Designing a menu can seem overwhelming at first. Trying to figure out how your branding will look, deciding on what items to include, and figuring out how to structure the menu are just some of the things you might worry about when creating your menu. Instead, as you start the process, follow these menu design tips to engage customers, thus increasing your profits.
Everything should be organized and categorized. Categorize items based on popularity and profit for best results. Just like other print designs, hierarchy is essential in menu design as well. You want to put the most profitable items at the top of the menu to show importance. For instance, if you have an Italian restaurant, you want to display your signature spaghetti and meatballs at the top of the menu. This will increase the likelihood of someone ordering it.
Keep It Simple
Show restraint; don’t overfill the menu by offering as many dishes as possible. Of course, display your best items, but you don’t want to include too many things since it can cause confusion and make it difficult to choose an item to order. For example, if you display every item you can think of, it can get quite lengthy and make it difficult to choose between so many things. As we’ve mentioned in our menu design workshop, having too many choices can make it harder to choose. This is known as the paradox of choice. This is why we recommend no more than 4-7 dishes per section. This will make your customer’s experience as easy as possible.
Watch Your Fonts
We know it can be easy to get font happy, but you want to keep your font usage to a reasonable amount when designing a menu. For instance, using 10+ fonts can conflict with each other and confuse the reader and make it difficult to digest the material. You want a consistent design, so we recommend using one or two bold fonts for headlines and one font for body copy. This allows for hierarchy and shows diversity without going overboard.
Photos can be a great way to show off popular menu items. But use them sparingly, so you don’t overwhelm the menu. You wouldn’t want to include a photo under each item that could confuse the customer and overcomplicate the design. It’s best to stick to just a couple of professional-looking photos spread throughout the menu. If you don’t have any photos to use, consider using illustrations and graphics to compliment the design. This can be a great way to promote branding and show off your design skills. If you aren’t design-savvy but would like a professional-looking menu, consider working with us, and we’ll help you create an exquisite menu that promotes higher profits.
Use or Remove Symbols
It’s time to drop the dollar sign on prices. The Baltimore Sun says this will cause the customer to disassociate the number from the price. As a result, they won’t feel like they’re spending as much, so they’ll be more likely to spend more money. Another way to help encourage the customer to spend more is to use leader dots. Leader dots is a repetitive dot that fills in space and makes it easier for the reader to read from one line to another. The easier it is to read and follow, the more likely they are to spend more.
In closing, having a well-organized menu with a reasonable number of items and design elements that complement branding is key to increasing profits. Unfortunately, all of these things can become difficult if you don’t have an eye for design. So, contact us if you’d like help designing your next menu.