“Menu design isn’t that important.”
“Isn’t the actual food you serve more important!”
Yes, the food you serve is the utmost important thing. A well-designed and interesting menu won’t do you much good if your food is terrible But the truth is that a poorly-designed menu might mean that customers never even order your food at all! Your menu sets the tone of the meal and says a lot about your restaurant. If you want to make sure it’s saying good things, read on to find out 5 signs you need a new menu design.
1. YOUR MENU DOESN’T GO WITH YOUR THEME
If your restaurant is based on a certain theme(which it probably is), it is extremely important that everything in your restaurant—from your decor to your employee uniforms to, yes, your menus—is on brand. This means that if you have a casual restaurant, you don’t want to have formal, stuffy-looking menus. And if your restaurant is upbeat, a casual-looking menu isn’t a good idea. A quirky menu will definitely go with your restaurant if you are targeting the youngsters. Be sure your menu design fits your brand.
2. YOUR MENU SECTIONS ARE UNORGANIZED
It’s always important to have a flow in your menu. There’s a reason that appetizers are usually first on a menu—because people order them first. Don’t move things around on your menu, or customers won’t be able to find them. Appetizers should always be at the front, while desserts should always be at the end of the menu. Remember, your customers want to eat, not hunt around to find what they’re looking for. Be logical in your design.
3. FEATURED PHOTOS ARE BAD
It doesn’t matter if you own a small place, bad menu design will give a very bad first impression to your new customers. Even the most casual restaurants need to step up their graphics game. Clip art just clutters your menu and doesn’t really help your customers decide what to order. And bad food photos are even worse! If your dishes don’t even look appetizing, why would customers order them? Hire a professional food photographer, if you may, who can make the food look appetizing.
4. SOME DISHES DON’T GET ORDERED
You know that your Chilly Paneer tastes heavenly but then how come none of your customers are ordering it? It might have to do with your menu design! Menu readers’ eyes are automatically drawn first to the upper right quadrant of your menu. That’s where you should place the dishes that you want to be best sellers. Also try highlighting your star entrees with (great) photos or graphics. But then again there will always be some dishes which won’t get ordered by your customers.
But how can you identify which dishes aren’t working out for you? You can keep a track of the ordered dishes but then again it is such a hassle. These days, a few POS (Point of Sale) Systems come with analytical tools which can help you identify minute things like these.
5. YOU HAVE A TON OF ERRORS
If your customers are pointing out typos or other mistakes that you didn’t even notice, that’s a sign that you should probably redesign your whole menu—this time, with a professional who can help you avoid mistakes! You might think that small mistakes aren’t that big of a deal, but what message do they send to customers? If they can’t trust you to notice the details on your menu, can they trust you to get their orders right?
Look over your menu with a critical eye. Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, it may be time for a new menu design!