Those in the food business know that “People eat with their eyes first”. In fact, even the best dishes will fall flat on sales without great presentation. The same goes for designing a menu. A professionally printed, well-designed menu can have a huge impact on your restaurant’s profit margin. Even if you’re not a graphic designer, as a restaurant owner, your input will help your printing company create an awesome menu that’s perfect for your restaurant. Here’s a few items to consider during the design process:
Check out Your Competition
When designing your menu, you need to create a list of dishes and an overall design that stands out from the crowd. What type of design did your competitors go with? What could be improved? How can you come up with a menu that uses their strengths and avoids their weaknesses?
Create a Design That Conveys Your Style
Colour choice, fonts, theme and overall design are all choices that can be used to display your restaurant’s unique style and concept. Each of these elements should be given careful consideration, so you can be assured that you are displaying a menu that accurately reflects the image you’re trying to create.
Create Visual Balance
Try sketching a “dummy” or mock up of your menu before you head to the printer. Arrange your information on the page to get an idea of how it looks visually. It’s best to arrange your menu by category, making it easy for customers to quickly find the appropriate section for the item they’re seeking. Some common categories are appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages. One or two column designs are best for menus; more than one column of information is confusing and too busy to be easily read.
Less is More
You may be tempted to pull out all the stops with creative colour choices, fonts, clip art, photos and more. The key to creating a successful menu is to be conservative and classy. Avoid computer clip art, which will only make it look like you created the menu on your desktop computer. In addition, you probably should not use photos, as even the best food photography falls short of the real thing. If you must use photos, hire a professional photographer.
Choose a Professional Printer
It’s best to find a printer that will give you professional results even for a small number of menus. Many printers utilize digital technology to print custom books that will allow you to create a very professional looking menu at a great price.
Create Vivid Written Descriptions
Use descriptive language to write about your food. Be sure to explain what sets your items apart from the competition.
If you’ve followed these guidelines, you should be well on your way to creating a great menu for your restaurant. Once you’ve selected a professional printer, creating the final project should be quick and easy, and the results will be worth all of the time you’ve invested.