Successful restaurant owners know that designing and printing a menu involves a lot more than choosing the perfect pictures of their signature dishes. Restaurateurs understand just how to craft their menus to maximize profits.
If you’re wondering how to design a menu, you’re in the right place! Check out these tips, and you’ll never look at a menu the same way again.
How to Design a Menu
Make Sure All Menu Items are Visible at Once
If you menu is larger than trifold, it’s probably too big. Menus that span several pages can be overwhelming, and guests may find it difficult to process. When this happens, they could end up ordering something they don’t really want and ultimately be unsatisfied with their dining experience.
Create a Balanced Menu
When designing a menu, balance is extremely important, and a balanced menu is more important than a huge menu that is overflowing with options. As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to offer 10 appetizers, 10 main dishes and six desserts. Be sure to include at least one vegetarian entrée and appetizer.
Understand Where People Look
When you have a two-page menu, most guests will first look just about the center on the right page. Then, they’ll generally look at the first and last options on the list.
You have two choices: You can put your dishes with the highest profit margins in these areas or you can reserve these areas for your best and most delicious meals. If your best dishes and the dishes with the highest profit margins are the same, you’re golden!
Be Smart When Listing Prices
There are a few subtle things you can do to prevent your guests from spending as little as possible. First, leave off the dollar sign. A study conducted by the Culinary Institute of America showed that diners tend to choose cheaper options when there is a dollar sign.
Second, don’t list all the prices in a column. Doing so subconsciously encourages diners to price shop. List prices three spaces from the last letter of the menu description. Don’t use any dots or dashes.
Go Easy on the Capitalization
It’s fine to capitalize the dish name, but you should use lower-case letters for your descriptions. Lower-case slows the reader’s eyes down and prevents them from glossing over the entire menu in just a few seconds.
Maximize Your Dessert Profits
To keep your guests happy, your dessert menu should always include the five C’s: coffee, chocolate, caramel, cheesecake and citrus. Don’t list your desserts on the main menu. When diners see appealing desserts at the beginning of the meal, they’re less likely to purchase an appetizer. Surprise your guests with a separate dessert menu at the end of their meal to maximize your profits for both desserts and appetizers.
Still not sure how to design a menu? Let The Print Connection help. We can help you with the entire project from design to final completion. For help with your menu and other restaurant marketing materials, call The Print Connection now at 303-779-1420