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Menu Design - Tips and Tricks

Couple reading menu at restaurant

What is the one thing your guests are guaranteed to look at when they are in your restaurant? Why, your menu of course! Unless they are such regulars that they know what they want without checking (and even then, they will probably take a glance just to see what you're up to) your menu will create a big, lasting impression on your customers. So ensure that it's laid out well, pleasingly designed, up to date, and typo free.

How often should you update your menu? That really depends on your brand. Some restaurants print new menus daily. This can be very cost prohibitive - and printing out on a regular office printer with no graphic design is just not going to cut it. Unless you have a good system in place - and a cheap one - printing your menu out yearly or quarterly is just fine. There's no need to create a new menu every time a dish changes - just keep in on the specials menu. But don't write things in using pen and ink, either. Your customers want a clean, sophisticated dining experience. the more you can do to provide that, the better. Make sure your logos and colors are well reflected on the menu also.

Having a lunch, dinner, happy hour, cocktail, and dessert menus printed separately also makes sense. Happy hour in particular should always be printed separately and distributed only when available. Same rule goes for brunch. This is just common sense, really. You don't want your customers craving food that is not currently available. So train your staff to present the appropriate menus for the time of day, day of the week, and location within the bar. And make sure all your menus have the same look, feel, quality of materials, and graphic design, so that they are completely cohesive for the customer.

In addition to your appetizers, entrees, and desserts, consider adding recommended wine pairings to your dinner menu. If you have a couple bottles in your cellar with a higher profit margin, push those out on the menu and create an easy upset for your dinner guests. Finally, make sure all your menus are organized in a way that is simple to read, and that your servers are knowledgeable about the entire menu to ensure that any questions can be easily and promptly answered.

2017-01-27 00:00:00
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