The restaurant menu is the anchor to the dining experience. It grounds the restaurant concept in a very tactile way, serves as the foundation to build upon with customer service and the dishes themselves. Not to mention, it makes a lasting impression. Your menu is the first introduction your customers have to your primary offering–your food! Understanding the impact of food menu design and mixing it up with fresh restaurant menu ideas is a necessity. Think you need to give your menu a second look?
Consider these five reasons to analyze your restaurant’s menu.
1. Highlight Your Specialties
Does your menu highlight the most popular dishes and chef specialties? Set them apart with distinctive design elements to catch the eye. Or, if mixing up the design isn’t your preference, consider utilizing the psychological effect of the Golden Triangle to strategically place high-ticket items in areas that increase their chances of being ordered.
You have only 109 seconds of your customer’s undivided attention on the menu.
2. Control the Dishes and Ingredients
If you experiment with strategically placing dishes in high-profile spots on your menu, you can plan accordingly by predicting the demands of dishes ordered. This strategy will help you set schedules for entrée prep time, stocking ingredients, buying new equipment, and even scheduling staff. Improve operations and control costs with this simple adjustment.
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3. Sell More with Psychological Design Practices
You have only 109 seconds of your customer’s undivided attention on the menu. That’s less than two minutes. How do you maximize this time to hook your guests? The first step is to avoid decision paralysis. Giving customers fewer options has been shown to effectively increase sales and not overwhelm your visitor.
4. Exercise Brand Control
Your menu should reflect your vision. For example, a high-end restaurant should consider upscale menu language and a font to match. A healthy eatery might outline ingredients in each dish and offer options for substitutions. If your brand caters to a younger demographic, menu items could rotate to capitalize on trendy, seasonal ingredients. Overall, it’s important to maintain brand consistency with each aspect of the dining experience.
5. Optimize Each Menu Format
It’s common knowledge that the menu should look great in your restaurant. The design should engage the reader as soon as they take a seat. However, the menu template must also look great digitally. Many restaurant owners overlook this crucial step when uploading their menu to websites like Yelp or OpenTable. Make sure your menu leaves a lasting impression in every format.