9 Restaurant Menu Tips

Dinner Menu Designs

9 Savoury Restaurant Menu Design Tips to Make Your Customers Hungry!

When your customers read your menu, you want to make them feel hungry! You also want to create a readable menu. Here are 9 restaurant menu design tips to use.

Are you designing a restaurant menu?

Your restaurant’s menu is your chance to showcase your dishes and win over customers by helping them find their perfect dish.

But if your menu is poorly designed, overly crowded, or lacking descriptions of your dish, your customers may suffer. They may struggle to find something they like, miss a dish they might have loved, or simply feel overwhelmed.

If you want to ensure your menu is benefiting your restaurant rather than standing in its way, keep reading. We’re bringing you 9 essential restaurant menu design tips you need to know.

1. Keep It Updated

Perhaps the most important of all menu design tips you could follow is to update your menu as often as possible!

Restaurants change constantly. You might drop menu items or ingredients. Certain dishes may fall out of favour. A rise in ingredient costs could drive up your costs.

Creating new menus may seem far less cost effective than simply crossing out a menu selection or placing a sticker over an old price. But this will leave your menu looking messy and unprofessional.

Even if you don’t make any changes to your menu, the typography, colours, and even the layout will eventually become outdated.

If you want to leave a good impression on your customers, update your menu as often as possible.

2. Use a Trending Font

Certain fonts are used more often than others for a good reason. Often, it’s because they are easy to read and pleasing to the eye.

Other fonts, like Comic Sans or Curlz MT, have negative connotations. They’re overly playful and child-like. Use them on your menu, and your customers will notice.

The goal of your font choice should be to choose one that your customers won’t notice because it blends so well with the design of your menu.

This will allow them to read your selections and make their choices without getting distracted.

3. Add Delicious Descriptions

Even if your menu features pictures, it may not be enough to win over customers. This is especially true of unique dishes customers may never have tried, or of dishes that don’t photograph particularly well.

That’s where delicious descriptions come in.

Writing eye-catching, mouth-watering descriptions will help your customers visualize what they’re ordering and allow them to pick whatever best matches their tastes.

By providing accurate, tasty descriptions, you’ll help this happen, and help increase the chances that your customers will leave happy and wanting to return.

4. Skip the Pics

While photos might seem like an easy way to help customers find their perfect dish, think twice before adding them to your menu.

Consider restaurants you dine in. You might notice that pictures only appear on the menus of low-cost, quick service restaurants like diners or fast food joints.

Expensive, high-end restaurants rarely showcase photos on their menus.

Experts suggest that pictures on menus only work when the dishes are simple and straightforward. When dishes have more ingredients or more obscure ingredients and complicated names, pictures can actually turn customers away from those dishes.

If you still want to use photos to draw in customers, there are other ways to use them. One option is with custom corflute signs that can be displayed in your windows or as signage.

5. Make Sure Your Menu Design Matches Your Restaurant’s Atmosphere

Just as you wouldn’t expect photos on the menus of a high-end, expensive restaurant, you’ll also be expecting that menu to look a certain way, even if you don’t realize it.

Menus should match the atmosphere of a restaurant.

For instance, a cheerful, upbeat, colourful Mexican food restaurant should feature an equally colourful menu. A modern, fancy restaurant with minimalist decor should have a menu with minimal decoration and simple font.

6. Design Your Menu to Read Like a Book

For a long time, restaurant owners and menu designers followed an old rule that said customers look towards a so-called “sweet spot” when looking at a menu.

That sweet spot was located on the right side of a menu spread, just above the middle of the page.

But more recent research suggests that there is no such sweet spot. Instead, it shows that customers tend to read menus like a book. That means they start on the left side at the top of the page, reading to the bottom before jumping to the top of the right page.

Laying out your menu with these habits in mind will help you better plan your layout.

Include featured items on the top left to draw attention to them. Or, list appetisers and starters on the top left, followed by soups and salads, entrees, and desserts. That way customers read through your menu in the order that they would order those dishes.

7. Separate Food Groups

Effective restaurant menus design separate foods into groups.

This could be groups such as “appetizers,” “entrees,” and “sides.” Or you could separate dishes by their main ingredient, such as “chicken,” “seafood,” and “pasta.”

The sections of a restaurant menu depend on the type of food you serve and your restaurant’s style. Take the time to choose the right sections for your customer base and food style.

8. Drop Currency Signs

Customers want to know how much a dish is going to cost them. But they don’t want to overthink it.

By simply dropping the currency sign off of your menu, studies show that you can lessen the sticker shock for customers and set them at ease.

If you do choose to drop the currency sign, its best to also round your prices up or down to whole numbers.

Not having to list decimal points and change will keep your menu looking cleaner and less cluttered. It will also help you draw less attention to your prices so that customers will focus on them less.

9. Don’t Overcrowd Your Menu

If you don’t follow any other menu design tips on this list, be sure to follow this one.

Overcrowding your menu will cause customers to get lost, miss dishes, or experience confusion. They may haphazardly choose what to order and end up with something they don’t like.

Keeping your menu as simple and open as possible will eliminate confusion and allow your menu items to shine through.

Creating a Winning Restaurant Menu Design

Creating a winning restaurant menu design doesn’t have to be difficult.

By keeping your design simple, choosing the right font, dropping currency signs, and following a few other tips, you can create a menu that represents your restaurant well and helps customers find the perfect dish for them.

Once you have the perfect menu design ready, its time to get it printed. Check out our custom menu printing options to see how we can bring your designs to life.


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