How To Create The Best Menu For Restaurants | 10 Tips

Creating a good and attractive menu is one of the most important aspects of opening a restaurant. For that, this informative article will guide you with the best tips on creating the best restaurant menu! 

How To Create The Best Menu For Restaurants

The most crucial aspect of creating the best menu for restaurants is ensuring the menu has a cohesive design and is easy to read. Moreover, you must guarantee that your menu is manageable for customers with choices. 

This fun and informative post will guide you through everything you need to know and implement while designing the best menu for your restaurant. So, without further ado, let us get started! 

Top 10 Tips To Create The Best Menu For Your Restaurant

When considering opening a new restaurant or just about any food joint, most people must consider menu planning one of the most straightforward tasks. Well, it is easy, but it can also be one of the most challenging tasks if you are clueless about what you must include in your menu. 

However, the good news is that if you have the proper guidance to go about it, the entire ordeal can also be pretty straightforward. Remember all the tips mentioned in this section while planning your restaurant’s menu, and I guarantee that you will have a stand-out menu. Now, let us have a look at these tips! 

1. Choose A Cohesive Design

Choose a cohesive design

While planning a new menu, we all aim to have the best designs out there, making it unique compared to other restaurants. However, in the quest for uniqueness, many places tend to overdo and go completely over the top as far as the design of the menu is concerned. 

Sure, the design should be unique to your restaurant’s style. However, that does not mean it must be over the top! The design must be cohesive with your restaurant’s theme, the type of food you plan to serve, and the font you intend to use for the menu. 

Previously, creating a menu design was challenging for most restaurants, and they would have to get help from a graphic designer. However, now you can completely control your menu design with unique menu templates by Canva! 

Using pre-made templates to design a menu has become a new norm for most restaurants, all for the right reasons. It saves a lot of time and helps you save extra money on getting your menu designed by a designer. 

Canva has become a trusted tool for so many restaurants, along with many other businesses. The site has many options for free templates, catering to various restaurant themes, designs, and cuisines. You can also choose your favorite design and print your menu directly from Canva, eventually saving a lot of your time.

Moreover, you can also go for their paid plans, which will give you many more options, making your menu designing process even more fun! So, if you are new to designing a menu, head to Canva immediately to get the best cohesive menu design that fits perfectly with your restaurant’s theme. 

2. Make Sure Your Menu Is Easy To Read

Have you encountered restaurants that serve the most fantastic food, but their menu font seems like ants crawling on a piece of paper? Well, that can be a genuine bummer, as you need to be able to read the menu to avoid confusion and also a wrong impression amongst your customers. 

Now that you know that your design needs to be cohesive with your restaurant’s theme, it is also important to remember that the menu has to be easy to read. Most studies show that customers spend only two minutes on average to look through a menu. 

If the menu is not easy to read, those two minutes will not be worthwhile for your customers. Moreover, a menu that is easy to read does not just imply that the menu’s font is legible. 

There are plenty of other factors to consider when considering an easy-to-read menu. Sure, the font must be the right size and color to complement the menu. Along with that, the description of the menu items should also be simple, which would make it easy for customers to browse through. 

3. Do Not Overwhelm Customers With Choices

Do not overwhelm customers with choices

If you have ever seen the hit TV show ‘Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares’ by Gordon Ramsay, one of their episodes may come to mind when you look at this point. In that particular episode, the restaurant had over 100 options on its menu, and most of them were never even ordered by the customer. 

The first step that Gordon Ramsay took was to reduce the size of the menu and not include as many dishes. This was a remarkable turnaround for the restaurant, and the identical factor can also help you create the best menu for your restaurant. 

Although it may be very tempting to include just about everything possible on the menu, it is unnecessary. The reason behind that is simply that the more options you give your customers, the more confused they will get. 

In some cases, this confusion can also lead to them walking out. We surely would not want that! The best way to do it is not to include more than 5-6 dishes for each section of the menu, as that tends to be the perfect number. 

Moreover, having 5-6 options will also help the restaurant with overall budgeting. If you have fewer options on your menu, the chances of food being wasted are also less. So, along with the menu, this tip is also beneficial for restaurant budgeting.

4. Ensure Your Menu Items Have A Strong Description

Have you ever been to a restaurant where they have the names of various dishes they offer on the menu with no description of the food? That can be a bummer; most customers would want to avoid eating at a restaurant like this. 

Yes, some dishes, like a cheeseburger or a pepperoni pizza, are self-explanatory. However, that is not the case with all the items that your restaurant has to offer. Some of them may be specially designed by your restaurant. 

For those dishes, a short but powerful and straightforward description is imperative. You can also do so for popular dishes such as the ones mentioned above, as it indeed adds to the appeal of your restaurant’s menu. 

The description of the dish should be manageable. The goal here is to keep the customer from knowing each ingredient in the dish. However, the goal is to give them a descriptive picture of the dish, leaving them intrigued enough to want to order it. 

5. Make Sure Your Pricing Strategy Is Consistent

Make sure your pricing is consistent

Let’s face it: most customers always seek economical and affordable food options rather than excessive spending. Keeping that in mind, restaurants need to ensure that their pricing is consistent throughout the menu and not over the top. 

Here, the aspect that you mainly need to focus on is that your profit margin for all the menu items must be uniform. Along with that, you also need to keep in mind that the menu items must be affordable and do justice to the food you offer, along with the restaurant’s overall theme. 

If you are aiming at a casual restaurant, the pricing must be done accordingly, and the same goes for fine dining places. Of course, some of the items you offer may be more expensive, as they use specialty ingredients. 

But the key here is to ensure that this price variation is limited to only a few options from your menu. Along with that, also keep in mind that the variation in price between a specialty dish and any other dish should always be balanced. 

6. Do Not Use Photos In Excess

Adding a few photos of the menu items offered at your restaurant is always a great idea. This gives your guests a clear answer on what they can expect from the food provided by your restaurant. 

However, some restaurants take this concept way too seriously and end up adding pictures for just about every menu item they offer. Firstly, this is entirely unnecessary, and second, it ends up making your menu too cramped, leaving less space for the font. 

Also, let us remember that adding too many images ends up making the menu look incredibly tacky. So, this is something that you must avoid under any circumstances. Adding pictures only for unique food items and an image of the same would help the customers somehow. 

7. Try To Highlight Food Items With A High-Profit Margin

Try to highlight food items with a high profit margin

You may have noticed that many restaurants highlight a few dishes on their menu with a star or sign next to it. This is their way of showing you menu items that customers most love. 

This practice is handy for customers and also for the restaurant in terms of getting profits. Having a highlight next to a dish on a menu instantly attracts customers’ attention as they realize there is something special about that dish. 

This would increase their chances of ordering that dish, which is already making the restaurant a lot of profit. Moreover, it will also save customers the time to review the entire menu and decide what they would like to eat. 

Instead, they can select the chef’s special dish, which will stand out. However, there is one thing that you need to remember here. Although this is an excellent practice to improve your menu, you must ensure the process is varied. 

The best way to go about this technique is to stick to highlighting only two or three dishes for every section. This keeps the customers’ curiosity going, along with being manageable for customers or you trying to upsell menu items too much. 

8. Be Transparent About The Ingredients In Your Menu Items

Have you ever ordered something at a restaurant but had to send it back as they did not list the allergens for that particular dish on the menu? There is honestly nothing worse that could happen for the customer and also for the restaurant. 

Transparency with the menu is essential for restaurants, and it needs to be followed no matter what. Regarding the openness of dishes offered at your restaurant, you don’t need to mention every ingredient that goes into making the dish. 

Instead, you must remember special dietary requirements and allergens on the menu. You should always mention whether a dish has gluten, eggs, dairy, shellfish, or any form of tree nuts, as those tend to be the most common allergens. 

You can also add little tags for entirely vegan or vegetarian recipes, as that can help customers with similar needs decide faster. This is vital as otherwise, the customer may send the dish back. 

Everyone who owns or has worked at a restaurant would know that a customer sending their dish back for a reason like this can be very concerning. This can create a wrong impression about your business amongst customers, which can be long-lasting. 

9. Do Not Put All The Focus On The Price Of The Dish

Do not put all the focus on the price

When you want to go and enjoy a meal at a restaurant, wouldn’t your criteria to decide what to eat be based on the dish’s description? Now imagine if a restaurant has written barely anything about the dish itself but has focused a lot on how much the dish costs. 

That can leave a wrong impression on customers. Most customers want to enjoy a dish based on what ingredients are used to make it. The dish’s focus should never be on how expensive or cheap it is. 

So, as we discussed before, your menu needs to be well-optimized in terms of the font used and the description of each item to look presentable. Here, it would help if you made sure that the font for the prices of each dish is a little smaller than the actual name. 

This will take the focus away from the price of the dish and will put all the focus on what the dish is all about. This will also give your customers a better understanding of what to order rather than focusing too much on the price. 

10. Use Psychological Tricks To Your Advantage

Now, this point may sound utterly absurd to many of you, but tell me why and how this is important for your menu. There have been plenty of psychological studies on how customers study menus, which can be used as an advantage for the restaurant overall. 

Research has shown that when customers look at a menu, they tend to first focus on its middle and top corners. This is something that you can use to your advantage, as this way, you can quickly put your high-margin dishes at these places so they catch the customer’s eye first. 

Along with that, there are also a lot of psychological tricks in terms of colors that you can keep in mind to optimize your menu in the best way possible. You may have noticed that many restaurants hold their color scheme in hues of red and yellow. 

This is because these colors tend to catch the eye first, compared to darker shades. So, you can use such tips and tricks to ensure customers see what you want them to see first. 

Conclusion

Designing the best menu for your restaurant can be a manageable task. Although you may need clarification about where to begin or how to proceed, keeping the necessary tips and tricks in mind will always help you create the best menu for your customers to read. 

All the tips mentioned in this fantastic guide have proven to help restaurants create an outstanding menu. Along with all of that, I recommend creating your menu with free menu templates rather than relying on a designer for the same. 

Doing it yourself will save you a lot of time and money and give you a blank canvas to lay out your perspective. Now that you know all of this, make the best menu for your restaurant that will leave all your customers in awe! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should the basic design of a menu be like? 

The basic design of a menu should always be cohesive with the restaurant’s overall theme, doing it justice rather than being a contrast. 

Is it okay to have different types of fonts throughout the menu? 

No, it is always best to stick to one type of font for the entire menu to ensure it is easy for the customers to read. 

Should a description be added for every menu item? 

Not necessarily; it is best to stick to a few menu items where the description is more necessary and add the same only for those. 

Should focus be put on the price of the dish or the description of it? 

The focus should always be on the dish’s description rather than the price. Putting less emphasis on the price can detract from what the dish is about. 

Should you mention all the ingredients for every dish offered on the menu? 

No, you don’t necessarily need to mention all the ingredients for every dish on the menu. However, it would help to be transparent about menu items with common allergens. 

Should a menu have too many options, or should they be minimal? 

The best thing to do is to keep options as minimal as possible; otherwise, it can be overwhelming for the customers and the staff to prepare all of them. 

Is it worth highlighting high-profit margin items on the menu? 

Yes, highlighting high-profit margin items on your menu is worth highlighting as it helps grab the customers’ attention. 

Is it okay to use images for some of the menu items? 

Yes, it is entirely okay to use images for some of the menu items, but you also need to do what is necessary and use an image for every dish, as that can make the menu look tacky. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *