An appetite for aesthetic: why having a well-designed menu is important and how to get it right.

 

A menu is far more than just a list of items that a kitchen prepares, it has the ability to dictate how your restaurant is perceived, enable more accurate forecasting and act as a pivotal internal marketing tool. Ultimately, much of your restaurant’s success is determined by its menu and it is important that it looks the part.

Your menu is your messenger, your primary means of communication and representation, telling your customers exactly who you are. Your menu should be memorable and create an impression so that customers are eager to return and recommend you to their friends. Remember that this is your way to show off your brand, personality and what your company stands for before they have even tasted the food. People eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouths. We are all quick to make decisions, so it is important that the first impression is right.

In order to create an effective menu that utilises the many benefits of having a well-designed menu, there are a few things you need to remember…

Guide their eyes

Positioning items on the page and the layout is important when guiding customers eyes where you want them to go. For example, if you have a two-page menu, it is likely that they will look at the top right-hand side first. In terms of item placement it is most likely that people will look at the first and last item in a category. This is important to consider when you know you want your customers to see particular items or deals on your menu.

Size and font are key

Its always handy if people are able to read your menu so make sure your font isn’t too small! Although it may sound obvious this is actually a common mistake in menu design. However, there is a fine line between too small and just right as having a smaller font is a symbol of elegance and sophistication and if this is the theme you aim for then follow it, just ensure it is still readable for all customers. A larger font can be perceived as more fun and playful so font can really make a difference in terms of portraying your brand personality.

Give it some space!

Did you know that on average only one third of a menu is actually read? Baring this in mind you should consider the amount of white space on your menu as overcrowded menus can be frustrating to a reader. Don’t overdo the detail on description of products and ensure the eyes have enough white space to breathe.

Keep it clean

Although it isn’t advised that you have an X rated menu for your restaurant, that isn’t what I mean by keeping it clean. The cleanliness of your menu is crucial as this could create a huge impression regardless of a flawless design. Throw away damaged or dirty menus or use protective coverings that can be cleaned. Also avoid your menus getting sticky as a grubby menu is not particularly appetising.

Aim it

Make sure you aim your menu to who it’s intended for and the type of restaurant that you have. This can be achieved by considering many of the things previously mentioned such as font and positioning. Some menus are suited to images, yet others aren’t. Colour scheme also plays a vital role in how you are represented to different audiences.

 

Menus are essentially the first course before the meal arrives, people often look at a menu online for potential customers to see when deciding whether or not to dine at your establishment, so it is vital to the success of your business. If you are looking to design an effective menu or refresh the one you already have, we can help! For more information about how we can support you in your menu design, contact info@morganbranding

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