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restaurant menu on the table

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.

80% of a restaurant’s food sales come from only 16% of menu items. How do you know which ones? The perfect menu is just a click away with Upserve's Menu Builder.

Design Your Menu

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.

Now that you’ve done the analysis, are you ready to design your restaurant menu? Upserve’s  restaurant menu design builder is the first “Smart Menu” builder template. Try it here.

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As a professional copywriter, Dan typically spends his days buried in a booth at a local coffee shop. Ideas flow best with a cup of coffee in one hand and a bagel in the other. Dan has written for Entrepreneur Magazine, Military.com, and other media publications.
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