When you are designing new menus, you have the chance to completely overhaul one of the first impressions that people get when they come to your restaurant. Aside from the atmosphere of your restaurant, the menu is the first thing that patrons see. Here are some tips for designing an effective menu.
1. Put All of the Items That You Upsell On Their Own Page
Upselling is when you have an item that is relatively cheap to make and charge more for it. These items are going to be what your restaurant makes most of its profits from and it is therefore important that you are able to sell as many of these items as possible. One way to increase their overall sales is to put them on a separate page together. Reserve one page in your menu for a few of these different items. Keep the total of items that you display on this page low in order to avoid overwhelming the customer. If customers aren't overwhelmed, they will have an easier time choosing an item that they want to eat and you will be able to get the customers in and out of the restaurant more quickly.
2. Use Photos
Unless you're an upscale restaurant, you want to put pictures of your most alluring dishes or the dishes that offer you the highest profit margins on your menu. This will allow you to increase people's interest in these items because pictures tend to entice people more than a description of a dish. By strategically using images, you can avoid overwhelming the customer and direct their attention to the dishes that are going to help you make the most money.
3. Get a Sample Print First
You want to make sure that you get a sample print of your menu before you order the full printing in order to see how everything is going to look. Make sure that your menu options are spread out enough so that they are easy to read and that all of the allergen information is accurate. It's far cheaper to make changes to the sample print and the order a new sample print than it is to do a reprinting of your menu.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in printing menus, such as M13 Graphics. They will have information from other clients about what worked best for them on their menus and will be able to give you some tips.