What is the main appeal to customers who decide to take a seat at your restaurant? What portrays your entire business model in two-three pages of appetizing entrées and gourmet meals? Your restaurant menu design of course. After all, it is the ultimate guide to everything your restaurant has to offer its customers.
There are countless restaurant’s out there that have the ability to make it into the “elite” category that we know as Michelin Star rated entities. However, they fall short. Most of the time this is because their menu’s importance was overlooked.
After all, how will your customers be able to find your top-quality dishes and house specials if they get lost in the windy paths of an overly complex menu design?
In the end, your restaurant menu design needs to accomplish three things:
- Express the personality/theme of your restaurant
- Promote your top dishes
- Entice customers, not only to order once but to frequent again, and again.
Despite common belief, a restaurant’s menu is crucial to the restaurant’s marketing strategy and requires time-investment and witty engineering. Don’t be disheartened though, bear with us as we take you down the slippery slopes of designing a brilliant menu for your restaurant!
The Paradox of Choice
Hidden Psychology Behind Your Restaurant Menu Design
We are confident that you already know everything you need to about creating the right environment. It’s a psychological game. Getting the temperature right, calculated interior designs, the right music volume.
All of these small things build up into a restaurant’s most important characteristic: appeal.
The restaurant menu design, however, takes customer psychology to an entirely different platform. As we discuss various components that should be on your menu, we will also talk about common psychological practices to appeal to customers!
Eye Popping Layout or Simple Cuisine Luxury?
The design of your restaurant’s menu needs to make the most out of a customer’s gaze as their eyes travel over the page. It’s just like that final aisle before you pay at a supermarket, where all the sweets lure you into spending more than you originally planned.
The prime tactic is to ensure that the most profitable dishes are always at eye-level throughout your menu. However, before we discuss the nitty gritty of menu design, we must mention simplicity is key.
Overly-complicated menus tend to frustrate customers, which studies illustrate leads to more “simple, and cheap” dishes being ordered! Of course, we don’t want that.
The Right Hook of The Restaurant Menu Design
The upper-right corner of each page is prime real estate. Think about it, when you have a blank piece of paper or newspaper, where do you start? More profitable dishes will usually be found here.
It is important to keep the menu flow as you engineer it, as of course, the trick is to create enough appeal that your customers begin to think with their stomachs and not their brains.
Using The Negative Spacing To Your Advantage
Another useful and relatively easy trick is to make the most out of negative spacing throughout your menu. Creating a negative space is as easy as putting a light box around your most profitable items, which will automatically pull the eye of your customers – increasing the likelihood of profitable sales.
What About The Menu Design Colours?
Did you know that colors can affect your mood? As hard as it is to believe, studies illustrate that it is true. So, now is when you need to contemplate the theme/purpose of your restaurant.
Is it somewhere to go and relax after a long day? Perhaps you had a vision for it to be more of a place of fine-dining?
Establishments that wish their customers to enjoy a soothing drink and delicious meal tend to use the color blue. Studies illustrate that this is because blue has a soothing serenity effect on our moods.
Studies have also shown that colors such as red tends to arouse our appetite whereas yellow is the shining bright attention-drawer.
What About How You Price Your Tantalizing Entrees And Gourmet Meals?
The Secret Crypto Currency Technique
This is another useful technique that the majority of restaurants tend to overlook. When a customer frequents your restaurant, they are hungry. This means that their stomach is waging war with their minds as they battle to choose what delicacy they wish to indulge in.
It is always up to the menu design to ensure that the customer’s stomachs win. A simple trick is leaving out the currency symbol on your menus pricing. This tends to alleviate the emphasis on what the meal costs. In fact, research shows that this increases spending by a whopping 30-percent.
Is That All There Is To Restaurant Menu Design?
These are indeed just a few simple techniques to help you out when you are creating your restaurant menu. There are, of course, more complicated techniques – this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, the first-step is always the most important, which is why we highly recommend you incorporate everything that you have learned into your menu design.
Also, don’t forget to check out the awesome infographic below!
We understand that this may all seem a bit confusing right off the bat. However, we are here to help. Take the first step and contact us if you wish to get any advice when it comes to your menu design.