A well-designed restaurant menu is a thing of beauty. Something that, in any other setting, would be a paper with a list on it, becomes a precursor of a sensory experience when you place it in the context of a restaurant. When last did you reevaluate your menu? Do you know if it inspires our diners to try new dishes, or whether the layout is so confusing that they rather stick to the same thing every time because it’s just too hard to read? When you partner with a reputable print agency and designer, it’s possible to tailor a menu that goes above and beyond a mere list of the meals you serve.
Here are five tasty tips to improve your restaurant menu:
Guide The Eye
Diners in Western countries tend to read menus like a book – from left to right, up and down. This is why you’ll see that most menus are broken up on two or more columns, to guide the reader’s eye along a variety of dish descriptions without fatiguing the reader. If you want to make it even easier to use, you might consider breaking up your content with clear headings that delineate main meals, sides, starters, dessert, condiments and drinks.
Careful With Photos
While a nicely styled food image or two can go a long way to tempt diners when you use it on social media or printed marketing material, your menu might not be the best place to use it. Allow your diners to use their imagination in picturing the dish you describe and give yourself some leeway in terms of presentation (if you have an image on the menu, diners are likely to get fussy if it doesn’t look exactly like that). If you do want to bring in some visuals, consider illustration for a fun element.
Balance Visual Interest & Legibility
While it can be tempting to use a few different fonts to draw the eye to certain sections of the menu, or to create some visual interest, your menu should always be legible. When too many different fonts vie for attention on the page, it can confuse and frustrate the reader. Always err on the side of legibility.
Be Sure Of Colour Associations
Colour evokes emotion, which is why most eateries play it same with a monotone menu. However, in certain settings, a pop of colour might do wonders. Just be sure to do some research regarding colour associations in your region. For instance, in Asian countries, the colour green is associated with poison, so it would not be suitable for use on a menu.
Check In With Your Diners
If you’re not sure how your diners feel about your current menu, the simplest way to find out is to ask. Have a chat with a few of your regulars, and see what they think about the layout, font type, etc. You might just glean some unexpected insights. Once you’ve worked with your designer on a menu refresh, you can then run it by the same diners again to take a bit of a poll if you’re trying to narrow down your options.
There you have it – five simple ways to update your restaurant menu. Keep your eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more helpful printing advice, and feel free to get in touch with a knowledgeable Asset Print representative if you need expert advice on stationary printing like restaurant menus and how you can tailor yours to represent your business in the best possible light.