw attention to item’s and as part of a selection can often be the one chosen 90%+ of the time! Be careful though -photos also provide a visual guarantee!

Type and Font
We recommend easy-to-read typeface no smaller than 12 point size.. Remember lighting larger fonts will be easily readable it’s a trade off between selling power and beauty, pick selling & profit power! Don’t get clever with fonts unless you’re a designer! (The best fonts are default from email programs, again as they are easy to read)

People need to be able to read the menu.

Price Placement
One of the most common mistakes I see are menus is right aligned pricing this encourages “shop-by-price method.” In the Western world we real left to right (like a “f” ) no matter how much time you have put into the descriptions, this encourages customers to shop by price. The eye will naturally default directly to the prices. We recommend rather than putting the prices high to low put the items you want to sell at the top!

Spelling & Grammar 
You should always proofread for spelling and grammar – Or if you have a favourite customer let them read over your menu, a fresh set of eyes is always a good thing. Spelling errors and typos are two items that shouldn’t appear on any menu. It says a lot about a restaurant.

Staff training
To make the menu work to its fullest potential, there has to be a lot of emphasis on training employees. They have to understand how the food is cooked and what it will taste like. Besides knowing the details about the items on your menu, staff members should also be able to identify key sales opportunities. For instance, it helps when servers know which items are profitable.

Including your wine list with your food menu
Gone are the days of providing one wine list for the table. Imagine the increase in profit when a different glass is ordered with each course. When everyone has the list, it makes it more comfortable and allows for discussion between the whole table.

Often forgotten but important
Being your one piece of advertising every diner is guaranteed to read, take the opportunity to enforce your branding and enhance the opportunity for future business by including:

• Restaurant address

• Hours

• Contact details

• Out-catering or function details (if you provide this service)

How to write menu descriptions
Once upon a time we used to use very ‘fluffy’ or traditional descriptions for our menu items. Today we believe diners just require the basics –

• Method of cooking/ preparation

• Essential/ main ingredients if unique or unusual to restaurant

• Way the item is served and accompaniments

• Quality claims and freshness, grade

• Variety or geographic location it is from