Why Menu Design Is Important and How to Do it Right

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Why Menu Design is Important and How to Do it Right.

Your menu forms the first point of contact with the customer. Long before they have a taste of what they came to eat, they will first see it on the menu. If they do not like what they see, they will leave without ordering anything. For that reason, you want to make sure that your menu design ideas capture exactly who you are and how you would like to depict your restaurant.

The impression it creates should be powerful enough to stay with the client for a long time even after they have had their meal or snack. Furthermore, it ought to convey your brand in such a manner that diners feel proud to be associated with it. Doing so will make them keep coming back for more, and they may even recommend you to their closest associates.

Just like all creative works, you can never get impressive results without detailed research. With regards to crafting a menu for your restaurant, this means that you collect data from multiple sources to get a clear picture.

Begin by making a detailed internal examination, whereby you evaluate factors like your financial position and marketing mix. Proceed to look at your competitors, paying attention to aspects like their menus, websites, and marketing efforts. Do not copy from them. Rather, learn their strategies to determine how best they can be improved for your restaurant’s overall benefit.

the essence of menu design

Provide a detailed description of food.

When someone walks into your restaurant for the first time, there is a high chance they do not have an idea of what you offer. They may have a guess or two, but still, that is not enough to confirm your offering.

Rather than them walking in and holding an endless conversation with the waiting staff to learn more about your meals, the menu gives you a chance to describe your food in detail. Use a descriptive yet concise menu design to allow your clients an opportunity to casually explore the available food.

Draw in new customers.

Great menu design is one of the most important marketing tools used by a food-related business. It serves to draw new customers and generate orders. When implemented artistically, it becomes the perfect representation of a delicious dish backed up by information on food varieties and gorgeous images.

Because you can have both offline and digital versions of the menu, it can be pinned to your website to entice site visitors. If the design is unique to your business and not copied from other companies, customers will realise what sets you apart and be much more willing to buy from you.

High conversion rates.

The essence of menu design is to create a strong interest in your target audience, making them curious to give a dish a try from the delicious cuisines you offer. When someone walks into your restaurant with a preset mind of what they will order, they typically do not change their preference.

However, after they sit down to enjoy their order, they will keep looking at the menu from time to time. If their eyes encounter a captivating delicacy, they could order it as well on a future visit. That would have never been possible without a custom-made menu design. Thus, it ensures no opportunity to make money escapes the business.

Unique menu designs add to business credibility.

If you go through most restaurant menus, you will realise that they follow a similar pattern and layout. In some situations, they are just a copy and paste of pre-existing menus. This is the last thing you would want to do if you are known for authenticity.

Whereas your competitors may be busy replicating well-designed menus, you can create a unique one that expresses your personality so as to gain business credibility. You might invest more to have this done professionally as it goes a long way in taking your business to the next level.

There are many more things that can be gained from a unique menu design. As an important marketing tool, you need to make sure that it gives an accurate snapshot of your restaurant. Remember that this is the one piece of advertising that each guest will read. Therefore, it must be appealing and clean to communicate the brand.

How to do it right.

When designing a menu, there are some key considerations that you want to make sure are met. These are explained below:

#1: Every placement is important.

Where you place food on the menu plays a central role in determining sales. You might consider this as some kind of food hierarchy. There are some key positions that people look at. Consider placing your most important delicacies there.

Whether you have horizontal or vertical pages, it is paramount that you locate menu items in the top third space in the centre. Also, people tend to read from left to right (English speaking). Thus, if the first item they see is in the centre, their next direction will be to the right. Do not forget to include some items at the back of the menu. When someone is handed the menu, one of the first things they do is to look at the back. Specials should go here.

As you think about placement, factor in the natural progression of courses. The menu should be arranged chronologically, based on the meals that people take at different times of the day and night.

#2: Be careful with the images.

There are two kinds of restaurant owners – those that go for big and bold images, and those that do not use them at all. Either of these can work, based on how you go about it. The one thing that you have to do is invest in phenomenal photography.

