Video:How to Create a Restaurant Menu Layoutwith Jonathan Stewart
A menu represents not only your food, but the quality and style of your restaurant as a whole. Here are a few tips for making your menu layout professional and easy on the eyes.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Create a Restaurant Menu Layout
Once you have developed the dishes and pricing to be featured on your restaurant menu, it’s time to design a menu layout that makes it easy for patrons to read and entices them to order and return for more.
Menu Layout Focuses on the Restaurant Brand
You’ll also want to make sure that your menu represents your brand, your cuisine, and your unique offering.Whether you are doing a single menu page, two pages, or a multi-page menu, you must consider the colors, font, borders, pictures or graphics and wording placement.
Whatever you choose in terms of colors and font should reflect your restaurant’s theme. For example, you might want to have vibrant colors for a Mexican restaurant along with some related graphics and a script font. Or, if it a steakhouse, you might want to use dark colors with a more formal font.
Make the Menu Easy to Read
Keep the font easy on the eyes and somewhat consistent, including the size and style. Too many fonts make the menu appear busy. No matter what size of menu you have, the best advice is to keep it simple. A cluttered menu confuses guests and has the potential to overwhelm them.
Organizing the menu sections can help keep the menu easy to understand for the person reading it. If it’s a single page, you may wan to use boxes or borders and bold headings as well as a multi-column format to separate appetizers from main entrees and desserts from beverages.
If the menu is more than a page, you don’t necessarily have to use boxes but can simply make the headings for each section larger and perhaps in a different color. Use a logical order that reflects the progression of a meal from starters to salads and soups to entrees and sides to desserts.
There are some layout and design choices to avoid at all costs. For example, try to avoid pictures or clip art of food. They never quite look that good and tend to diminish the sophistication of the cooking.
Also, don’t use background graphics underneath the text because this tends to make a menu difficult to read.
Describe the Food on the Menu
The text is an important part of the layout because this is what sells patrons on selecting a certain dish or supersizing their order to include a starter and dessert, which, in turn, increases your sales. Explain the dish and provide an enticing name. Tuna tartar is okay, but Ahi Tuna Bites with Garlic Aioli and Wasabi sounds better.
At the same time, you don’t want to be so clever and pretentious that people feel uncomfortable ordering something or start to think that you are using fluff to cover up for a lack of talent in the kitchen.
Also, proofread as copy mistakes can make something sound bad or might send the message to the patron reading it that quality is not important to you. Of course, the Drink You Face Off cocktail menu typo that was a staple for many years at Big Wangs in Los Angeles, may have actually boosted sales.
Include a Space for Restaurants Specials
Finally, make the menu a standard size so that you can slip in special dishes or new additions that regularly change. Make sure the insert has similar font, colors, and layout so that it integrates well with your overall theme and restaurant brand.
I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.