5 QUICK TIPS FOR MENU DESIGN
We’ve curated menu strategies from pricing to graphics to help you generate the most sales and give your guests the best possible experience. Check out the infographic to top strategies for menus that sell. We have compiled all the best tips from menu engineers to teach you how to tailor your menu so not only is it easier to read, but so patrons will actually buy more.
- Include pricing. Not including prices signals that your prices are really high and guests may be afraid to order.
- Eliminate the currency symbol ($) from the price listing.
- Avoid a ‘price columns’ layout for your menu so that the pricing is associated with each item and not directly inline with the next price. This will help to eliminate price shopping, especially when your item costs vary significantly.
- Menus should be clear and should not provide too many options. Break items out into categories.
- Use pricing decoys. Include 1-2 “expensive” options within each category to make the other options seem reasonable. Example: add two $14/glass wines next to four $9-11 options.
- Include pictures on your print menus where appropriate or add them to your digital menus. Diners are more likely to order an item once they’ve seen an image of it. But be careful! When overdone or when poor-quality images are used, pictures can actually cheapen your offerings.
- Use images, negative space, or borders to highlight key items and draw the reader’s eye to the specials that you want to showcase.
- Writing detailed descriptions with accurate and enticing language can help you sell more and ensure guests are happy with their order. If a guest can ‘taste’ the item when they read the description, it’s a keeper. Consider using software to automatically pull in polished descriptions.
- Use lower-cased characters in the menu descriptions to improve readability.
- Consider adding a category for healthy (e.g. low-calorie, low-carb, “light,” etc.) items to appeal to health-conscious consumers.
- List potential allergens on items.
- Highlight local items. Whether they be from a local brewery, distillery, winery or farm. This shows your guests that you support other local businesses and gives them the opportunity to do the same via your menu.
Drafting the right menus in a way that resonates with your customers can help promote your brand, enhance the customer experience (both in-location and online), and increase your overall sales. Now that we know your menus and their design are important and have given a few tips on optimizing those menus, you may be wondering how you can start drafting these menus and keep them up to date with rotating draft lists, cocktails, food specials, etc. Some of our favorite tools that can help with creating menus include PhotoShop, InDesign, and Canva. If you’re looking for a tool built specifically for menus, Evergreen print, web or digital menus are also a great option.