The Art of Restaurant Menu Designing

Perhaps your restaurant makes the greatest lasagna the world has ever known or maybe your truffle tart is to die for. If you are like most restaurants, listing our dishes down with a few food images slapped in seems to be about it when it comes to menu presentation.

Dining-out has evolved a great deal. Notice the multitude of creative concepts, pop-ups, food trucks and other innovative ideas in your hometown? This will continue, and that’s why you may want to take a one long hard look at your menu.

The idea of telling your own story to make your product memorable in the eyes of the consumer can be an overwhelming process. Your restaurant menu can do some of the heavy lifting of enticing and delighting your customers. Think of your it as your silent salesperson. And now take a good, hard look at your restaurant menu and if it doesn’t involve psychology of menu design, it’s time for a revision.

Tip 1:

Use the Golden Triangle

There’s much more to making an attractive menu than shooting low-angled shots of dishes and clever descriptions. Did you know when reading a menu most people look at the middle, then to the top right corner and finally to the top left corner? Called the Golden Triangle by Restaurant menu engineers, this is where you may want to experiment with showcasing your dishes and figure out which ones appeal most to your crowd.

Tip 2:

Offer an Experience

Diners want a real “experience” these days when eating out. For example, once in 2 months you might offer an international/regional menu. Let’s say you want to offer French cuisine for a short period of time as a part of a festival. Bring France alive at your restaurant and give your customers an authentic experience. Present the dishes on a French themed menu coupled with some French music.

You’re basically bringing the country right to your customers and helping them enjoy the cuisine of a country they may not ever get to visit.

Tip 3

Let them have fun

Instead of rushing guests to place their meal order, why not let them have some fun with the menu? That’s what Ruckuses, based in Milwaukee, does. Their menu looks like an old school pop-up book, but one that gets you burgers or beers. The copywriting sets the branding for this restaurant as well – the soft drinks are hilariously titled ‘Lame choices’.

Tip 4:

Take a colourfully, minimalist approach

You can be vibrant and ultra-minimalistic at the same time. Take a look at Spanish juice chain Sano’s menu. Using gorgeous color gradients on one side and a clean look on the flip side makes it appealing, and simply lovely.

Tip 5:

Bring your food alive

You could play with shapes and colours of food items used in your restaurant the way Toko, in Dubai has done. Or like Discover Your Way in Patras, Greece, you could place colour-packed photos of your food items letting customers know what their food would look like.

Idea is to give your customers their first bite with the eye.