3 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Menu Should Look Professional

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You’re living in a world of volatile trends. The moment you manage to catch up with one, poof! It has changed.

Yet, there are things that never go out of fashion like traditions and professionalism, regardless of the industry. The restaurant industry is no different.

Agreed, people love to experiment and street food has a separate fan base. However, 58% of customers would love to pay extra if you offer them a better and more professional service.

Your restaurant menu is an often overlooked ‘character’ of your restaurant. However, it is the second thing people will notice about your restaurant after they check out its vibe. It is their ‘gateway to succulence.’

Therefore, it is important that you create this seemingly ‘secondary’ character as professionally as you can.

In this article, we will discuss X reasons why your restaurant menu needs to look professional and how it can boost your restaurant business.

Why Your Restaurant Menu Needs a Professional Design

1. Builds a strong first impression

Before they even scan the menu items, your customers are more likely to judge your menu based on how it looks. That takes them an average of merely 109 seconds.

This means that you have a really short window of time to make a great and lasting impact.

Creating a professional menu means that it doesn’t look like a trashy listicle with hard-to-scan menu items. It should have clear section headings with easy-to-spot dish titles.

If your customer likes and understands the menu, they will think that your restaurant is a professional one.

2. Boosts your business’ bottom-line

Your menu is not just a list of food items that you serve. It is an opportunity to boost your restaurant’s bottom line. That’s because a professional menu has the ability to keep your restaurant business relevant to the market. Additionally, consider featuring exclusive promotions or discounts for patrons who use the cashier’s tray at checkout, enhancing the overall dining experience and encouraging repeat visits.

How?

By keeping up with the crowd’s expectations.

Most professional and high-end restaurants today love to experiment. Seasonal menus, holiday menus, and more are all part of that experimentation.

As an example, a Japanese traditional kaiseki restaurant and liquor bar in Singapore named GOHO has merged its traditional interior with modern industrialism. The same is reflected in their menu. The items on the menu are traditional Japanese food scripted on a
modern-looking background.

3. Enables repeat sales

Which restaurant are you more likely to visit again? One where you got confused with all the fancy dishes’ names and ordered a seemingly fancy dish that turned out to be a simple salad? Or one where the menu was simple to understand, the dishes had proper descriptions, and you got what you expected?

Definitely the second one.

Most high-end restaurants have menus with proper descriptions to enable customers to actually know what they’re ordering. When this happens, they will leave more satisfied with your food and restaurant, and keep visiting again for years to come.

Tips to craft a professional-looking restaurant menu

1. Keep eye-scanning patterns in mind

As per researchers, when diners scan your menu, their eyes naturally gravitate more toward the upper right-hand corner of it. This is known as the ‘sweet spot’ in the industry. So, you can consider placing your high-value items and specialties at that spot on the menu.

If you are confused about the right way to design your restaurant menu, you can always use software to do it for you.

Click here for a free template to design your menu without having to do tons of research or hire someone to design it. You can easily use the templates to design lunch menus, festival menus, holiday menus, and so much more within a few minutes.

Moreover, people also have a tendency to look at the first and the last page of the menu before scanning through the entire thing. Make sure the items you place on these pages are tasteful enough to grab your customers’ attention.

2. Promote profitable items

Do you know which items/items on the menu drive the most profit for your restaurant? One that involves the least low-cost ingredients, doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare, and you can sell at a high price.

You can also feature such items on the menu or display them on your website or restaurant display board so that they capture the attention of a large number of customers.

Alternatively, you might include it in the ‘Chef’s favorite’ section to entice visitors to order it.

3. Use high-quality pictures

Although you might think that pictures of food attract customers, the truth is that pictures are more often associated with ‘spam emails.’ On the other hand, some research shows that you can increase your sales by up to 30% by using one picture per menu page.

So, if you must, you should use highly professional pictures on your menu to give an impression of high-end restaurants.

A restaurant like Applebees is a casual eatery. Hence, its menu does portray one picture for every food category.

Alternatively, you can also use illustrations instead of pictures which makes your menu look more professional and will even be inexpensive.

4. Use color to influence customers

Color can also be utilized to emphasize since people react emotionally to color, which is often subconscious. As a result, color theory is used in everything from marketing and brand packaging to picking what hue to paint your workplace or wear to a business meeting. However, red and blue are commonly used on menus to stimulate appetite.

A seafood menu can employ shades of blue to make it more related to the restaurant theme. You can also strategically use bright colors to attract more attention to certain parts of a menu.

5. Describe the menu items

Customers don’t order a dish based on the names of dishes on your menu. Instead, they look for a description of the dish to decide whether it’s worth ordering. Menu designers and copywriters work hard to make this description as enticing as they can.

The key is to make the customer drool at the thought of a dish.

Descriptive menu labels like “succulent Indian tandoori chicken” vs “tandoori chicken” can result in customers feeling more satisfied with their meals. In fact, if the dish really lived up to their expectations, it would allow for more favorable comments. It’s no surprise that restaurants that take the time to create enticing food descriptions and titles will enjoy the benefits.

6. Keep updating

It is critical to refresh the menu on a regular basis. Analyzing your menu performance reports is a great way to find out which items on the menu are not driving huge sales. You can then remove these items from the menu.

Determine which items on the menu are the most popular. This will tell you what your clients enjoy the most about your eatery. You can create customizations on those menu options to offer your consumers something unique!

7. Use QR codes

The pandemic prompted a boom in internet ordering for restaurants, and industry analysts expect that trend will persist. The usage of QR codes enables on-premise booking rather than only delivery and takeaway. This allows restaurants with fewer staff to operate efficiently.

With recent data demonstrating industry-wide adoption of integrated ordering, it’s become increasingly straightforward (and smooth) for restaurants to incorporate QR code ordering into their operations and cater to consumers who are growing acquainted with this latest technology.

Revamp your restaurant menu today

The menu at your restaurant is more than just a sheet of paper listing the meals and their prices. It also serves as a gateway for marketing your meals and demonstrating to consumers your professionalism and high-quality services.

If your menu is visually appealing and uncluttered, it is bound to draw more orders and boost your restaurant sales. It also promotes word-of-mouth marketing which is your ‘free’ pass to advertising your place.

A professional restaurant menu design is essential for any restaurant’s marketing strategy. A menu should convey the individuality of your restaurant, focus on the operational processes, increase profitability, and determine your finances. It should also keep your image vivid in your customers’ minds.

I am a young digital marketer and a blog analyst, Author from Uttarakhand, India. I have been into blogging since 2013 and helping businesses with their SEO requirements. I have 12 years of experience; during the journey, I have worked on many websites and made good friends. I research and share my knowledge with everyone to help them succeed as solopreneurs, businessmen, and entrepreneurs. You can also find me on LinkedIn and see my entire journey.