People Eat With Their Eyes; Make Sure Your Menu Makes Them Hungry
Your menu says more about your restaurant than what you serve. It tells customers what kind of service they should expect, how much they should be expected to pay, and how much care is put into the food preparation. In many ways, the menu serves as an advertisement for the food your diners are about to eat. Follow these tips to make sure it has the best design and finishes possible.
Your Customers Read Your Menu Like a Book
Many old-school restaurants still use the “menu sweet spot” theory that guests look at the upper right part of the menu first, and then head to the left page. However, new studies have shown that diners prefer to read their menus like a book: they start at the left with appetizers, and then move to the mains on the right and dessert at the end.
To take advantage of this, consider listing a few signature dishes or house specials at the top left to draw your diners’ eyes. We recommend using a special finish or embossing these items to make them stand out against the rest of the page.This gives them an idea of your best items before they dive into your full menu.
Don’t Overwhelm Your Customers With Options
Another common mistake that restaurant owners make is adding too many options to the menu. They believe if they serve everything from pizza to tacos to pad thai, there will be something for everyone and the business will always be popular. However, customers and cooks can easily feel overwhelmed by a 10-page menu.
Instead, consider designing a one or two-page menu that makes a statement. By paring down your options, you can create something that’s stunning and excites customers to enjoy the meal.
Choose a Menu Design that Matches Your Brand
It might be tempting to choose a dramatic leather-bound menu with laminated pages to make a statement and save money in the long run, but that design style doesn’t work for all restaurant brands. If you run a local breakfast place or outdoor beach restaurant, your guests are going to expect something lighter. Furthermore, paper menus are becoming more popular with millennials as restaurants change their entrees and side dishes to match the season.
When in doubt, visit a few restaurants that you admire and see how they’re printing their menus, or tell us about your business plan and goals so we can make recommendations for you.