Menus are often part of the food industry that can be overlooked. Many just view them as a list of food, however they contain a very important message. Menus add to the restaurant experience, and if they are cluttered and disorganized, it can take away from the experience for your customers.
1. Create a Visually Engaging Layout
Having a great design and layout for your menu is a very important aspect for a positive customer experience. Having illegible fonts or improper spacing can make it hard for the customer to read the menu and decide what they want to eat. To help with this, make sure to leave enough white space to separate the food choices and use fonts that are clearly readable at an appropriate size. Additionally, in a blog, What King of Falafel Taught Us About Restaurant Marketing, having an attractive menu draws customers in and helps you stand out amongst competing restaurants.
2. Use High Quality, Authentic Photos
When it comes to using photos on your menu, there are a few things you should keep in mind. It’s important to use actual photos of your food, avoiding stock photos of the same dish from the internet. Using stock photos could lead to disappointment as somebody might be expecting something different than what they are receiving. In a past blog, we discussed when to use custom photography vs stock photography. To avoid complaints as well as potential lawsuits or penalties, use original photos. However low-quality photos could hurt you, so it is important to use a high-quality camera and have good lighting or consider hiring a photographer to help make sure your pictures look as amazing as the food.
3. Consider a Theme for Your Menu
When designing your menu, there are several things to consider: what is my theme and who is my target audience? It’s important that your menu is cohesive with the theme rather than it being a distraction. In a blog from 2017, we talked about the importance of considering the color scheme, the logo, as well as décor in the restaurant to communicate the overall visual message. Target audience will depend a lot on what kind of food you are serving. Looking at these demographics will help you make decisions by knowing what your customers will enjoy.
4. Post Your Menu Online
In today’s world, everything revolves around technology. Before deciding where to eat, people will often do research by looking at reviews and what food is served. Because of this, it is important to have a copy of your menu online accessible to everyone. For example, recently we got into a conversation with a team member that was looking for an online menu and could not find it, leaving him to wonder about pricing and if it would be worth it to go. Although some menus change seasonally or have specials that cause the menu to change daily, it is important to keep up with and change the menus online to make sure no customer comes in to order something only to be disappointed when they hear it isn’t being served this season. Having specials posted daily can boost business and popularity among your customers.
5. Plan Accordingly Financially
Though menus are an investment of time and money, it’s an investment that could yield a return in the long run. While many may say that designing and marketing is something that they cannot afford to do, you simply cannot afford to not. In an industry with a high failure rate, it’s important to put enough into advertising to attract customers to be successful. Make sure to designate a part of your budget to menu planning, advertising, and upkeep to ensure that your customers are getting the best experience possible at your establishment.
Customer experience is one of the most important parts of the food industry, and menus can add to this experience. This is why it is important to have a good layout, use high-quality pictures, look at the theme and target audience, make menus accessible online, and budget time and money accordingly. By taking these important steps, you will be able to get the most out of your venture and passion for years to come.
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