There’s no doubt that menu creation can be the most daunting part of opening a restaurant, but it can also be the most fun. If you are trying to create a menu for your new restaurant or want to spice things up with your current menu, know that you aren’t just making something to list your options and prices on. The menu is one of the first and most important ways you can make a good impression on a customer. Here’s why having the right menu design can make or break your customers’ experience.
Online Menus Make a Difference
Many people are looking at menus online before they decide to go to your restaurant in person. The menu is one of the first encounters they will have with your business, and it needs to be done correctly. Your menu gives customers a taste of what they will experience. If you have your menu listed on your website, they will be able to decide if they want to eat there or if they can afford to.
Paper Menus are Advertisements
A little graphic design goes a long way in the menu creation process. Think about your current menu from the perspective of a person looking at the menu board at their local grocery store. Does your menu stand out from the rest? Does it entice the person before they even look at the options? Do the colors, photos, and copy trigger hunger and excitement? Or is your menu and black and white boring mess? Is it crowded with too many confusing options? Your menu is your job interview. The right look will go a long way when sealing the deal with a potential customer.
Step Up Your In-Person Menu Game
Even if you aren’t a fine dining establishment, your menu should be polished and professional. If you really want to kick it up a notch, invest in getting your menus printed on high-quality paper. People will be impressed by the look and feel of the menu, creating an initial positive impression before they ever taste your food. Certain factors will determine what medium you should print your menu on, but you should never hand your customer a greasy, tattered menu. Ever!
Menus Help Customers Make Informed Choices
Menus are important to customers because they help them stay on track with their health and financial goals. A well-designed menu incorporates pricing and nutrition information into its design. It is transparent enough that customers feel like they can make the choice that’s best for them while still enjoying their dining experience. Menu transparency makes a great marketing strategy and many businesses are having success with it.
Ultimately your menu is the key communication tool between you and your customers. It provides them with everything they need to know. Most handout menus even include hours of operation and driving instructions. Like a well-designed website, a stunning menu plays a vital role in your marketing strategy.