Congratulations! You finally have your own restaurant. Your food has been taste-tested about a million times and is sure to be a hit, your servers are well-trained, and your decor is amazing. It seems you’re all set to go except, have you given a thought to how you’re designing your emenu restaurant? If your answer is no, you might want to take a pause before starting the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
You may be wondering if all the hubbub is necessary over just a menu but the fact is, to your new customers, the menu may be a deal breaker or closer. After all, first- time diners will need an introduction to whatever scrumptious dishes you have on offer and this is your chance to really sell your kitchen creations.
So don’t treat your menu like a mere piece of paper listing your food ordering system options. Take this opportunity to grab your customers’ attention. A menu, if one thinks about it, is like a contract. This is where you make a promise to the diner about what they can get if they order from you. It’s up to you, then, to produce the best “poached egg and bacon with Hollandaise sauce on an English muffin” (that’s Eggs Benedict, by the way, but I’m sure you knew that) or whatever it is on your menu that tickles your visitor’s fancy.
The way to “tickle their fancy” is through knowing how to design, produce, and distribute the menu.
A menu, of course, has to be rooted in the brand. So when you design it, take elements of your overall restaurant design and apply them to your menu. Make sure it captures exactly what your restaurant is all about. Also consider taking a look at how you actually lay out your entries.
For instance, some establishments would use boxes for premium items, or others will put these more expensive items at the top and bottom of a list so that readers can easily see them. Additionally, some of the more high class tto restaurants tend to forgo putting the dollar sign ($) on their price list as the symbol tends to remind diners that about the “pain of paying,” as a 2009 New York Times article on menu psychology described. Design is completely up to you, but you may want to consult with more experienced industry professionals.
As much as the design, presentation and printing are also important. After all what good will a blurry menu print do if it couldn’t show the appetizing photos you included. It’s absolutely imperative to choose a printer who can give you the best quality menu prints. You should also decide whether you want it laminated, bound, sewn, or stapled. There are many variations of menus and you can match this with the type of restaurant you are. For example, if your food has a lot of sauce, you can keep your menu splatter-free with lamination.
Finally, consider how you’re distributing the menus. Are you making them disposable, for take-out or permanent, table menus. Will you be giving them out on the street, or are you just handing them out for use inside the store? This is pertinent if you want assurance that your potential customers actually receive the menus and are spurred to order.
When you have all that down, don’t forget to ask for second, third, and fourth opinions just so you know if your menu might actually work. When you get your affirmative then you’re finally ready to go on with the restaurant’s grand opening.
Good luck to you, and buon appetito to your diners!