At edirect, we care about every aspect and as part of the menu design process. We have a professional photographic team as you’ll need professional photos of your dishes and anything you would like included in the menu. We will make sure that all your images have good lighting and are photographed in a manner that makes them look tasty. Remember that grayish food items won’t attract much attention.

Furthermore, be cautious when it comes to using stock images. It is possible that one or more of your patrons may have previously encountered said image on the Internet. Thus, the stock image will make them doubt whether you can live up to your promises. Whatever is visually represented must be exactly what is on offer.

“Our highly creative and knowledgeable team create menu designs that are truly unique.”

#3: Bold typography will work.

Going bold and maintaining readability with regards to typography is a must. Doing so will help you sell the menu items. That’s because the bold typography satisfies the ‘art’ element required of a menu. Make sure that this is tagged along with the business logo.

One thing you must understand is that people will want to read the menu in order to make their final decision. Therefore, select a type that is readable even from afar.

Bold and italic ought to be used strategically. These are the kinds of typographic techniques that attract people to specific items the first time that they look at the menu.

#4: Price alignment.

Pricing is the anchor of menu design. During the digital design process, you might want to avoid a situation where your clients scan through the menu looking for the cheapest item. To avoid that from happening, you might want to incorporate the following techniques:

  • Do not use money symbols within the menu.
  • Make sure prices are not aligned in any way – vertical or horizontal.
  • When adding decimals to prices, you might consider using a one decimal point rather than two.
  • Do not rank items on your menu based on prices.
  • Use subtle typography and colours when writing the prices. For instance, if the text is black, prices might be given in gray.

These pricing strategies are vital as they ensure that the menu is not about prices but rather about the items on offer. The moment you make the customer think about an item’s price as opposed to how delicious it could be, you will have failed in your menu design effort.

#5: Have a colourful menu.

It might sound basic that the menu has to feature colours, but they are a key ingredient. You must use colours in the menu design, ensuring that the hues chosen match in terms of branding services and style.

As you select the colours to use, think about their meaning. Red is known to make one salivate for more food, while green is typically associated with healthy meal options. On the other hand, blue suppresses the desire to order more food.

The rule of thumb is that the menu ought to be designed in bold and bright colours. However, the kinds of colours chosen is significantly determined by the type of restaurant.

#6: Have in place a descriptive copy.

Whereas you might be an expert in food matters, not everyone is. Some people might look at the menu item and be left wondering what food item might be. To help them out, you might want to create a descriptive copy that ensures a better understanding. The approach here is that the copy ought to be simple and engaging while at the same time clearly describing each menu item.

The nature of your establishment determines the tone of this copy. If the business is lighthearted, having more fun with the words can work in your favor. Upscale restaurants, on the other hand, must remain formal.

As you prepare your descriptive copy, keep in mind the questions that clients typically ask. Provide an explanation of potential allergies to foods like nuts and highlight highly spiced foods.

#7: It is okay to create multiple menus.

Sometimes, just a single menu design might not be enough to cater for the wide range of customers that you serve. In this case, you will need several different menus to cover all your bases. Besides the table menu, you will also need one for the billboard and website as well.

As you design your menus for numerous platforms, the one thing that you want to address is the use of images. We have pointed out that you must be careful with how you select images, but you should never avoid them. Remember that visuals are important in enticing customers.

With digital menus, you could safely leave the prices out. How far you should go is discretionary, but you could simply offer a price range if you feel that this is necessary. That’s because the people viewing this online menu are not within your restaurant. When they see the prices, they could start making comparisons with your competitors, and you could end up losing out.

A menu should make excellent use of vivid imagery that leaves your customers salivating.

Creative menu design process.

Menu design is an involving process which must be done right or else you will not meet your business’ potential. If you need creative menu design services, get in touch with edirect today on +971 55 796 1337, and we will take it from there. We will involve you in every step of the process to deliver exceptional results and create a stunning menu designed solely for your business.

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