Whether you are dining at a restaurant or hanging out in a cafe, scanning through the menu is the first thing a person does before they order their meal. Most of the time the menu templates design isn’t minded when we are hungry and want to order soon as possible. With that being said, it is always a pleasant experience to scan through a well-made sample menu.
Having a great menu design is not only pleasing to the eye, but it allows customers a great overview of what the company is as a brand. In this article, we will be discussing a few tips and tricks that will make or break your menu and its design.
Elements of a Good Menu Design
The intention of a menu is for a customer to read through the offered items of an establishment in a quick manner. It must convey the customer’s personality, advocate for profitability, establish your budget, and allow your brand to be fresh in a client’s mind. Here are a few elements that your menu design should have:
Perhaps the most important feature of a menu design, having a legible menu allows customers to read through the layout easily. Choose fonts that are not too stylized and lettering should be in contrast with the background. Use powerful and engaging language, but avoid being too wordy as you might end up cluttering too much on your menu.
A mixture of language and photos can certainly give appeal to any menu by having a combination of descriptions of each item and a supplementing photo to meals can be helpful for diners. Do not forget to consider the color scheme and design of the menu as it should consistently be in line with the theme.
Diversity and Variety
Refers to the items displayed, this is important since customers would want to see a range of options for both food and pricing. Avoid adding too many options to avoid confusion for readers but enough to attract to a variety of preferences.
Give a simple reminder to your diner who you are as a business by adding your establishment’s logo or name on the front page or header of your menu. Let your menu speak for you as a company by being consistent with your color scheme, language, and other characteristic traits.
Avoid having your diners read through the list of items to find what they are looking for by organizing your menu in different categories such as appetizers, entree, desserts, etc. or however you wish to group the offerings.
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How to Make a Great Menu Design (11 Steps)
Step 1: List Down Menu Items First
Start laying out your menu offerings. See what fits your establishment’s theme and scratch off the ones that aren’t necessary items on the menu. It can just be written on an Excel sheet.
Step 2: Group Menu Items into Sections
Order your item listing according to its category such as appetizer, main course, dessert, or perhaps you’d like to group the entrees it according to a type of protein such as chicken, beef, pork, or vegetarian. It’s all up to you. Simply organize it in Excel.
Step 3: Select a Color-scheme
Color-scheme of a menu must reflect on what your restaurant brand. Remember that your menu represents you like a restaurant and should coordinate with your restaurant’s theme.
Step 4: Add in the Prices on your Menu Items
Make sure that the items are priced fairly. You wouldn’t want your customers to get puzzled as to why some appetizers or soups are more expensive than some entrees.
Step 5: Create Descriptions for Each Dish
Consult with the chef who created the menu. Add in one adjective for each item on the menu and think of a story, inspiration, and its ingredients for each meal.
Step 6: Start Arranging Menu with Placement and Design in Mind
Keep the design simple. Avoid creating menus with multiple pages so keep it to two pages.
Step 7: Include Photos Carefully
Add in photos of your most profitable menu items. A menu can benefit from white space. The more pictures, the more distracted the customers become from the actual content. If you are adding photos, hire a professional food photographer to ensure a higher quality of photos.
Step 8: Start Putting Together All Elements
Consider the margins, spacing, fonts, and overall composition of the menu now that you have a general idea of what you want your menu to look like. Also, make the layouts easy to edit in the future so you are able to add an remove items over a period of time.
Step 9: Choose the Final Layout
Once you have created a menu, it’s time for everyone involved such as its stakeholders, managers, etc. in the establishment to approve its design and content. Go through the approval process, and choose the menu that everyone loves.
Step 10: Proofread the Menu
Ask for an outsider’s perspective on the menu as their viewpoint is different from someone who has not been looking and editing it for a long period of time. Do not skip this step as you might be wasting money printing menus that will end up being thrown away.
Step 11: Print the Menu
Try to find the best quality paper or have it professionally printed to achieve higher quality outputs.
Simple Tips in Making a Great Menu Design
Bold Fonts are a Good Element
Typography and its styles can serve as the “art” element of your menu. Just remember to use it strategically and continue to think about its theme.
Take Note of Price Alignment
o avoid customers in scanning for the least expensive items to order, don’t use $ symbols and use non-traditional pricing by saying 14.5 instead of $14.50. Also, use subtle colors and typography for pricing and do not rank the items from high to low or vice versa by mixing them up.
Keep in Mind the Golden Triangle
Place high-priced dishes at the center and upper right corner of the menu. Our eyes generally begin scanning starting at the middle of the page, then move to the top right and top left.
Keep it Simple
Overwhelming fonts, photos, and decorations can give out a disorganized feel to the menu. Remember that a menu is a reflection of who you are as a brand. White space is beneficial.
Create a “Special” Element
Make custom icons or legends that indicate special meals or dietary concerns – vegan, vegetarian, spicy, gluten-free, etc. This also minimizes the descriptive words placed in for each meal.
Types of Menus
A la Carte Menu
This menu prices each entree or food item separately. A variety of appetizers, entrees, and main courses are presented which is the most convenient for the customer as it allows them to choose whatever they wish to have for their meal.
Table d’Hôte Menu
Translated as “table of the host”, this presents a multi-course meal and is charged at a fixed price.
There are a variety of establishments that offer a beverage menu for their customers detached to its main menu. Some beverage menus even give suggestions on which wine or drink accompanies a particular meal.
Offered all-year round, this is more widespread among fast food chains. It is very seldom that its offered products change though they may occasionally add in more items.
Du Jour Menu
This menu is dependent on the season and changes from time to time. Some establishments even offer discounts or special packages for certain events or occasions when creating a Du Jour Menu.
Perfect for establishments that cater to desserts and sweets. However, some restaurants offer a separate menu for their specialty desserts which include bright and colorful pictures perfect for enticing any sweet tooth.
Great for families with young children, this includes more appealing pictures and fewer descriptions of child-friendly meals. Some even include a small portion of nutritional benefits for parents to study.
Menu Template Sizes
Depending on the establishment, you can have a small or large menu. Here are a few examples of sizes that are appropriate for creating a menu:
- 4.25″ x 11″
- 5.5″ x 15″
- 8.5″ x 11″
- 8.5″ x 14″
- 11″ x 17″
- 11″ x 25.5″
Menu Design FAQs
How do I make a good Menu Design?
Using the pre-made templates found at Template.net, one kind finds a variety of menu designs that will fit many establishments’ theme and aesthetic. Having 300 DPI resolution and CMYK color space for each template, one is sure to have a high-quality menu once printed or even digitally shared.
How do I make great content for my Menu Design?
Always consider the expertise of the resident chef and cooks of your establishment. You may be able to give life to a dish in words but they have more knowledge regarding the story and origins of the ingredients. Once you are able to consult with them, you are able to have more of an idea, especially when writing descriptions for each dish.
Creating your own menu designs can be easy and simple if you download the files from Template.net. With just a few adjustments to fit your specifics, you will not only have professional designs that will impress recipients, but it is also a great business move that stands alone without actually putting too much of an effort.