You can dish out the greatest eats in town, but your customers won’t know all you have to offer without an engaging and easy-to-read menu. The professionals at Harbortouch, the United States’ leading point-of-sale (POS) system provider, say every great menu contains a few key elements, from dynamic design to succinct, informative dish descriptions. In addition to enticing customers, a well-designed menu can improve efficiency and accuracy, a boon for diners and staff alike. Here are their tips for an effective menu design.
4 Menu Design Tips
1. Be Creative
Many restaurants are successful because they offer something unique. Stand out from the competition by being creative with your menu names. Many diners order based on the item names, rather than reading descriptions. Get inspiration from local sports teams or landmarks, and include succinct but clever descriptions, says Harbortouch.
2. Make It Readable
While creativity is a boon when it comes to names and descriptions, don’t get too carried away with fonts. It’s important your menu is legible, so avoid overly-slanted or cursive fonts and small sizes. Also, consider color. Shades of red, yellow, and orange tend to evoke hunger and positivity, says Harbortouch. Pick a few complementary colors and use these throughout the menu for a cohesive and appealing look.
3. Consider Length and Layout
Just as you can have too many cooks in a kitchen, you can have too many choices on a menu. Experts recommend a two-panel layout as it provides plenty of options for customers but not so many they may feel overwhelmed and have a hard time deciding what to order, explains Harbortouch.
Ensure it is organized as well. Don’t try to highlight every item. Instead, select a few house specials to highlight, one or two in each section. Incorporate bold section headers for groups such as beverages, entrees, appetizers, desserts, and kids’ items, advises Harbortouch. Be sure to identify what modifications can be made as well, such as dairy substitutes, gluten-free, or vegan and vegetarian.
4. Use High-Quality Photos
Quality is better than quantity when it comes to photos, explains Harbortouch. Depending on the type of establishment you operate, you might want to use a few high-quality photos of certain popular and attractive dishes. There’s no need to have a photo of every dish, as this can look cluttered. Instead, use the ‘rule of threes’ – things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered groupings. Three is often the magic number in everything from photography and graphic design to menu design. Hire a professional photographer, take high-quality photos, and remember the rule of thirds when it comes to design and layout.
More on Harbortouch
Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue.