An effective menu design is a highly important factor for your restaurant as it allows you to positively communicate your products to each customer. When it comes to the design, considering essential factors such as your brand, your product range and the audience you are targeting, will enable your restaurant to separate itself from others within your field.
Identify your purpose
Before designing your menu, you will need to identify its purpose. Who are you looking to attract? Do you host a classy or relaxed environment? Factors such as these should seep through into the design of your bespoke menu, allowing you to reach those targeted audiences. Much like online dating profiles, the initial appearance of your menu itself can encourage your potential customers to choose between the all-important left or right swipe. Merging your brand and personality into your design can also create a positive reflection of your restaurant whilst building a connection between you and your locals and continuing to entice them towards your door.
With any business, effective market research is essential in gaining a clearer understanding of your competitors and consumer trends. The factors you should observe are those such as their online presence, website design and use of marketing strategies. Researching your location-specific industry and target market will allow you to understand year-round popularity trends and demographics, allowing you to tailor your menu and create appealing offers for those who like to eat out. For example, in 2020, 45% of nationwide consumers said that they like to eat out at a minimum of twice a week – and that was during a pandemic! Tailoring your menu design to attract the eat-outers in your local area could prevent them from choosing a nearby competitor.
Designing your menu
When it comes to the design itself, you will have an element of freedom whilst still remaining in line with your research and branding factors. There is no simple recipe for success that we could give you here and now without looking into your requirements ourselves, but it is important that one of your priorities is to ensure that you differentiate your menu design from others in your field. This can be done simply by filling your design with aspects that mirror your original branding. From your colour palette to font style and pricing methods, you can positively catch the eye of your potential consumers, steering them towards your door.
Structure and content
Menus tend to abide by the same traditional structure of listed starters, followed by mains and through to desserts, but there are still elements which you could utilise to make yours stand out. Simple methods such as enlarging fonts on particular dishes which you know will be of interest, or bordering them into tidy sections can allow locals to navigate their ways around your menu with ease. Another successful factor is to add a little spice to traditional product names, such as tailoring the names of a duo of children’s mocktails to merge with the title of a famous Disney film, such as ‘The Beauty’ and ‘The Beast’ or incorporating your restaurant name into the main dish!
Pricing is an element of your menu that can create the final decision of whether your locals choose to eat at your restaurant, or keep walking, simply based upon the pounds they will spend. So, why not remove the pound sign all together? In fact, this has proven a successful psychological tactic! Removing the money-related symbol can remove the perceived value of a meal. You could also display a ‘good deal’, without having to lose out on deserved income. Take two dishes for example, one of a larger portion than the other. If your small portion seems high-costing, raise the price of the larger portion to just a couple of pounds higher, creating the feel of a deal too good to miss. Regular customers will also feel gratitude towards lowered costings, so if you are trying to gain the upper hand, you may want to price common dishes at £1 cheaper periodically.
Keep it fresh
A menu design doesn’t need to be (and ideally shouldn’t!) be kept as a permanent final version. You should rotate your menu with the seasons, or at least once a year, whilst allowing your most popular items to remain prominent as this can statistically raise the popularity levels of your restaurant over time. Comparing your menu to competitors regularly can also prove beneficial as you can react to any changes that they make, and ensure you are on a level playing field in terms of pricing and selection.
Here at Printingprogress, we would love to lend an expert hand with any of your menu needs, whether it be designing or printing. To get in touch with a member of our award-winning team, or to find out more about our entire service range, get in touch by calling 020 8290 1010 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.